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BREAKING & IMPORTANT MADONNA-RELATED NEWS:

Madonna claims she wanted to blow up White House
- pending investigation by Secret Service!

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Interscope / Live Nation; -Madonna's Record Labels
Topic Started: Oct 16 2007, 02:57 PM (3,889 Views)
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Rock Star From Mars

Re Madonna's comment,
  • "For the first time in my career, the way that my music can reach my fans is unlimited.
- yes all ten of them!

Five of her fans can download her songs from the web, the other five can get them over their cell phones. How exciting!

Madonna Confirms Deal With Live Nation
  • October 16, 2007, 1:00 PM ET
    Ray Waddell, Nashville
    Live Nation president/CEO Michael Rapino confirmed today (Oct. 16) that Madonna has entered into an unprecedented global partnership with the company and will become the founding artist in LN's new Artist Nation division.

    "The paradigm in the music business has shifted and as an artist and a business woman, I have to move with that shift," says Madonna in a statement. "For the first time in my career, the way that my music can reach my fans is unlimited. I've never wanted to think in a limited way and with this new partnership, the possibilities are endless. Who knows how my albums will be distributed in the future? That's what's exciting about this deal -- everything is possible. Live Nation has offered me a true partnership and after 25 years in the business, I feel that I deserve that."

    The 10-year deal encompasses all of Madonna's future music and music-related businesses, including the exploitation of the Madonna brand, new studio albums, touring, merchandising, fan clubs/Web sites, DVDs, music-related television and film projects and associated sponsorship agreements.

    This unique new business model will address all of Madonna's music ventures as a total entity for the first time in her career.

    Artist Nation will be headed by veteran Rolling Stones tour producer Michael Cohl. The entity was formed to partner with artists to manage their diverse rights, grow their fan bases and provide a direct connection to fans through Live Nation's global distribution platform and marketing proficiencies.

    Cohl will serve as chairman/CEO of Artist Nation, which is comprised of recorded music, merchandise, artist fan site/artist ticketing, broadcast/digital media rights, sponsorship and marketing divisions. The company will be based in Miami, where Cohl lives.

    For more on the deal, visit Billboard.com throughout the day.
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Rock Star From Mars

This is a very lengthy editorial:
Is Madonna Worth $120 Million?

I've read most of it. One of my critiques is that the author buys into that "Madonna is a savvy business woman" clap trap.

To sum it up for you, he argues that rather than throwing money at established singers/ bands / music genres - as the music business is fond of doing - they should be using that money to scout out new talent / new genres.

And this is where his second discussion of Madonna in the editorial comes back into play:
  • [Author mentions how the Live Nation deal with Madonna is about business and profit, not about music.]

    Not that this is a bad thing into itself, and certainly a good short term investment. Today's stars pay the bills after all.

    But this is indeed a symptom of what is wrong with the industry's future.

    Live Nation is a fast growing live promotion firm, and the biggest deal in history is signed to an artist [Madonna] that will provide absolutely no future music growth for the company, let alone the industry.

    Live Nation will make money for the next five years on Madonna, but then what? Pay Madonna for a new deal? What about 10 or 20 years from now?

    A better investment would be taking that 50 to 60 million they will lose on those three new albums and picking up some new talent to record and promote; talent that is new and original.

    A better investment would be taking that 50 to 60 million they will lose on those three new [Madonna] albums and picking up some new talent to record and promote; talent that is new and original.

    You could give 10 to 20 bands, depending on how much you want to spend on promotion, a chance with one album and the rights to pick them up for more. Will they all hit it big?

    Of course not; some will bust, some will break even or do you good with a few albums.

    If you got the right talent scouts, then you should be able to get one or two successful acts whose career pays off the complete investment. And imagine if you find "It", as in the next big thing.

    Someone discovered Madonna 25 years ago, and made Warner a hell of a lot more money than Live Nation will get for a deal with the same singer now. Which of those two deals would you pick?

    Think about it.
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the Razz: Dig at Material Girl
  • the Razz: Dig at Material Girl

    Oct 13 2007 BEVERLEY LYONS AND LAURA SUTHERLAND

    MOBY isn't impressed by news that Madonna is about to sign a new multimillion pound music deal.

    He said: "I was just reading about Madonna signing a new $120million deal with Live Nation for her touring and her album and merchandise rights. I am not criticising Madonna, not at all. But sometimes I wonder what people do with their excess money, and when do they have enough?

    "I mean, what do you do with $50million dollars that you can't do with $40million dollars? And what do you do with $40million dollars, you can't do with $30million dollars and so on?"
Moby Slams Madonna Deal
  • Dance star MOBY has hit out at MADONNA's "obscene" $120 million (GBP60 million) record deal, insisting too much money is thrown at artists.

    The Material girl agreed the deal with tour promoters Live Nation after ending her longterm agreement with Warner Music.

    Moby writes on his blog, "I was just reading about Madonna signing a $120,000,000 deal with Live Nation for her touring and album and merchandise rights.

    "I'm not criticizing Madonna, not at all, but I sometimes wonder what people do with their excess money, and when do they have enough? "We live in a culture wherein there's a prevailing ethos that you should always have more. But why is 'more' always better?"

    16/10/2007 16:24
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the Razz: MUSIC MOGUL ALAN SLAMS MADONNA DEAL
  • Oct 27, 2007

    THE man who discovered Oasis, Alan McGee, has likened 360 degree record deals, similar to that given to Madonna, to 'raping and pillaging' artists.

    ....Now Poptones boss Alan says: "The record industry's demand for bands to sign over a portion of their merchandise and tour revenues as part of a recording contract is an admission that selling music is not a sustainable business model.

    "I understand business. It is not always win/win, some lose and some win. But I don't understand raping and pillaging in business."

    He added: "It raises the question of legality. If you want a record deal you have to give up money from other endeavours. Isn't this a form of extortion?

    "Because music is free and the traditional record industry model obsolete doesn't give the industry the right to move into promoters and merchandisers. What next? Will oil companies own our cars?"

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The fans at Drowned Madonna seem thrilled by this news article (click here).

I hate to burst their bubble, but Live Nation is merely placating stock holders and trying to lure more stock holders - which means they're obviously going to make rosy predictions and say how valuable an asset Man-donna is.

Live Nation obviously isn't going to say signing Madonna was a stupid idea, any more than Warner Bros is going to say that her leaving is bad for them.

Live Nation Reports Third Quarter 2007 Financial Results
  • [What follows is pasted from the Drowned Madonna blog entry; link above] Live Nation responds to critics who say the giant concert promoter paid way too much for the Material Girl, reports Fortune’s Paul Sloan.
    November 16 2007

    (Fortune) -- Ever since Live Nation, the giant concert promoter, announced a sweeping 10-year deal with Madonna to handle her albums, tours and merchandize, investors have worried that the company spent too much to lure the superstar away from Warner Music Group. The stock has fallen roughly 30 percent since the news came out last month.

    On Thursday, CEO Michael Rapino and his top executives defended the deal before investors and analysts gathered at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza, one of Live Nation’s venues.

    Judging from the immediate reaction -- the stock was off slightly in early trading Friday -- the Street isn’t yet convinced.

    The execs didn’t offer up exact figures of the deal -- citing a confidentiality agreement with the material girl -- but they did estimate it will be valued at roughly $100 million for Madonna.

    Live Nation paid Madonna $25 million in stock as an advance. In addition, according to a person familiar with the terms, Madonna received about $25 million in cash, although Rapino wouldn’t confirm this. For each dollar that that comes in, Live Nation gets a share and Madonna gets a share that counts against her advance.

    Michael Cohl, who runs Live Nation’s Artist Nation division and helped broker the contract with Madonna, described the deal as pure partnership and said that any money after that is a basic revenue share, although the splits vary depending on the products. The problem, he said, is that people are viewing the deal as if it’s a record deal -- and everyone knows the record business is suffering.

    Instead, he said, investors need to realize that the rights deal will be "cross collateralized" across dozens of products -- ticket sales, DVDs, books, t-shirts, clothing lines, streaming videos, private concerts. "Anything you can think of we can do," said Cohl, who run tours for the Rolling Stones, among other acts.

    "Make no mistake," said Rapino. "We are not getting into the record business. We are not building a system to sell 6-inch discs....We’re a marketing and distribution company."

    Record labels have big infrastructures around the world to get CDs into stores, but Rapino argues he doesn’t need that.

    He likes to point to the deal the Eagles just did to sell its 2-disc set exclusively through Wal-Mart, without having to give a cut to a label. They sold 700,000 in the first week. Whether its Wal-Mart or Starbucks or Victoria’s Secret, Rapino said plenty of companies are eager to cut deals to distribute albums.

    "Corporate America couldn’t be more excited about the demise of the record companies," he said.

    Source: CNN Money.
Live Nation buys merchandiser [Signature Networks] for $79M

Live Nation to acquire music merchandise co

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This is the article that Drowned Madonna linked to the other day. I'm only going to paste in the intro because I find it funny.

Defending Madonna's $100 Million Deal
  • CNN Money - Nov 16, 2007
    By Paul Sloan

    Ever since Live Nation, the giant concert promoter, announced a sweeping 10-year deal with Madonna to handle her albums, tours and merchandize, investors have worried that the company spent too much to lure the superstar away from Warner Music Group. The [Live Nation] stock has fallen roughly 30 percent since the news came out last month [that Live Nation signed Madonna].
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Candace_66
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If you're interested, you can check LiveNation's stock price here:
http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=LYV
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Melissa
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I'm no stock broker, but those numbers look pretty bad.
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Candace_66
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Quote:
 
Live Nation paid Madonna $25 million in stock as an advance...


Edit: Nothing better to do on a rainy day, dug this up from the SEC filing and answered my own question:

If you're nerdy like me, click here to read the 8-K

"On October 11, 2007, Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. (the "Company"), a subsidiary of Live Nation, Inc. ("Live Nation"), entered into a music-related rights agreement (the "Agreement") with a company furnishing the services of Madonna pursuant to which Live Nation will issue 1,174,371 shares of its common stock, with an aggregate value of $25 million as determined by the Agreement."

So, the share price was about $21.29 that day. As of today (Jan. 23), it closed at $9.62. That's a 55% decline! Yeah the market in general is down, but LYV is way underperforming. I guess "the street" still isn't impressed with this deal?!

LYV stock quote
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Very amusing. Signing Madonna didn't make people go crazy for their stock. (This goes hand in hand with Candace_66's post above.)

Madonna's $11 Million Haircut (LYV)
  • Peter Kafka | February 4, 2008

    Last fall, Madonna received 1.17 million shares in Live Nation (LYV), part of a megabucks deal she signed when she joined up with the concert promoter. Now she's registering to sell them.

    This doesn't mean Madge actually intends to dump the shares -- this is simply boilerplate paperwork that allows her to sell them at her leisure. But the SEC filing does remind us how rough the past few months have been for Live Nation's shareholders.

    LYV was trading around $21.30 in mid-October, when she finalized her deal.

    Since then the stock has been pummeled, as investors worry both about the concert business and Live Nation's strategy.

    It's now at a $11.78, down 45% -- and her $25 million stake in the company is now worth a mere $13.8 million. Better get that next tour underway, pronto.
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Candace_66
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Indeed, she could now sell any or all of the shares...but obviously she'd best keep 'em until the price goes up (or she decides after all to retire!). Though of course since she got them for "free" she could sell them at any price and make money. :laugh:

Official info here

Hmm, wonder why directors are resigning?

"On February 4, 2008, Mark P. Mays and Timothy P. Sullivan tendered their resignations as directors of Live Nation, Inc. (the "Company") effective immediately"

8-K here
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What am I missing, if anything?

I thought that signing Madonna would make these guys filthy rich and demand in their stock go up, up, up, but instead, it continues to decline.

Live Nation down as 1Q loss misses analysts' estimates
  • Associated Press
    05.09.08

    LOS ANGELES -Live Nation Inc.'s stock fell Friday as its first-quarter loss narrowed but missed analysts' estimates.

    For the period ended March 31, the live event and venue management company reported a loss of $35.4 million, or 47 cents per share, compared with a loss of $45 million, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier.

    Revenue increased 22 percent to $636.5 million from $520.3 million, Live Nation said late Thursday.

    Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected a loss of 42 cents per share on sales of $568.1 million. Estimates typically exclude one-time items.

    David Kestenbaum of Morgan Joseph & Co. called the quarterly results uneventful, but expressed some concern that an impending deal with an unnamed artist may be the last one in the pipeline near term.

    Live Nation already has deals with recording artists such as Jay-Z, Madonna and U-2.

    He reiterated a "Hold" rating.

    But Goldman Sachs' Mark Wienkes remained optimistic on the company partly due to its impressive summer concert lineup, which includes Madonna.

    The analyst maintained a "Buy" rating and lifted his price target to $17 from $15.

    Shares of Live Nation declined 56 cents, or 4 percent, to $13.55 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $9.26 to $24.09.
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EDIT - UPDATE:

Live Nation dude has already quit his job (that's what the latest headlines are making it sound like, at least):

Live Nation chairman quits after strategy row
  • Wall Street is unsure whether the business model for Live Nation will work. Last year it signed a deal with Madonna, believed to have been worth $150 million, but analysts are worried whether it will be able to earn sufficient returns. Live Nation shares, almost $25 last year, were $12.18 yesterday.
You mean signing Madonna isn't the end-all, be-all God-send business solution and stroke of genius everyone thought it would be?

She's not a guaranteed, money- making success for a company? It's not obvious to everyone that she's a shoe-in for huge profit margins? :laugh:
Live Nation Is Negotiating Chairman's Exit - WSJ

Live Nation chairman negotiating resignation-media

They’re feuding at Live Nation

Split at Live Nation over strategy

They’re feuding at Live Nation
  • Posted by: Paul Thomasch
    June 2008

    Things have gotten tense over at Live Nation. An internal feud at the concert promoter could end with Chairman Michael Cohl resigning.

    The Wall Street Journal says Cohl is currently negotiating his resignation, having fought with Chief Executive Michael Rapino for weeks over so-called “360 deals.” In such deals, Live Nation gives superstars hefty upfront payments in exchange for financial rights in nearly all their business. Think Madonna and U2 and Jay-Z.

    It seems, according to the reports, fairly simple: Cohl wants to sign more of these deals and Rapino wants the pace of these signings to slow; the board tells them to work out their differences; Cohl heads out the door.

    Still, there is the fundamental question of whether these “360 deals” are good business or not. As the New York Times points out, the “deals were expensive for Live Nation - a reported $120 million for Madonna and $150 million for Jay-Z - spurring many industry executives and analysts to debate whether the company was paying too much.”

    While Cohl could be gone as soon as next week, it will take some time to sort through which executive had it right.
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Big Music's "360" Plans Blow Up. Next?
  • Peter Kafka | June 21, 2008 1:47 PM

    madonna.jpgLive Nation (LYV) just concluded a round of boardroom intrigue by shoving out executive Michael Cohl, who had been spearheading the company's transition from concert promoter to full-fledged music company. The WSJ, which has been doing an excellent job of covering the story, has details ($), but here's the short version:

    Mr. Cohl had been at odds for weeks with Chief Executive Michael Rapino over how aggressively to pursue the company's strategy of striking so-called 360 deals with superstar music artists, in which the company offers massive cash advances in exchange for financial participation in a range of revenue streams including concert tickets, recorded-music sales and merchandise-licensing deals. As head of the Live Nation Artists unit, Mr. Cohl oversaw such deals with Madonna and Jay-Z, who were pledged $120 million and $150 million, respectively.

    Mr. Cohl wanted to strike many more such deals quickly, while Mr. Rapino favored a wait-and-see approach. When it announced the strategy last fall, the company said it would strike four to six major deals in the first year. Mr. Cohl wanted to ramp up to as many as 15.

    Live Nation's internal/external debate about 360 deals mirrors the one the rest of the business has been having. The big labels, who have seen music sales drop to a 23-year-low, have been pushing 360 deals as a possible way out: If recorded music is plummeting, the argument goes, the industry is going to have to survive on other revenue streams. And 360 deals do make a sort of sense - but not for Big Music.

    The problem is pretty straightforward:

    * 360 deals could work for both bands and labels -- if the labels are are willing to make long-term bets early in the careers of many small bands, with the knowledge that most will generate little if any payouts.
    * Big labels (and LiveNation) aren't in the position to depend on long-term bets with modest payouts - they need to susbstantial payoffs in the near future, so they can satisfy public investors and/or debt covenants.
    * The only way to get collect significant revenue from 360 deals in the near-term is to do deals with superstars who are already generating lots of revenue from tours, merchandise, etc. And they're not going to give any of that up without huge advances, which means any revenue the labels (or Live Nation) will get will be at low or zero margin.

    What does Wall Street think? Here's LYV since mid-October, when signed its first major pact, with Madonna:

    View Image

    So were does this leave Big Music? Stuck with one primary revenue stream, which is dropping like a stone. In the absence of a digital miracle (the labels are still holding out hope for a mobile music boom) the most practical way for the labels to survive would be to stop releasing new product altogether, and simply harvest their existing catalogs in profitable decline. Ugly? Sure. But we don't see a better option.
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Is Live Nation's Music Strategy Too Risky?
  • by Julia Boorstin
    June 22, 2008

    Live Nation (LYV), the world's largest concert promoter, is facing a serious shakeup.

    The company is "negotiating the exit" of Michael Cohl, the company's chairman, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    Cohl's been pushing the company's "360 deals" with superstar musicians, paying Madonna, U-2 and Jay Z well over $100 million to get a share of every aspect of their businesses.

    And apparently he's been battling over them with the company's CEO, Michael Rapino, who wants to slow down on these deals, which many have called expensive and risky.

    This makes the whole situation particularly controversial because Live Nation has basically staked its future on these deals.

    Needless to say, the music industry is in a shambles. Even the biggest music superstars aren't sure things. Madonna's latest album release was a huge disappointment in terms of sales, confirming some concerns that Live Nation has spent too much on these deals, too optimistic about what superstars are really worth.

    LYV stock is down about 45 percent over the past 12 months, and it traded down nearly 10% on Friday.

    But Cohl's departure raises a number of questions. Will his nine-year non-compete clause remain in effect and be part of his existing settlement? Will he take some of those big name clients with him and start a competitor business? Or is he so crucial to LYV's relationship with these artists that they'll push to keep him?

    And then there's the big picture question--other than concerts is there any way to really make money on the music business?

    This morning Miller Tabak downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral, lowering its price target from $18 to $14. Meanwhile Standard & Poors downgraded the stock from Sell to Strong Sell.

    There's a huge conflict here between the need to reinvent the business model behind the music business and LYV's need to perform for investors.

    Based on the movement of the stock, it seems like Wall Street isn't so optimistic on LYV's strategy.
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Live Nation Profits Down
  • August 8, 2008
    By Ben Cardew

    Live Nation has posted mixed results for the second quarter of 2008, with income down, but revenue up.

    The company reported a second-quarter net income of $1.2m (£0.62m), down from $9.9m (£5.14m) in Q2 2007, while revenue was up some $173.5m (£90.14m) over the previous year at $1.16bn (£602.3m).

    The company’s president and chief executive officer Michael Rapino says that the live business remains strong and the fundamentals of the business continue to improve.

    “Despite the economy, our business achieved growth during the quarter in the number of concerts, ticket sales and the per fan revenue/spend,” he adds.

    “We have two priorities in 2008 – to continue to grow our concert business and to prepare to vertically expand into the ticketing business. Our core business is buying and producing concert rights and monetizing the live experience through our distribution pipe. We were successful in growing both.”

    Highlights for the company during the first half of the year included expanding its festival business to 30 events and providing services to 895 artists through its Artist Nation division.

    Rapino says that Live Nation is on schedule to launch its ticketing operation on January 1 2009.
Live Nation shares jump 27 pct as results beat view
  • NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Live Nation Inc jumped 27 percent on Friday, a day after the concert promoter posted second-quarter results that beat expectations.

    Live Nation reported a lower profit year-on-year but Wall Street had been expecting it to swing to a loss.

    Analysts had expected the company to be hit by a drop-off in concert ticket sales as the U.S. economy slows down but the company posted increases in both ticket sales and live events.

    Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino told analysts the company has not been affected by the economic slowdown. "History has shown that even in a recession, consumers go to shows," said Rapino.

    Wall Street had also been concerned that the company's bottom line would be negatively impacted by its spending on multimillion-dollar comprehensive contracts with big name artists like Madonna, Jay-Z and Nickelback.

    Last October Madonna said she would leave Warner Music Group to join Live Nation for a deal reported to be worth $120 million.

    The company has explained that payments for such deals are spread over the term of the contract -- usually 10 years.

    "Their shares were being pummeled for several months in part on rumors and misperceptions about how the cash flows work for these big deals," said David Joyce, analyst at Miller Tabak.

    "The artists only get paid as they perform and the margins are much better," said Joyce

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Candace_66
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Aug 8 2008, 04:59 PM
Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino told analysts the company has not been affected by the economic slowdown. "History has shown that even in a recession, consumers go to shows," said Rapino.

They may go, but they also will likely settle for a less-expensive ticket and skip the merchandise. Merchandising was one of the big elements of the Madge deal.

As for their share price, it did spike and close at $16.15 on Friday (a day when the whole market went well up). However in after-hours trading it's back down to $15.50. :laugh:

Also it's still well below its high of about $24 last October, just before the Madge deal was announced. The whole market is down since then but LN has been way underperforming ever since Madge's deal! :dunce:

LYV info here
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noone3
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Candace_66
Aug 8 2008, 06:53 PM

They may go, but they also will likely settle for a less-expensive ticket and skip the merchandise.  Merchandising was one of the big elements of the Madge deal.



That guy is BSing and he knows it. Profits for many venues are down because of high gas prices. The big arena shows will be no different.
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Candace_66
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noone3
Aug 9 2008, 02:10 AM
Candace_66
Aug 8 2008, 06:53 PM

They may go, but they also will likely settle for a less-expensive ticket and skip the merchandise.  Merchandising was one of the big elements of the Madge deal.



That guy is BSing and he knows it. Profits for many venues are down because of high gas prices. The big arena shows will be no different.

I was wondering about that myself. With gas prices/airfare so high I can't believe attendance isn't down. The last time Madge toured the economy was still doing fine (or so it appeared). Not now!

I've read articles about declining attendance at NASCAR races, which is blamed in part on high gas prices. At the same time the teams are paying higher travel costs. And the sponsors and the manufacturers (Dodge, Ford and Chevy, less so Toyota) are hurting due to declining consumer spending.

So no I'm not buying that live entertainment is unaffected! :rolleyes2:
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Live Nation: Who Took a Slice of Madonna's Pie?
  • Posted By: Neil McCormick at Oct 1, 2008

    ....Madonna (who, lest we forget, is a fifty year old pop star whose biggest sales are surely in the past) was allegedly paid $50 million upfront to leave Warner Brothers, in a deal said to be worth $120 million over ten years).

    Now, with senior executives leaving the building and Live Nation quietly discussing licensing their recorded output out, Madonna and co must be wondering exactly what they have signed up for.

    Live Nation were supposed to be a one-stop music shop with the clout to threaten the hegemony of the major record companies.

    They have been amongst the most vocal advocates of the so-called 360 degree deal, where the company takes a slice of every part of the musical pie (live, merchandising, publishing, album sales and every other spin off).

    But it is starting to look like their eyes may have been bigger than their stomachs. Pies will do that to you.

    Right now, it seems like everybody's a record company: From coffee shops to supermarket chains, big companies have been muscling in to fill what they perceive as a vacuum in the music business.

    Some of those companies can afford to treat artists as loss leaders, doing big bucks one-off releases with the simple intent of bringing consumers to the brand (as in the Guns N Rose Best Buy deal), But if you intend to treat it as an ongoing concern, putting a record out properly is probably a bit more complicated than most people think.

    There are a lot of people working in record companies, designing sleeves, dreaming up marketing campaigns, building and maintaining contacts throughout the media, making videos, running online fan clubs, connecting up the dots between manufacturing, distribution and point of sale in markets around the world

    ... Honestly, I have never really figured out what they all do, but they must be doing something, and probably doing it with at least a degree of expertise, not to mention (in many cases) a genuine love and enthusiasm for the music.

    Judging by the massive sales success this year of albums by artists including Coldplay, Neil Diamond, Kings of Leon, Duffy and (in the US) Katy Perry and Lil Wayne, it would appear that when the record companies get things lined up, they still know how to do the business.

    Live Nation recently tried to tempt out-of-contract Oasis away from SonyBMG with a multi million pound offer, far in excess of what any major record label was prepared to pay upfront.

    And, let's face it, Oasis have never been averse to making a quick buck.

    The problem was the band wanted to put their album out this year, and they want people to actually hear it, and Live Nation simply do not have the infrastructure in place to stage an international release campaign.

    Their attitude was, sign with us and we'll just hire staff in. It is not a very convincing sales pitch. Oasis stuck with SonyBMG.

    Last week, Live Nation's single most experience record industry executive, Bob Ezrin, left the building. He was hired as the head of their recorded music division, which no longer seems to exist in any meaningful form.

    Live Nation are now talking about outsourcing, effectively operating as a production company who make a record then license it to another company with the experience and infrastructure to handle its releases.

    So Madonna could, effectively, find herself back at Warners. Though with fifty million in pocket, she's unlikely to be complaining. It might be another story if the image conscious superstar finds herself exclusively retailed by Poundstretcher.
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