Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Music industry 2.0 still in beta

What do Live Nation, Madonna, Ticketmaster and McFly have in common? All demonstrated this week that the music industry is still very much in flux There was blood on the Live Nation boardroom floor as a rift developed over the …

Fri, Jun 27, 2008, 07:56

   

What do Live Nation, Madonna, Ticketmaster and McFly have in common? All demonstrated this week that the music industry is still very much in flux

There was blood on the Live Nation boardroom floor as a rift developed over the company’s policy of handing out Lotto-sized 360 deals to senior pop citizens like Madonna, Jay-Z and U2.

The first casualty appears to be company chairman Michael Cohl, who stepped down from his position last week. Cohl headed up the Live Nation Artists division and was a firm advocate of the new business model.

It doesn’t help 360 pimps that Madonna is finding it tough to sell tickets for some of the dates on her forthcoming tour. Many European shows have sold out, but some US stadium shows have done less than 50 per cent business. Sluggish sales of new album “Hard Candy” show just why Madge fans are unwilling to get busy with the credit cards.

Meanwhile, On The Record understands that Live Nation’s takeover of MCD Concerts is nearing completion.

One area where Live Nation hope to increase future revenues is ticket sales. With their partnership with Ticketmaster ending this year, Live Nation will be moving into direct ticket selling with the help of German company CTS Eventim AG from ‘09.

Ticketmaster, though, are not crying over spilt milk. The company, which spun off from parent IAC/InterActiveCorp this week with about $750 million in debt, plans to expand its international operations, resale business and marketing arm. Of course, that leveraged debt may well see Ticketmaster fees and charges increasing in time.

But going live remains king. Pop band McFly certainly hope so, as they’re giving away their new album free with The Mail on Sunday next month.

The hope is that giving away three million CDs for free will result in a big audience bump when the band tour later in the year. They may even to get to cancel a show at Croker at short notice like last year’s Mail on Sunday giveaway star Prince.

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