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Diary Of A Madman

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360° Contracts and The Future of the Music Industry - Live Nation do a 180°

Ooh the 360° Deal – seen within the music industry as the “saviour” and the way ahead for all the labels. Declining sales would be bolstered by a share in tour, merchandise, royalties – as well as a combination of other assets (marketing, promotion and distribution) seemed like the way ahead.


Failed attempts by the majors to push through their 360 deals were eclipsed by the might Live Nation. A company formed by  Mike Cohl and had other dignitaries such as Bob Ezrin, Bob Cahill and Bill Hein at their helm created a stir by signing massive multi-million $$$$ deals with the likes of Madonna, Jay-Z, Nickelback and claimed  “Live Nation is the future of the music business.”


Unfortunately the investors decided that in fact signing multi-million $$ deals without the guarantee of distribution of the recorded content along with the questions around the lifespan of the artists signed, meant that you were back at the mercy of the majors – who already failed at their 360’s and as such would (and have been) demanding a bigger slice of the licence distribution fee.


The way ahead therefore was to create and distribute Live Nation Recordings – where Ezrin & co would head up this venture of digital distribution and physical distribution to key retailers (Eagles and Wall Mart) that could push via mass adoption – thus avoiding the majors all together.


In a twist with new CEO Michael Rapino looks like this will not be the case and the end of the dream looks near – as Rapino may need to go back with cap in hand for the next Nickelback album to Warners to fulfil the work that Live Nation was supposed to do.


The industry now even more looks to how and where the next “saviour” will be – Live Nation have to hope that the ticket and merchandising sales of Madonna’s Hard Candy Tour can start to roll in some of the $$ already spent and get her in the studio and out on the road as quick as possible.


Only problem is that most of the artists are aimed at the older CD buying market and not at the next generation – Madonna isn’t getting any younger and can’t expect her to crank out the traditional:  album>tour>album>tour, bless her she is in her 50’s now.


So what next – Live Nation do a 180°, drop their 360° and end up as another Ticketmaster with massive debts to artists that 10 years ago may have commanded and demanded the same figure that Live Nation recently paid – maybe – but Rapino will not want any additional overheads and will want to outsource as much as he can!


Interesting times ahead maybe the new strap line will read: “Live Nation is outsourcing the future of the music business”
Published Friday, August 01, 2008 10:40 AM by Derek.Dunlop
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About Derek.Dunlop

Somewhere in the wireless ether - digitally connected and running on duracell while hopping from one airport to another- life on the road - forever on tour...

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