Live Nation (events promoter)
Live Nation is an American events promoter and venue operator based in Beverly Hills, California. Formed in 1996 by Robert F. X. Sillerman as SFX Entertainment, the company's business was built around consolidating concert promoters into a national company. In 2000, the company was sold to Clear Channel Communications for $4.4 billion, and operated as Clear Channel Entertainment until 2005, when it was spun off as Live Nation.
|SFX Entertainment (1996-2000)|
Clear Channel Entertainment (2000-2005)
|Successor||LiveStyle (de facto)|
|Revenue||US$ 10.34 billion (2017)|
|US$ 91.4 million (2017)|
|US$ -6 million (2017)|
|Total assets||US$ 7.504 billion (2017)|
|Total equity||US$ 1.418 million (2017)|
Number of employees
|Parent||SFX Broadcasting (1996-2000)|
Clear Channel Communications (2000-2005)
Live Nation Entertainment (2010-present)
In 2017, Live Nation reported $30 billion in gross transaction value from primary and secondary ticketing. Live Nation Entertainment produces over 29,500 events in 40 countries each year. In 2017, Live Nation hosted over 86 million on-site consumers at its events and also invested $5.6 billion to put on its events that year.
The company was originally formed in 1996 as SFX Entertainment, a subsidiary of media executive Robert F. X. Sillerman's SFX Broadcasting. Its business model involved the acquisition of regional concert promoters, consolidating them into a single national company. His first acquisition was Delsener/Slater Entertainment, and bought 50% of Al Haymon's A. H. Enterprises in 1999. Sillerman sold SFX to Clear Channel Communications in 2000 for $4.4 billion; the Clear Channel Entertainment division was spun off in 2005 as Live Nation. In July 2006, Live Nation acquired the House of Blues chain.
In October 2007, Live Nation reached a 10-year 360 deal with Madonna, under which the company would collaborate on music projects, touring, merchandising, and other facets of her career. In July 2008, Shakira signed an estimated $70–100 million contract with Live Nation.
In January 2008, Live Nation sold its North American theatrical business (including the Broadway Across America business) to Key Brand Entertainment for $90.4 million. Key Brand Entertainment is a private investment company owned by British theater producer John Gore and led by senior entertainment industry executive Tom McGrath.
In April 2008, a deal between Jay-Z and Live Nation for $152 million was confirmed. The deal covers financing of Jay-Z's own entertainment venture, live shows, tours and future recordings for the next 10 years. His 2009 album The Blueprint 3 was distributed by Atlantic Records, while his label, Roc Nation, is being distributed by Universal Music Group.
In February 2009, Live Nation announced that it had reached an agreement to merge with the ticket broker Ticketmaster in a $2.5 billion, all-stock deal. The merger was consumnated in early 2010, with both companies becoming divisions of the new parent company Live Nation Entertainment.
In June 2013, Insomniac Events, a promoter focused on electronic dance music, announced a major "creative partnership" with Live Nation, giving the promoter access to Live Nation's resources while remaining an independent company. Live Nation did not take any ownership stake in Insomniac.
- October 1996: Delsener/Slater Enterprises, New York City
- February 1997: Meadows Music Theater, Hartford, Connecticut
- March 1997: Sunshine Promotions, Indianapolis
- December 1997: Bill Graham Presents, San Francisco; Contemporary Group, St. Louis; and Concert/Southern Promotions, Atlanta
- December 1997: Pace Entertainment Group and Pavilion Partners, Houston
- January 1998: Westbury Music Fair, Westbury, New York
- March 1998: Avalon Entertainment Partners, Los Angeles
- May 1998: Don Law's Blackstone Entertainment, Boston; Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, Connecticut
- August 1998: Cellar Door Companies, Fort Lauderdale
- August 1998: Magicworks Entertainment, Miami Beach
- August 1998: American Artists, Boston
- August 1998: DiCesare Engler Productions, Pittsburgh
- January 1999: The Entertainment Group, Chicago
- March 1999: Seven venues from the Nederlander Organization
- April 1999: The Next Adventure, Toronto
- April 1999: TourVen
- May 1999: A.H. Enterprises, Los Angeles
- July 1999: Livent, Toronto
- July 1999: Candid Productions
- August 1999: Apollo Leisure Group and Barry Clayman Corporation, United Kingdom
- September 1999: Cardenas Fernandez & Associates, Chicago
- September 1999: Midland Concert Promotions, United Kingdom
- September 1999: EMA Telstar, Stockholm
- October 1999: Mojo Works, Netherlands
- March 2000: Electric Factory Concerts, Philadelphia
- May 2000: Jujamcyn Productions, Minneapolis
- May 2000: Core Audience Entertainment, Canada
- 2001: Evening Star Productions, Phoenix
2006 – 2008
Live Nation International Music and Live Nation ArtistsEdit
As of July 30, 2008, CEO Michael Rapino was considering doing licensing deals on an artist-by-artist basis, a source inside Live Nation said. Under that scenario, Warner Music Group could end up handling the marketing, promotion, and distribution of albums by the very acts that defected from it to join Live Nation: Nickelback and Madonna. "Rapino wants to outsource everything," said a second source close to the situation. "He doesn't want to build an infrastructure or carry any overhead." The move is mirrored after the "rent-a-system" model used in Hollywood, whereby one studio produces a movie but licenses all the other functions to another studio that already has a distribution and marketing infrastructure.
Live Nation's talks represented the latest retrenchment from the strategy of former chairman Michael Cohl, who sought to transform the touring giant into a multi-faceted powerhouse, including a record company. News of the potential outsourcing move followed the dismissal of industry veterans Bob Ezrin, Bob Cahill and Bill Hein, all of whom were Artist Nation employees hired by Cohl to create a label infrastructure for Live Nation's newly signed acts. Instead of banking all the upside on album sales, as was once envisioned with these so-called "360 deals," Live Nation would likely collect a less lucrative outsourcing royalty of between 25 percent and 35 percent, based on other industry licensing deals. It would then be responsible for using that money to pay the artist's royalty - a fee that, at the superstar level, can come close to equaling the licensing royalty the company is apt to get from a label.
On 31 March 2008, it was confirmed that Live Nation signed a 12-year deal with U2 worth an estimated $100 million (£70 million). The deal includes Live Nation controlling the band's merchandise, sponsoring and their official website. In a contractual agreement with Live Nation signed in March 2008, the parties agreed that the band would receive $25 million for 1.6 million shares of the company; as of 17 December 2008, those shares were worth only just over $6 million. It was reported on 18 December 2008 that Live Nation, honoring their financial commitment, bought back the shares at a loss of $19 million. The company had intended to recoup the cost of signing U2 with their most recent album, No Line on the Horizon. No Line on the Horizon achieved a multi-platinum status in the international market and has sold over 5 million albums to date.
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- Live Nation owns, operates and/or exclusively books 135 live entertainment venues, including 43 in Europe, along with producing high-profile events such as Super Bowl halftime shows. It also represents major music artists.
- Owned the Monster Jam monster truck series and the rights to several trucks, including Grave Digger and Maximum Destruction also promoted World Supercross GP, the National Arenacross Series, IFMA Freestyle Motocross, and International Hot Rod Association drag racing, before selling its entire motorsports division to Feld Entertainment in 2008.
- Produces sporting events: 84 Lumber Classic of Pennsylvania; Legg Mason Tennis Classic; ADT Skills Challenge; American Century Golf Championship.
- Produces concerts and festivals: Great New York State Fair, Ozzfest, Jägermeister Music Tour, and Music Midtown (Atlanta) and in the UK Download at Donington, Hyde Park Calling and Wireless Festival. Through its LN/Gaiety subsidiary, it also manages the Festival Republic festivals at Reading and Leeds.
- In July 2006 Live Nation announced it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire HOB Entertainment, Inc., the operator of the House of Blues chain of music halls and restaurants.
- On October 16, 2007, Live Nation announced it signed a $120 million, 10-year global partnership contract with pop artist Madonna who will become the founding artist in its new Artist Nation division. The deal consists of all future music and music-related businesses including albums, concert tours, merchandising, fan club/web site, DVDs, music-related television and film projects, and associated sponsorship agreements.
- Live Nation owned the aforementioned Broadway Across America series, divested in January 2008 to Key Brand Entertainment.
- On March 31, 2008, Live Nation announced it signed a 12-year partnership contract with Irish rock band U2, after quitting Island Records, it will expire in 2020.
- On April 3, 2008, Live Nation announced it signed a 10-year, $150 million music deal with multi-platinum rap artist, Jay-Z, it expired in 2018.
- In July 2008, Live Nation announced it signed a 3-album-cycle deal with multi-platinum, Canadian rock band, Nickelback.
- Acquired Italian music promoters Milano Concerti and Friends & Partners Agency.
- Management of the former Olympic Venues (TOP Turin Olympic Park) in Turin, including the biggest Italian arena PalaOlimpico.
- Worldwide subsidiaries include Welldone Agency & Promotion (Finland), dkbMotor (Denmark), EMA Telstar (Sweden) and Gunnar Eide Concerts (Norway).
- Live Nation's subsidiary Mojo Concerts is the biggest organizer of concerts in The Netherlands with over 200 concerts and a total of a million visitors a year. Well known festivals include Pinkpop, Lowlands, Arrow Rock Festival and North Sea Jazz.
- Owns Clear Channel Entertainment do Brasil Ltda, a Brazilian music promotion and production company
- Acquires Music and Entertainment producers GAMERCO, the biggest Spanish promotion and production company.
- In the United Kingdom, as Live Nation UK, owns/ manages:
- A concert promotion business which promotes large outdoor concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as well as numerous small and medium concert venues across the country.
- Download Festival, Wireless Festival and Hyde Park Calling
- A 50.1% stake in the Festival Republic, and thus interests in:
- Several music festivals, including the production of Glastonbury Festival, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Latitude Festival
- Some medium-sized London music venues, including the London Astoria. In March 2007 Live Nation/Gaiety bought a majority share in a further 10 music venues from the Academy Music Group including the Brixton Academy and Shepherds Bush Empire.
- Management and Operations at London Wembley Arena, Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena Sheffield, O2 Apollo Manchester and Southampton Guildhall.
- A large majority of the UK's biggest regional theatre houses were owned/managed by Live Nation until October 2009 when the majority were sold to ATG, including the Sunderland Empire Theatre, Palace Theatre, Manchester, Grimsby Auditorium, Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, Lyceum Theatre, London, Edinburgh Playhouse, Liverpool Empire, New Theatre Oxford and Bristol Hippodrome. In addition, the Dominion Theatre, London was managed by Live Nation until October 2009 when it was bought outright by the majority owner Nederlander Dominion Ltd.
- In Ireland, Live Nation owns 3 Arena Dublin – formally known as The Point Depot.
- In Belgium, Live Nation organizes big festivals, like Rock Werchter, Graspop Metal Meeting and I Love Techno
- In Canada, Pemberton Festival was launched in July 2008 by Live Nation.
- In France, Live Nation organizes the Main Square Festival since 2009 as well as a few other shows like Depeche Mode in Liévin in 2010
On February 10, 2009, Live Nation and Ticketmaster Entertainment announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement to create a combined entity, to be called Live Nation Entertainment. Ticketmaster's press release said Live Nation produces live concerts in 57 countries.
The proposal has received regulatory approval in Norway and Turkey.
In October 2009, the United Kingdom's Competition Commission provisionally ruled against the merger with Ticketmaster. On December 22, 2009, the Competition Commission decided to clear the proposed merger.
Separate regulatory reviews of the proposal continued in the United States and Canada. The United States Department of Justice approved the merger in 2010 subject to review by a federal judge after a 60-day comment period. A condition of the approval, Ticketmaster agreed to license its software to rival Anschutz Entertainment Group, and to sell its subsidiary Paciolan to Comcast Spectacor, Comcast's sporting events subsidiary. The company also agreed not to interfere with competition for the ten-year life of the agreement.
In 2009, in reaction to a merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, Bruce Springsteen said "the one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing".
In a January 25, 2010 press release, the TicketDisaster.org group—a coalition of consumer rights and anti-trust groups—also issued the following statement about the proposed Live Nation-TicketMaster merger:
Despite its "monopoly-like dominance" controlling 70 to 80 percent of all concert ticket sales, Ticketmaster is unabashedly seeking to grow its empire - all to the detriment of the average fan. Ticketmaster is now trying to dampen competition by merging with Live Nation, the nation's largest concert promoter and second largest primary ticket seller. That merger is coming under heavy fire from consumer and industry groups and Members of Congress, particularly because of the clear anti-consumer and anti-competitive effects. As the Department of Justice reaches the final round of reviewing this merger, only one question must be answered: will the merger lead to increased prices, poorer service, or less innovation?
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