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LN10: A decade of Live Nation

Speaking exclusively to Live Nation senior management, IQ looks back at the first decade of a company that has forever transformed the live music landscape

By IQ on 19 May 2016

Live Nation, LN10 logo

Ten years ago, Live Nation made its debut as a publicly traded stock and forever changed the landscape of the international live music industry. Talking exclusively to some of the company’s senior management, IQ looks back at the first decade, as well as examining what’s in the pipeline for the next ten years…

The global growth of the live music business owes much of its success to the aggressive expansion strategy employed by Live Nation (and its Clear Channel and SFX ancestors). While the recorded industry has been struggling to come to terms with declining revenues over the past decade and longer, the executives piloting the live side of the business have seized the opportunity to make live performance central to both the artist and the fan. And Live Nation can claim a major role in that phenomenon.

In March, Live Nation president Michael Rapino agreed to a keynote interview to open ILMC, during which he looked back at the company’s first historic decade while also providing an insight as to where he and his team will be targeting their efforts as the giant company trundles toward the next ten years.

“The beautiful part about the live music business, over the last ten years, is that we have gone from being a step up from a car salesman in the early days to the pride and joy of the music business,” Rapino told ILMC delegates. “Live is now truly the centre of the wheel for the artist. It has become the most important piece of that artist building his global audience.”

Our job as the promoter is to keep building what we are doing, building better infrastructure, better marketing internal skill sets and becoming better at adding value to the artist

Looking back to the inception of Live Nation, Rapino noted: “Ten years ago, [when] Live Nation went public, some 89% of our business was US-based. Today, over 60% of our business, and growing, is outside of the US.”

That development is testament to an international expansion programme that has seen it acquire some of the most successful national promoters around the world – the latest of whom include Marek and André Lieberberg in Germany and another father and son outfit, Attie and Justin van Wyk in South Africa.

However, looking ahead, Rapino cites two other continents as Live Nation’s focus. Predicting that Latin America and Asia offer the greatest prospects for the growth of the live music industry, Rapino stated: “Our job as the promoter is to keep building what we are doing, building better infrastructure, better marketing internal skill sets and becoming better at adding value to the artist, not just for the tour, but for the record, for his merchandise and for every means by which that artist is looking to engage with his fans. Our connection to the artist and fan is going to help them look at us as much more of a marketing partner, rather than just a touring partner.”

Read the rest of this feature in issue 65 of IQ Magazine.


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