Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Monday: Live Nation addresses show cancellations

Posted By on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 10:19 AM

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We recently mourned (well, kinda) the loss of the Jonas Brothers' scheduled Denver date, which went unexplained by the show's promoter and the band's spokespeople.

But a post on Friday's L.A. Times music blog offered a pretty good clue, and may also explain why concert mega-promoter Live Nation offered up Jonas Brothers tickets for $10 one day last month.

Here's a relevant excerpt:

“The press has implied the sky is falling,” [Live Nation CEO Michael] Rapino told Wall Street investors, yet he also noted that the company’s operating income for 2010 will be down significantly from that of 2009, perhaps by as much as $80 million, and said Ticketmaster’s sales are down about 12 percent from those of 2009.

“The press,” Rapino said, has “scared about every artist” out of touring in the fourth quarter. A number of major tours have struggled in 2010, including the refurbished Lilith Tour, and once-can’t-miss artists such as the Jonas Brothers have been canceling dates. Amid rampant reports of a down market, Rapino said, “a lot of artists who had planned to tour are now saying they’re going to sit it out.”

Yet the company’s top brass did more than point fingers at the media, and promised a leaner, friendlier model for 2011. But first, artists would have to budge on ticket prices, executives said. Jason Garner, the company’s CEO for global music, acknowledged that “ticket prices need to come down” and directed the second half of his statement at artists and managers: “Your guarantee needs to come down.”

To that end, Live Nation Entertainment promised that “dynamic pricing,” which would add numerous pricing tiers, would be more widely implemented in 2011.The company’s executives said they were months away from introducing a ticketing inventory system that can adjust prices in real time.

Think of the future of buying a concert ticket not too unlike that of buying an airline ticket, in which the price can go up or down in the days leading up to an event based solely on demand.

“The front row is (worth) a whole different price than even 10 rows back, or 100 rows back,” Rapino said. “You can now get more creative with the artist and price the house differently. That gives you a chance to bring the back-end of the house way down.”

All this Jonas Brothers talk makes me wonder: Have we posted their "Lovebug" video in a while? Didn't think so ....

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