Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Live Nation’s cunning plan to save their skins? Cut artist fees

Your favourite band may be in for a pay-cut. The world’s biggest live music company Live Nation has announced that it hopes to reduce losses by cutting upfront fees to bands. Company big cheese Michael Rapino told investors that he …

Fri, Oct 1, 2010, 10:02

   

Your favourite band may be in for a pay-cut.

The world’s biggest live music company Live Nation has announced that it hopes to reduce losses by cutting upfront fees to bands.

Company big cheese Michael Rapino told investors that he believes “the big, upfront paydays of the past are over” and all involved are going to have to mend their ways.

Rapino’s rethink comes at the end of a well-documented tough summer Stateside for the live music sector.

“Going into 2010, we didn’t expect the consumer pull back that happened,” Rapino said about slow ticket sales. “We all thought that the theory that concerts are recession proof is true.”

Live Nation’s plan basically involves paying less money to the talent. “Have we started by saying we’re not going to pay you that much because we don’t feel we can sell enough tickets at that amount?”, said Rapino about negotiations with artist reps. “And is that leading to us getting some push back? Yes. But, are we getting closer to the deals we want? Yes.”

It remains to be seen, though, if artists will suck it up. After all, many believed live fees would compenstate for the huge shortfall in income from traditional sources like record sales. That theory, though, has turned out to be as reliable as the notion of recession-proof concerts.

It will be interesting to see if Live Nation’s rivals AEG will use this opportunity to grab some acts by wooing them with wads of cash or if they will allow the competition to do the heavy lifting with regards to advances.

But it will be far more interesting to see if reduced fees will lead to lower ticket prices. Now, that might be something worth applauding.

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