Live & Touring

What Live Nation’s Acquisition Of BigChampagne Means To Future Of The Live Music Industry

image from COMMENTARY: In February 2006, shortly after Michael Rapino took the helm of Live Nation, he shared his vision of what the company needed to do to grow the live music business. He spoke of an industry where the vast majority of tickets are sold online yet the majority of marketing is still done via traditional media; and consumers turned off by high ticketing fees, even higher ticket prices and a less than saticfacotry concert going experience.

With Live Nation's Ticketmaster merger and uber-manager Irving Azoff firmly in Chairman's seat, Rapino and company have set the stage for real change in the concert industry and beyond. The acquisition of Big Champagne's deep music data experience combined with Live Nation and Ticketmaster's treasure trove of fan and consumer data is the essential next step to drive a transformation of live music based on data rather than the antiquated assumptions of the old guard music industry

But empowering BigChampange founders Eric Garland and Joe Fleischer to build a team that already includes former Warner Brothers Records SVP Ethan Kaplan  and former Hypebot Editor and Billboard Social/Streaming Chart Manager Kyle Bylin hints at the real potential of the acquisition. Some the the new music industry's most forward thinkers are now in the same room backed by the resources of one of the world's largest music companies.

There's never a guarantee that any post-acquisition honeymoon will last. But if this one does, important initiatives that previously seemed almost un-doable – unfiltered measurement of music success, truly targeted music marketing, variable ticket pricing and an immersive concert experience that combines online and the real world – become possible.

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  1. Did that think tank come up with the Live Nation Presents: Van Halen with their opening act Kool And The Gang?

  2. I’m really interested to see what sort of stats & case studies come out of Live Nation Labs. Data geeks being given free rein with LN’s massive operation should provide great raw materials for insightful analysis.

  3. Regardless of what the disposition is of the lay fan towards Ticketmaster and it’s brand, the purchase of Big Champagne and it’s potential has massive potential.
    Ticketmaster–with their municipal contracts, 15M or so transactional email list–could sit on their haunches and probably improve their profit margin just through negotiation–but here they are taking a risk and attempting to improve how, where and why they program what artists where and what to price tickets.
    It’s a tired reference, but it’s bringing Moneyball to music–and that’s great!
    Our company–shameless–is sitting on vast and sizable database–(Disclaimer, LiveNation choose us recently to provide them their concert data)–and the access and review of that data has been important in understanding consumer behaviors in live music.

  4. I’ve been involved in the touring industry for 25 years and too many decisions have been made on gut rather than data – the represents a unique opportunity for major change.

  5. The acquisition makes total sense. Will a company Live Nation’s size be able to assimilate this data and use it in an intelligent way? Remains to be seen. Garland and Fleischer are as capable as it gets in the music space but there is, of course, no shortage of red tape and corporate BS for them wade through at any company Live Nation’s size. I don’t envy their task but wish them the best. It would be nice to see some good guys win for a change.

  6. “Truly targeted music marketing” is a lovely thing for small companies and big corporations. They can keep their marketing budget as lean as possible while reaching only the most pertinent demographic. It’s wonderful for the companies, but it may be troublesome for music fans and consumers.
    How can I be turned on to new bands and expand my consumption of entertainment if I’m only being sold what data says I have a history of buying?

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