Live Nation Entertainment holds center stage as the world's largest ticket seller and promoter of live entertainment. In 2010 the company significantly expanded its ticketing services with the purchase of Ticketmaster Entertainment. The deal, worth some $889 million, created a powerful live-music conglomerate. The firm also owns or operates more than 130 venues in North America and Europe. Annually, about 50 million people attend some 20,000 Live Nation events. Live Nation also owns House of Blues venues through HOB Entertainment and dozens of prestigious concert halls. In addition, Live Nation owns a stake in about 250 artists' music, including albums, tours, and merchandise.
The combination of Live Nation and Ticketmaster established a giant in the music industry that controls concert promotion, ticketing services, and artist management, all under one roof. Live Nation promotes shows or tours for approximately 2,000 artists globally.
Before the Ticketmaster acquisition, Live Nation had sold many of its tickets through Ticketmaster; however, Live Nation parted ways with the ticketing giant at the end of 2008 when it formed its own ticketing division. While Live Nation had mixed results with the division, the company managed to secure a five-year deal, which started in late 2009, to sell tickets for SMG Management, one of the largest venue operators in the US.
Live Nation has been investing its dance music promotion activities as of late. In 2012 the company acquired Hard Events, a Los Angeles firm that puts on electronic dance music and festivals and concerts across North America. Also in 2012 Live Nation bought Cream Holdings, a major British dance promoter. After that deal closed, the company appointed Cream founder as president of Live Nation's electronic music division.
Live Nation has also been busy forming joint ventures to expand its operations. In 2011 it launched a joint venture with online discount giant Groupon. Through the partnership, Groupon Live offers group discounts and special promotions to help sell tickets to concerts, sporting events, and other attractions. Also that year its business unit Front Line Management, an artist managment company, fomed a joint venture with Universal Music Group. The JV's goal is to provide artists and their brands a variety of sponsorships, campaigns, and extensions through ticketing and bundling opportunities.
After the Ticketmaster acquisition closed in 2010, media conglomerate Liberty Media upped its stake in Live Nation to 18% and expressed a desire to eventually increase its share to about 35%. – less