Ticketmaster is set to own a controlling equity in artist management giant Front Line Management after purchasing Warner Music Group’s 30 percent share.
Ticketmaster is set to own a controlling equity in artist management giant Front Line Management after purchasing Warner Music Group’s 30 percent share. Since its inception in 2004, Front Line has quickly developed into a major player in the management game, building a roster of close to 200 artists. Plans are to make Front Line’s founder and CEO, Irving Azoff, the CEO of the new enterprise, to be named Ticketmaster Entertainment. The $123 million dollar deal is expected to close before the end of the year. This comes on the heels of Ticketmaster laying off 300 people as part of an attempt to cut costs and streamline its workforce following recent acquisitions of Paciolan and TicketsNow.
Ticketmaster’s promotion deal with LiveNation is set to expire next year, when LiveNation will launch its own ticketing service. The latter has already been making it’s presence known in the ticketing world, however, recently signing a deal with venue management firm SMG, formerly a Ticketmaster client. This new twist in the on-going battle should prove interesting, given that many of Front Line’s artists have toured and played events promoted by LiveNation. Being managed by Front Line does not mean they are required to sign with Ticketmaster; ultimately, the choice is up to the artist. No word on whether Ticketmaster Entertainment plans to expand into merchandising and licensing, but if it plans to compete with the all-encompassing deals LiveNation has with artists like Madonna, it almost has to. With Front Line being home to the likes of The Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, Christina Aguilera, Neil Diamond, Aerosmith, and the soon-to-actually-release-an-album Guns’N Roses, (to name a very few) Azoff will undoubtedly be doing everything he can to keep it all in the family.