-- A report says the Ambassadors Theatre Group is the frontrunner to buy Live Nation's theatrical division for up to £100 million ($158 million). The company plans to use the proceeds from this sale for debt reduction. Selling off non-core assets has been an ongoing strategy for Live Nation. In January 2008, Live Nation sold off its U.S. theatrical business to Key Brands Entertainment, a private investment company, for $90.4 million. Earlier this year, the company agreed to sell its interest in the Boston Opera House for $22.5 million plus an earn out.
(Daily Mail)

-- Universal Music Group Distribution and its labels have decided to move up the street date during the week of Thanksgiving, shifting it to Monday, Nov. 23 (instead of the usual Tuesday). In an email from NARM: "The impetus for moving the street date in this instance is to afford retailers the chance to place re-orders on fast-breaking titles and get product back in stock for the long weekend, as well as positively impact sales during this all-important timeframe."
(Music Row)

-- Results of an online survey by the IFPI say about 40% of Swedes between 15 and 74 illegally share music files every day. TorrentFreak points to research carried out earlier this year on behalf of Swedish TV operator Viasat that found 11% of Swedes download copyright works. Viasat's research came after the introduction of the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED), which was said to have resulted in huge increases in the numbers of download purchases in Sweden as well as a huge drop in Internet traffic (presumably due to less file-sharing). In addition, one has to wonder how the IFPI's results reconcile with statements made last month by Spotify's Daniel Ek: Spotify has one million users in Sweden (or 11% of the population) and 80% of all Spotify users (no mention of which territories) say they have stopped file sharing. Maybe the majority of online Swedes use either Spotify or illegally share files, which would show an incredibly high level of engagement, or maybe IPRED has reduced the volume of file-sharing but not the number of unique file sharers. Such questions get down to the heart of the matter: have government sanctions and new legal alternatives reduced illegal file-sharing in a country known for piracy? Some neutral, third-party numbers would be of great help here.

-- Rhapsody has partnered with HP to make its music service available on HP's TouchSmart PCs that will hit stores next week. It's the same Rhapsody experience with a few twists. For example, in the search field the user can write directly onto the screen (which would be a piece of cake for short names like Beck, Cher, Asia, O.A.R. or P.I.L.).
(The Real Story blog)

Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.