During a Thursday afternoon presentation for investors and analysts, Live Nation Entertainment lauded its business strategy, talked about lessons learned in 2010 and offered some interesting details about the company.

Hosted mainly by CEO Michael Rapino and executive chairman Irving Azoff, much of the nearly three-hour event centered on the North American concert industry's poor summer performance, high ticket prices and how the media has characterized the industry's problems.

Meant to inform investors and analysts about a business that operates in a unique and often mysterious industry, the presentation may have done more short-term harm than good. Due to a disclosure about poor first-half ticket sales, shares of Live Nation were down over 16% in heavy intra-trading on Thursday (July 15) and finished down 10.85% to $10.19.

Frustrated by the audience's questions -- and probably by the drop in the stock price, too -- Live Nation executives insisted the company is well positioned for long-term value. Azoff even insisted the stock was a great value and chided investors for their short-term thinking.

"If you believe there is going to be a music business -- and there has only been one since the beginning of time -- there is no other play than this company," Azoff said.

It was an informative yet unconvincing performance. By spending so much time on its media problems and by trying to paint this summer in a good light, the executives were more defensive and less commanding than they probably hoped to be. One was left to ponder the gap between investors' impression of the company and Live Nation's image of itself.

Here are some of the key points from the presentation:

-- First-half Ticketmaster unit sales were down 11% -- down 12% in the concert segment -- and Live Nation unit sales were down 3% (excluding stadium shows). Live Nation's mid-year gross was down 9%. This was the data that sent the stock price in a tailspin.

-- As a result of the summer downturn, the coming fourth quarter could be painful. Rapino and Azoff told the audience that recent press coverage about summer concert woes could end up scaring some artists into postponing fourth-quarter dates to 2011. Further, it warned investors that second-half industry ticket sales could be down 15%. In a down case scenario, Live Nation ticket sales could be off estimates by five million tickets (1 million for Live Nation, four million for Ticketmaster), creating a $40 million drag on adjusted operating income.

-- Live Nation executives stressed many times that customers have been heard and ticket prices will come down this year and in 2011. "We think the best thing that can happen for this business is a little bit of pain amongst all," Rapino said. "It will help us go into 2011 with a bit more leverage." The company expects 10% of tickets sold in 2010 to be discounted, an increase from 6% last year. Even so, Live Nation's average North American concert ticket is expected to increase to $49.74 in 2010 from $48.12 in 2009.

-- Even though promoters have a hand in setting ticket prices, Live Nation frequently shifted blame to the artists and assumed little of it. Rapino said the company is constantly talking to artists and encouraging them to fill the house through lower prices.

Not all artists are being affected, said Live Nation CEO of Concerts Jason Garner. Top stars, clubs and festivals are doing fine, he said. "There is a space in the middle that's being affected where those artists have simply charged too much for too long." That means a correction in prices is coming, and it is clear Live Nation intends to be a tough negotiator with artists. "Those artists will have to correct (their prices) because they only have two choices: play to an empty house -- which we won't allow because we won't pay the guarantee -- or correct their ticket price in order to fill their house."

-- The people who do show up are spending more inside the venues. Per-head ancillary spending is expected to be up 8.5% in North America amphitheaters this year. Live Nation makes its money on ancillary revenues -- ticket fees, concessions, parking, merchandise, premium seating and the like.

-- All-in pricing is on the way. Live Nation estimates it can increase ticket sales by 3.3% by offering a single ticket price early in the transaction rather than a face value followed by numerous add-on fees. No date was set, but Garner said the company would be "moving aggressively." In addition, he says, the print-at-home fees will be eliminated.

-- This month Ticketmaster will add two additions to its Fan Guarantee: a "cold feet" return policy for the first three days after the ticket purchase, and a refund of all fees for canceled or postponed dates. "All the data tells us this removes barriers to purchase," Garner said of the initiatives.

-- Expect a Live Nation album within the next year, Rapino said. Although none of Live Nation's multi-rights contracts include recorded music, Azoff said many Front Line-managed artists are currently without record labels and said it is looking at strategies to combine them with its multi-rights artists. "We're not going to be a traditional record company," he said. "However, we have great relationships with three of the four label groups. We're being actively pursued by four of the major label groups. I think we're going to come to a deal shortly."