Posts Tagged ‘Warner Music Group’


March 2, 2009

Many of you have emailed regarding the positive spin I tried to put on the TicketMaster / Live Nation merger in the newsletter a few weeks ago  If the notes I received were actually from SEC regulators, the deal would never happen.  But of course they aren’t.  The hearings on Capital Hill are a near formality in my humble opinion.  The two companies would have never announced the deal if their lawyers didn’t think the merger would pass the “sniff test” both hear and in the EU.  Might they have to sell-off a few businesses to make everyone happy, sure…but this deal is happening and will close, so we might as well move forward.  You know that Irving and Rapino are….Tim and Randy at AEG too. 

It is interesting the way others view our business.  For instance, pick-up the March 2009 issue of Fast Company.  In it are “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies”.  As you would expect, the usual suspects are there; Apple, Google, Amazon, Zappos, Disney, Warner Music Group, CAA…wait, WARNER MUSIC GROUP and CAA!!!!  And not just WMG and CAA, both AEG and Live Nation are listed as “Companies to Watch”.  Are we all missing something?  Are we too busy playing armchair quarterbacks to see that the time of innovation is passing us by? 

Truth is there are a lot of good things we can talk about.  WMG now has a merchandising company that makes a profit not only for them, but for their artists too.  CAA teamed clients Will Ferrell and Tony Hawk with Sequoia Capital to create web brands and  AEG continues to invest in our business by building state-of-the-art facilities and Live Nation is about to pull-off one hell of a merger (too bad it probably won’t do anything for my stock). 

The time for innovation is now.  Just think about how many companies were started during the Great Depression.  Banks are going to be put under more pressure to give out business loans.  Have an idea, it is time to Move Forward!

Talk with you soon…



Irving Azoff’s Rock-n-Roll Rules

October 23, 2008

Irving Azoff used to have a saying (not sure if he still uses it or not), “Rock-n-Roll rules, I win or I win”.  And as a lot of you reading this know, he usually does.  So when Steve Kaul from The Agency Group sent around the Reuters story this morning about Ticketmaster buying-up Warner Music Group’s stake in Frontline Management, it didn’t surprise me…too much.  The question is what’s next and who’s making the next move?

I’m not going to cover the Warner Music of it all, since it doesn’t really relate to the live business.  As for Ticketmaster, one would assume that Frontline artists would no longer be playing for Live Nation, but with Irving never assume.  When Irving owned a big piece of AEG, it didn’t stop him from having his artists play for their competitors.  It is a manager’s job to do what’s in his or her client’s best interest and I’m pretty sure in Irving’s mind they are two separate deals.

The deal certainly gives Irving, Howard and company more power (as if they needed it) and could put Live Nation in a very interesting dilemma.  Artists like Jimmy Buffett, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Alan Jackson, etc (Dave Matthews of course but that’s Coran Capshaw…who could still end up selling), are the reasons why seasons tickets, VIP packages, venue sponsorships, and even the Citi deal to some extent, still sell in LN’s venues.  Take those acts out of the equation and it could be trouble for not only the amphitheater business but for Live Nation’s House of Blues and Fillmore brands they are continuing to build.

Another big question is what does this mean to the ticketing business Live Nation is setting up?  What’s the next move there?  Does Live Nation try and sell their ticketing company to Ticketmaster?  Is now the best time to sell?  What does this all mean for AEG?  Do AEG and Ticketmaster now resume talks?  Does AEG consider selling to Live Nation (would this deal every pass the Feds)?  Who knows…

I leave you with the same question we started with, what’s the next move and who’s making it?

Would love your input.

Talk to you soon…