News: Live Nation post massive losses for 2010 – what can they do about it?

The music ticketing giant, Live Nation, posted huge losses of $228.4m (£140m) in the face of a tough ticket selling landscape.  Concert ticket sales were down 10% for the year.

Chief Executive, Michael Rapino, cited high ticket prices keeping concert goers away from big concerts last year.  Surprise, surprise!

I for one am not surprised by Live Nation’s, which completed its merger with Ticketmaster in January 2010, poor results for the year.  Ticket prices have soared to astronomical prices for the top acts (and even smaller ones).  Very few artists can command the premium concert organisers desire.

In order to improve Live Nation could do two very simple things;

  • Seek alternative revenue streams – download live tracks from ‘the cloud’ at the venue, premium texts for set-times.  Concert goers are over tour t-shirts, programmes and caps! Get creative and talk to regular gig goers!
  • Optimized ticketing to boost audiences – e all know seats in the heavens at the O2 are pointless, so why charge £40+ for them?  Edit pricing structures so the back rows become a lot cheaper.  This could easily be offset  by an increase for front 10 rows on the floor.  You can really use your position as a market leader to put pressure on promoters who continue to price gigs too high for a lot of fans.  Remember three concerts are £25 each is better than one at £55!
  • Re-brand – make gigging sexy again – Entry to a London club is anywhere between £10 and £25 on a Saturday night; more than most gigs.  Get your marketing team working to really sex-up the gigging experience.  Cheap(er) alcohol, cool, friendly people.  It’s a real opportunity to stimulate your own demand
  • Utilise the Live Nation artist roster more – Live Nation manages some of the biggest names in music.  All I got to say is Jay-Z got paid in 2010, what happened to your cut?

Live Nation can turn it around, however they just need to stop profiteering and start thinking creatively.  Now they pretty much own the distribution (especially in the UK) they have become lazy as an organisation.  When you post losses like £140m in one year, laziness is no longer an option, even if you are no.1!


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