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Michael Rapino

Live Nation goes full-service

The hardcore music fan is no longer the record buyer, it’s the concertgoer: That’s the contention of Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino. The goal, Rapino says, is to be a full-service operation. To that end, Live Nation, which was spun off from Clear Channel nine months ago, has been on a bit of a spending spree. First, the company purchased House of Blues to expand the number of venues it owned and controlled; second was the purchase of a merchandise company; and third was the acquisition of a company, Musictoday, that runs fan clubs. The next step, naturally, is ticketing. With its Ticketmaster contract expiring at the end of 2008, Rapino is tight-lipped about the company’s plans. He does, however, admire the way Major League Baseball purchased and assimilated Ticket.com into MLB’s online operation.

P.O.V.: “The record companies are trying to get people to spend 99¢ per song or 12 bucks a CD.” The concert-goer, he says, “has paid for the ticket, already owns the album and the ring tone and will be spending money on merchandise at the show. Our challenge is to extend that relationship and connect with that music fan away from the concert venue.”

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