-- The analyst consensus, according to Barrons, is that Live Nation will take a financial hit this summer but its stock has been punished too much. Barrons talks to some analysts (whose investor notes have been mentioned in this column in recent weeks) and finds restrained optimism. Miller Tabak's David Joyce believes there is a lot of long-term value in the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster and says Live Nation could be "a long-term 8.5 times Ebitda stock." It's currently trading at 7.4 times 2011 enterprise value to Ebitda.

In fact, some analysts are already looking to 2011 to be a strong year for Live Nation. Joyce says cash flow could rise 11% next year. A media analyst at Morgan Joseph says "2011 is going to be a much better year." Indeed, compared to this down year, 2011 could be great for Live Nation and other promoters.

Then again, 2011 could be disappointing. Just a few months ago, analysts were predicting a strong summer. In May, Joyce painted a rosy picture for Reuters. "It's a very healthy concert season coming up and there's expectation for growth in attendee spending as we come out of recession," he said. The concert industry was coming off a year marred by unemployment and economic uncertainty. This was expected to be a year of rebound, but it hasn't turned out that way.

If there is a positive in this story, it is that much can change before the summer of 2011. That means Live Nation and others have ample time to learn from the summer of 2010. The economy should improve (although the recession has already outlasted most predictions). And pricing strategies can be changed to avoid the problems experienced this year. (Barrons)


-- As Seth Hurwitz of I.M.P. told NPR, there's more to the concert business than Live Nation. "Sales are down in bad situations, like they should be. But, you know, talking about the concert business as a whole, as it relates to the large companies that try to run the whole industry, is a little like asking BP, 'How's the oil business these days?'"
(NPR.org)


-- Popjustice Hi-Fi is a new label created by music website Popjustice in conjunction with (and funded by) EMI Music. Popjustice is actually more than just a website. It is a weekly email, a weekly club night in London, a compilation album and the Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize. At first blush, this looks to be a more promising partnership than the one Warner Music Group entered with blogger Perez Hilton. That imprint, Perezcious, has been a failure. Although he may be a tastemaker, Hilton is clearly not well suited to breaking new artists. Here, EMI has tapped into a group of people who live and breathe new music and are better suited to breaking new artists. (Popjustice)


-- Lawrence Lessig on ASCAP, which has been critical of Creative Commons, Public Knowledge and Electronic Frontier Foundation: "As a founding board member of two of those three organizations, and former board member of the third, I guess I should be proud that a 96 year old organization would be so terrified of our work. And I would be – if there were anything in this fundraising pitch that was actually true. But there is not. Creative Commons, Public Knowledge and EFF are not aiming to "undermine" copyright; they are not spreading the word that "music should be free"; and there is certainly not yet any rally within Congress in favor of any of the issues that these groups do push."
(Huffington Post)


-- As people read through the RIAA's 2008 990 form, a publicly available tax return, they're spotting all sorts of things. Attorney Ray Beckerman notes that the RIAA paid $16 million in legal fees in 2008 and recovered only $391,000. "If the average settlement were $3,900, that would mean 100 settlements for the entire year," he writes. Over a three-year period (2006 to 2008), he writes, the RIAA's legal and investigative fees totaled $64 million. You can take a few different points of view on this. If you think the lawyers were employed out of a profit motive, the numbers are clearly disappointing. If you believe lawsuits against individual file sharers were not carried out to generate revenue, the numbers may be an interesting side note to a larger story. Or you may look at the expenses of the record label-funded trade group and wonder what good that $64 million did for the industry. (Recording Industry vs. The People)


-- Universal Music Group has partnered with mobile content company m-Wise to provide Universal with mobile storefronts. (Press release)


-- John Boyle has been named president of Hello Music. Boyle is the founder of Extreme Consulting, the former owner and producer of the SnoCore Tour and founder of Boyle Artist Management Group. Recently he has been consulting for Silicon Valley-based Selby Ventures. Boyle will handle the day-to-day operations at Hello Music. Founded by Zack Zalon and Brendon Cassidy of Wilshire Media Group, Hello Music launched in January of this year. The company received $4 million in funding from KVG Partners.


-- The Wall Street Journal writes of the failure of the Live Aid model in Africa. "Recently released CIA documents from 1985 (and a subsequent BBC investigation) suggest that so much of the money went to arms instead of food that it may have prolonged and deepened Ethiopia's humanitarian catastrophe. Live Aid also focused the developed world on a flawed approach to charity that ignores the governmental causes of Africa's misery...Although Live 8 branded itself as a new, 'smarter' approach to charitable giving, the event shared the same misunderstanding of Africa's problems with its 1985 predecessor. The rockers and celebrities who turned out for Live 8 made high-minded calls for debt relief, monetary aid increases and trade renegotiation." (Wall Street Journal)