Ticketmaster (now part of Live Nation Entertainment) popped up in the news over the weekend for comments made by the CEO Nathan Hubbard on the inaugural “This Week in Music” podcast. The new series, hosted by FMC Advisory Board member and Topspin CEO Ian Rogers, offers in-depth coverage of developments in the music industry alongside album reviews and related industry news. The Hubbard interview is notable for the frankness exhibited by the CEO, something that often seems lacking in discussions about ticketing and the fan experience. Ticketmaster knows they have an image problem, and Hubbard seems ready and willing to try and change the dislike of many fans with the brand.
Hubbard seems pretty reasonable regarding his company’s reputation: “We’ve got a fan experience problems, first and foremost. There are things about buying the ticket that suck. There are things about going to the show that suck… price is still an issue for fans.” We strongly encourage you to head over to the “This Week in Music” site to hear the whole interview and get a sense of what Ian and the “This Week In…” crew are up to.
We’ve dones some extensive research into the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger; check out our musician-friendly guide for more info. FMC believes that re-energizing the live music space doesn’t so much depend on giant corporate mergers, but rather through increased investment in local arts and performance spaces, access to technology and other media infrastructure and greater competition in the ticketing space. Hubbard and Ticketmaster seem to understand this in pieces, but have a way to go in reforming not only their image problem but in understanding the implications of their business practices on musicians and fans.
We’re glad that Ian has launched this new series — he’s known for his refreshing take on the traditional music industry and a willingness to push forward. The new web series gives him the platform to be honest, direct and laid-back with big names like Mike D of the Beastie Boys; Dermot McCormack, EVP of Digital Media at MTV Networks and Mark Kates of Fenway Recordings. By combining his personal perspectives with an understanding of the artist and fan experience, Ian is creating a platform for important discussions about the future of music.
Check out the podcast every Friday at the “This Week In…” site.
For extra credit, check out some more of FMC’s thoughts on the live music and ticketing space. And stay tuned for more conversation about this issue… maybe even at the 2011 Future of Music Policy Summit, which takes place at Georgetown University in Washington, DC from OCt. 3-4. Reserve your spot now!