Live Nation to Jointly Market, Manage Artists in Universal Music Venture

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (LYV) formed an artist-management joint venture with Vivendi SA (VIV)’s Universal Music Group, the world’s largest record company.

The partnership will be overseen by Live Nation’s Front Line Management Group Chief Executive Officer Irving Azoff and will include bundled music products and artist websites with concert tickets, the companies said today in a statement.

The venture aims to create a broad range of products, Azoff, who is also executive chairman of Live Nation, said in the statement. Live Nation, the largest concert promoter and ticket-seller, is gaining greater access to Universal Music Group’s management roster including The Who, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, Mick Fleetwood and ZZ Top. The venture expands the presence of Universal Music artists and gives customers more flexibility in consuming music, Universal Music CEO Lucian Grainge said in the release.

“This is an unprecedented partnership that unites the world’s top music artists with the world’s leading artist management, live entertainment, event ticketing and sponsorship resources to drive innovation across our industry,” Azoff said.

Grainge is investing in artist management and merchandise businesses as sales of CDs continue to decline. The company’s management divisions including Trinifold, Twenty First Artists, 5B and Sanctuary will work with Front Line to expand their rosters of artists and managers, the companies said.

Live Nation, based in Beverly Hills, California, declined 20 cents, or 2.35 percent, to $8.32 at 2:46 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Before today, the shares had declined 25 percent this year. Vivendi slid 43 cents to 15.33 euros ($20.97) today in Paris trading, and the shares have fallen 24 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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