Live Nation has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Musictoday, a Charlottesville, Va.-based Web services and e-commerce firm founded by Dave Matthews Band manager Coran Capshaw.
Key Musictoday staffers, including VP/chief of Nathan Hubbard, will remain in place and Capshaw says he will still be hands-on with the company.“This isn’t the sale of a company, it’s the sale of a portion of the company,” he tells Billboard.biz. “Live Nation wanted a major stake as a condition of the deal, and given what they offered in additional resources for the business, it was worth it to me to accommodate their request. But I wasn’t looking to sell a major stake. I am looking at this as a joining of forces and abilities, not as a sale.”
Founded in 2000, Musictoday was created to generate direct artist-to-fan e-commerce tools for artists he managed. Musictoday’s roster has grown to more than 500 clients including Dave Matthews Band, the Rolling Stones, John Mayer, Kenny Chesney, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Christina Aguilera, AC/DC and the Grateful Dead.
Musictoday employs more than 200 people and in 2005, the company’s gross sales exceeded $100 million.
Live Nation has been on a major shopping spree since spinning off from its parent company Clear Channel Entertainment late last year. In recent weeks, the company has purchased a majority stake in Michael Cohl’s Concert Productions International (Billboard.biz, June 10) House of Blues Entertainment (Billboard.biz, July 5) and most recently specialty merchandising firm Trunk Ltd. (Billboard.biz, July 13).
“We have an incredibly strong balance sheet and we believe there are great opportunities for growth on a global basis,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino told Billboard in an earlier interview. “We will continue to review all options that offer the right return for our shareholders.”