This was brought up today following a piece in the The Wall Street Journal discussing the approaching end of concert promoter Live Nation relationship with Ticketmaster for online ticket sales.
Ticketmaster’s exclusive agreement for online ticket sales with Live Nation expires at the end of 2008 (House of Blues events until 2009).
The parent company of Ticketmaster, IAC/InterActiveCorp, will suffer a significant loss with the exit of Live Nation Inc., which in 2006 accounted for over 15% of Ticketmaster’s annual revenue of over $1 billion.
One obvious target of Live Nation Inc. is to forge longterm deals with major recording artists, in order to bring more business to their expanding operations. Live Nation is looking to manufacture and sell artist merchandise, license artists’ image, design and operate their website, and manage online fan clubs. The additional option to handle all online ticketing for an artist obviously makes sense to add to the mix, leading to the plans by Live Nation to establish their own ticket service to compete with the current giant Ticketmaster. Live Nation currently owns and operates 160 concert venues globally, a majority in the United States.
A deal was established by Live Nation Artists with Madonna for a 10-year period (recoding and service management deal), and yesterday (March 31) an agreement (excluding recording and publishing) was made with touring giant U2 for a 12-year period. The Madonna deal was estimated at $120 million, while the value of the U2 deal has not yet been announced.