At 150 beats per minute, electronic dance music can get people moving. And it’s speeding up things in the music biz, too.
Live Nation Entertainment Inc.’s acquisition last week of British electronic dance music promotion company Cream Holdings Ltd. confirms the phenomenon.
The Beverly Hills concert company bought Cream in Liverpool for an undisclosed sum in a move that will broaden the presence of electronic music in North America, Southeast Asia and Europe.
While Live Nation’s headliners such as Lady Gaga and Madonna continue to sell out concerts worldwide, last week’s acquisition puts the spotlight on the growing genre.
Cream has booked some of the biggest names in electronic music, including Tiësto, David Guetta and Deadmau5. Cream stages live shows in venues ranging from underground warehouses and clubs to sprawling arenas and festivals.
“Electronic music is a new and big focus for us,” Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s chief executive, said in a May 9 conference call announcing first quarter earnings. “Cream already has festivals in nine countries, with 350,000 fans under its umbrella globally.”
Electronic music sales were up 15 percent last year according to Nielsen SoundScan, which listed more than 10 million albums sold last year.
Tiësto had revenue of $27.8 million with 505,546 tickets sold for 125 shows, said Brad Rogers, box office editor at concert trade publication Pollstar. By comparison, pop singer Janet Jackson’s revenue was $26.5 million, and Miley Cyrus had $26.3 million.
“It’s definitely a business worth Live Nation trying to get,” said David C. Joyce, managing director and senior media equity analyst at New York’s Miller Tabak & Co LLC.
Live Nation reported a first quarter loss of $69.2 million, compared with a loss of $48.5 million in the same period last year. Those numbers were off due to a drop in ticket sales; one reason was that Madonna, one of Live Nation’s biggest stars, did not tour.
“Right now we’re very confident that the industry and our lineup are going to have a strong year from the ticket sales perspective,” Rapino said in the call.
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