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-- Live Nation,'s stock was at $11.93 in morning trading. That's up about $2 per share since news broke that the merger would be approved by the Department of Justice. And that's way up from its 52-week low of $2.47 per share back when investors were worried the company was spending too much on multi-rights deals for superstars like Madonna, Nickelback and Shakira. (Go back further and you'll see how far the stock fell. Live Nation shares were trading at nearly $25 per share in early 2007 and briefly rose above $23 in October 2007.) Over the last year or so, Live Nation slowed the rate of those deals, divested non-core assets, cut costs and had a decent 2009 considering the foul economic climate. At the end of the day, however, Ticketmaster will help put cash on the bottom line. Investors are obviously happy about that. (LYV at Google Finance)

-- The Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger is likely to act as an impetus for some venues to consider competing ticketing companies. Live Nation Entertainment's market power simply won't sit well with some people. The Austin Business Journal takes a look at Front Gate Tickets, an Austin-based independent ticketer that hopes to pick up some post-merger business. But the company knows it's not a slam dunk. "We are not seeing clients trying to break their contracts with Ticketmaster at this stage," said Front Gate's director of marketing and business development. "We are seeing clients, when their contracts are expiring, doing the due diligence. And we are fortunate enough to be in the mix." Seattle-based Brown Paper said it has picked up about a dozen clients looking for an alternative to Ticketmaster. Venues, especially the bigger ones, said Brown Paper's CEO, are worried about LNE as a competitor. He added venues are also worried about fees. "In a recession, a 3 percent fee makes a difference." (Austin Business Journal)

-- Note to media companies who think consumers will pay for access: Newsday is reported to have all of 35 subscribers (at $5 per month) after three months of putting its content behind a pay wall. Subscribers to the print edition get free access, as do subscribers of Optimum Cable. Still...35? And this from a local paper that does not compete on a national level? And it seems the pay wall caused traffic to the site to drop by 47% year over year. On the bright side, at least music companies already know hundreds of thousands of people will pay for a music subscription service. But a story like this provides a warning: it's easy to overestimate the public's willingness to pay for online content. (Observer)

-- Six years after "The Gray Album" put Danger Mouse on a path to stardom comes "Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers," a mashup of The Beatles and the Wu Tang Clan. About half the Beatles samples are from covers of Beatles songs. Go to the Tease Records site to stream the album. Members get a free download (registration is free). Normally this is the type of thing that would quickly earn a cease-and-desist letter from a record label and/or publisher. Since these samples come from both original Beatles recordings and covers of Beatles songs, there's a larger group of copyright owners to anger than just EMI (the Beatles' sound recordings) and Sony/ATV (the band's compositions). (Tease Records, via New York Times)

-- The debut album of 15-year-old Jordyn Shellhart, a new Sony Nashville signing, was recorded in her manager's bedroom using only instruments found at Best Buy stores. If you were thinking about marketing potential, Shellhart beat you to it. She will do a series of performances this summer as part of Best Buy's @15 initiative. (Nashville Cream)