| IRVING AZOFF ON LEAVING LIVE NATION, WHAT’S NEXT, AND WHY HE REGRETS TICKETMASTER MERGER: Just hours after Irving Azoff’s departure from Live Nation was confirmed, Billboard’s Ray Waddell caught up with him over the phone from Mexico, where Azoff’s family is vacationing with Don Henley‘s family. Here Azoff explains why he’s leaving (especially on New Year’s Eve), who he’s taking with him, and why merging with Ticketmaster was both a highlight and a regret.
| IRVING AZOFF’S EXIT: THE INVISIBLE HAND OF JOHN MALONE: The exit of veteran music manager Irving Azoff as executive chairman at Live Nation comes two months after another media veteran, Mel Karmazin, stepped down as chairman and CEO of SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The person they have in common? Veteran media investor John Malone, who in the last few years had become, respectively, each company’s largest individual shareholder.
| IRVING AZOFF’S RESIGNATION COMES WITH TAX BENEFITS, NON-COMPETE CARVE-OUTS: The paths of the Bush tax cuts and the man who topped Billboard’s Power 100 crossed on Dec. 31, 2012: Irving Azoff’s resignation from Live Nation gave him cash, stock, the right to manage certain artists and engage in specific areas of the music business. The timing of his departure allowed him to collect certain bonuses, stock and other income early in order to realize significant tax savings that would be lost when Bush-era tax cuts lapse in 2013.
| BUSINESS MATTERS: SUBSCRIPTIONS DON’T SEEM READY FOR PRIMETIME IN 2013: Those of us in the music-business bubble may feel like a subscription-service revolution is right around the corner, but if this holiday season has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t give the gift of subscription music to just anyone.
| ‘DICK CLARK’S NEW YEAR’S ROCKIN’ EVE’ WINS MONDAY NIGHT, DRAWS MOST VIEWERS SINCE 2000: ABC took another New Year’s Eve ratings crown on Monday night, besting all networks in adults 18-49 and total viewers. “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Celebrates Dick Clark” and the first hour of the official show, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest,” started its road to midnight with a 4.1 adults rating, and the show brought in its biggest number of total viewers since 2000.
UK ALBUM SALES FALL 11.2%, SINGLES HIT RECORD HIGH: Annual UK album sales dropped by more than 10% in 2012 as the CD albums market shrunk by a fifth – although singles sales hit a new high. According to new BPI figures, sales of albums on CD declined 19.5% year-on-year to 69.4 million in total in 2012, as combined volume sales of digital and physical albums fell overall by 11.2% to 100.5 million. Singles sales broke records for a fifth year increasing 6% to 188.6 million in 2012, with the overwhelming majority (99.6%) accounted for by digital tracks and bundles.
HMV LENDERS TO BLOCK APOLLO GLOBAL BID (REPORT): HMV’s lenders plan to block efforts by turnaround fund Apollo to buy the firm’s debt as they plot a revival of its fortunes, according to one report. Music industry sources said Apollo has already acquired ten per cent of the debt and must now negotiate with about six banks. However, the lenders are understood to be reluctant to sell their loans too cheaply and are still hopeful that HMV can survive without a takeover. A source said: ‘There is a feeling among the banks that they have come this far, so let’s see it through.’
This is Money
MARKETS RALLY AFTER US ‘FISCAL CLIFF’ DEAL: Markets breathed a huge sigh of relief Wednesday that U.S. lawmakers agreed on a budget deal that will stop hundreds of billions of dollars in automatic tax increases and spending cuts that risked plunging the world’s biggest economy into recession. Stocks around the world started 2013 with hefty gains as investors welcomed the vote in the House of Representatives that made sure that the U.S. does not go over the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Though longer-term fiscal problems remain…
MEDIA/ENTERTAINMENT STOCKS CRUSH MARKET AVERAGES IN 2012: Entertainment conglomerates in 2012 proved they can weather a faltering economy better than other industries, thus their shareholders were rewarded with outsized profits. The S&P 500 rose 13.4 percent in 2012, but six of the seven media conglomerates – including Comcast, NewsCorp, CBS, Time Warner – significantly outperformed that benchmark. New-media was equally impressive, with Sirius XM Radio rising 61 percent, Amazon.com rose 45 percent, TiVo was up 37 percent, and Netflix and Apple each rose 33 percent.
The Hollywood Reporter
LA PHOTOGRAPHER KILLED WHILE SHOOTING BIEBER’S CAR: Police say a paparazzo was hit by a car and killed after taking photos of Justin Bieber’s Ferrari sports car in Los Angeles. Los Angeles police Officer James Stoughton says the man died at a hospital Tuesday evening. Stoughton says Bieber was not in the car at the time. The man was struck by a car as he returned to his own car.
HEADLINES OF THE DAY:
– Noel Gallagher: ‘God is an Oasis fan’
– Soulful master marvelously runs the emotional gamut
– Politico: John Boehner Told Harry Reid To Go F*** Himself
– Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Baby to Appear on E!
– Parrots Hate Electronic Music – Neatorama