COMMENTARY: There has been a lot of speculation about the newly combined Ticketmaster and music management giant Front Line. The only thing that we know for sure is that its not just about selling tickets anymore. CEO Irving Azoff told Billboard:
"The biggest misconception about this deal is that Ticketmaster in the future will be what it was in the past. The new name of the company is Ticketmaster Entertainment, and it's a platform for us to build a lot of other things. The fortunes of this company aren't going to rise and fall just on the ticketing business. We're going to build the ability for people to distribute their music."
I hate to tell you this Irving, but "people" already have the ability to distribute their music. It's called iTunes and Amazon and Napster and.... The question really is whether or not fans want to buy downloads where they buy tickets. My gut says its a great up-sell ("Sure, I"ll grab the new album while I buy my tickets), but that's about it.
Ticketmaster is a place to buy tickets and not music destination. With all the competition and fragmentation in the ticketing business, you''ll never make it one. So instead of trying to use the Eagles< Chrisina and Axl to drive fans to Ticketmaster.com, you should be providing technology so they can sell tickets and downloads on their own artist sites. And while your at it, be sure to share the data you collected. The fans are theirs and not Ticketmaster's anyway.
Irving, you've been telling us all along that its all about the artist, and you proved it brilliantly with Front Line. Don't forget that now that you're swimming in a bigger pond.