THE DEALMAKER: Live Nation’s goal, since CEO Michael Rapino took over in August 2005, has been to position the business to become the key conduit for musical acts and their fans.

With the launch of a ticketing service this coming Jan. 1, Rapino figures Live Nation will become the largest full-service music business in the world, reaching an estimated 30 million fans.

Ticketing, he says, “was the one thing standing between us and the cutomer.

“Mostly this business is based on booking a band for a night; we do that thousands of times a week. Forty times a year we take a tour and play 40 to 50 dates. Two or three times a year we make a global deal for an artist. ”

KEY DEALS: Signed Madonna, Shakira, Jay-Z and Nickelback to “shared rights” deal whereby Live Nation oversees tours, merchandising and recordings for 10 years; inked deal with promoter CIE for expansion into Latin America; taking over all ticketing of events.

DEALMAKER DOS: “Find deals that mirror your core strategy and pursue those aggressively.”

DEALMAKER DON’TS: “Determine walk-away criteria and respect those. The best deals can come after you walk away.”