Oak View Group has acquired Pollstar, the long-running publication covering the concert and ticketing industries, cofounders Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff announced at the company’s inaugural VenuesNow conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday (July 12). Through the acquisition, Oak View has taken ownership and operational control of Pollstar’s weekly print publication, Pollstar.com, Pollstar Pro and the Pollstar Live conference.
Founded in November 2015, Oak View Group is global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries. Based in Los Angeles, the company is helmed by Leiweke, formerly CEO of AEG, and backed by Azoff MSG Entertainment. Its acquisition of Pollstar has been rumored for several months; Oak View already owns Pollstar’s main competitor in the live-entertainment field, Venues Today.
“Pollstar has represented the voice of record for the live music and ticketing industries for over three decades and bringing them into the OVG family is a true honor for all of us,” said Leiweke. “Working hand-in-hand with Pollstar’s leadership team, we’ll look to greatly optimize the reach of the its print, digital and conference assets.”
“Pollstar has served our industry as a trusted and invaluable resource during an era where music and ticketing have evolved dramatically,” added Azoff.
Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar’s president and editor in chief, and CEO Gary Smith will continue their positions within the company and play key roles in its day-to-day operations.
“We’re so proud of our team and everything we’ve accomplished over the years, and are looking forward to our next chapter with OVG,” said Bongiovanni. Added Smith, “joining OVG gives us an opportunity to take Pollstar to an entirely new level and realize the brand’s full potential as the benchmark for our industry.”
“Pollstar concert data is the gold standard for the live entertainment industry and the Pollstar Live! conference is the epicenter of the concert business each winter,” said Ray Waddell, president, Conferences & Publications, Oak View Group.
Founded in 1981, Pollstar joins a number of recent investments by Oak View Group in media companies, including VenuesToday, VenuesNow and SportTechie. According to a release, the company “will leverage its sponsorship division and Arena Alliance to generate advertising sales efficiencies across each publication and conference.”
Oak View Group comprises a sponsorship/partnership company, a consulting division, a venue security company, a media and conference division, a venture fund/equity division and the 27-member Arena Alliance, designed to create efficiencies and cooperation between venues including Madison Square Garden, the Los Angeles Forum, Boston’s TD Garden, Denver’s Pepsi Center, Chicago’s United Center, Dallas’ American Airlines Center and others.