Concert giant Live Nation has just completed its purchase of music merchandiser Trunk and made some key executive appointments. The move now positions the publicly traded company as a gatekeeper in the two arenas of the music industry that provide artists with the most revenue - touring and merchandise sales.
Live Nation also just announced that jam rockers Government Mule, known for allowing free taping at their shows, has surpassed 1 million paid live downloads via Live Nation controlled Music Today. Music Today also offers fan ticketing and other services to enhance the artist/fan relationship.
In the shifting music business paradigm, could Live Nation become the new record label financing artist development and coordinating marketing and revenue streams? At a recent Pollstar Concert Industry Consortium panel Live Nation's forward thinking CEO Michael Rapino hinted that such ideas are being explored.