Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One Day We Will All Work For Live Nation

By Evan Rytlewski
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Every couple of months, usually at a large concert or music festival, I’d meet a friendly person who worked for Live Nation. We’d share a few minutes of enjoyable conversation about music, concerts, shared contacts and the industry in general, then head our separate ways. I would always be too polite to admit that I really had no idea what the hell Live Nation was, beyond some vague notion that they sold tickets to concerts.

The fact that I was running into so much Live Nation staff should have tipped me off that the company was becoming a powerhouse, but it’s only within the last year that the company has really put into motion its aggressive business model. The concert-promoting machine is vying to become to become a triple-threat, merchandise-selling/venue-owning/record-releasing powerhouse. It’s already inked unusually comprehensive (and expensive) deals with Madonna, Jay-Z and Shakira; today it announced another deal with one of the industry’s reliable album-movers, Nickelback.

At a time when music sales are slumping, it makes sense that an outsider would try to challenge the wounded major record labels—especially an outsider that deals primarily in live music, one of the few branches of the music industry that’s still as profitable as ever.

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