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Live Nation Competitive Strategy
It is essential for any company seeking to remain successful to devise strategies of keeping up with the competition in any industry. Companies can either achieve this through the creation of competitive advantage or by offsetting competition. One of the ways of offsetting competition is through mergers and acquisitions (Gerber, 2020). A merger is a business strategy in which two firms amalgamate or merge to create a new firm dropping the initial company name and creating a new company with a new name (Haeruddin, 2017). An acquisition on the other hand is a business strategy in which a firm usually larger buys another firm usually smaller. Mergers and acquisition is a highly competitive strategy of increasing market share and offsetting competition (Vekariya, 2016). Live Nation is one of the companies that has made use of this strategy to increase its market share and completely obliterate the competition.
Live Nation is one of the largest companies in the live entertainment industry globally. The company has expanded its operation to more than 40 countries globally through the consolidation of concert promoters. The company has become one of the leading live entertainment companies through the business strategy that has allowed it to thrive by crashing competition (Jarnow, 2014). Live Nation is one of the companies that has leveraged horizontal mergers and acquisitions to strengthen its competitive position. Mergers have been shown to improve the performance of companies that utilize this strategy as it allows more effective control of the market by eliminating unnecessary competition and allowing merging companies to thrive (Zulheri, 2017). In 2010, Live Nation was the world’s largest concert promoter. The company entered into a deal with Ticketmaster, the largest ticket provider creating a new merger the Live Nation Entertainment. Before the merger, the two companies held about 80% of the market share in this industry. Ticketmaster was Live Nation’s biggest competitor. The company’s management entered into a deal with its largest competitor to diversify its business and to do away with competition in the industry. This is a strategic move that allowed both companies to eliminate competition and dominate the market to date. As of 2018, the 9 billion ticketing market was dominated by the crated merger Live Nation-Ticketmaster. Today, Live Nation Entertainment, the newly created company after the 2010 merger controls virtually every aspect of the ticketing business. Dominance in this market has allowed the company to control prices and thus significantly multiply its sales revenues.
Live Nation has always been aggressive in acquiring other businesses in the industry to diversify its business and remove any competition that threatens the dominance of the company. Ticket scalping or ticket reselling is a common practice whose popularity has increased with the penetration of the internet giving rise to various websites that buy and resell tickets at a significantly higher price than the face value of the ticket. Although this practice is seen as a shady business practice, it is estimated to be worth 8 billion. Recently, Live Nation acquired secondary ticketing websites including Seat wave and Get Me In allowing the company to not only benefit from primary but also a secondary sale of concert tickets (Holmstrom, 2019). One of the largest acquisitions made by the company was in 2006 when it acquired HOB Entertainment for $350M. The company’s aggressive strategy in acquiring other businesses has allowed it to maintain its position in the market and the company continues to pursue this strategy to date. In 2016 alone, Live Nation acquired seven live event companies including Big Concerts, the largest music show promoter in South Africa, the festival portfolio of Union Events in Canada, Ticket hour Athens based sports ticketing operator, Nous Productions a French promoter purchased from Warner Music Group, Ac Entertainment majority stake, Sweden Rock Festival majority stake and a controlling stake in Australia’s Secret Sound Group (Ingham, 2017). Live Nation is set on controlling the live entertainment market on the global space as evidence by its aggressive acquiring of companies in this industry in different parts of the world. The aggressive acquisition strategy undertaken by Live Nation in 2016 allowed the company to increase its concert promotion revenues by 20%. The company also increased its sponsorship and ticketing revenues by double digits. In addition to the acquisitions made by the company in 2016, 2017 is also another year during which Live Nation continued to extend its dominance in the live entertainment market through acquisitions. In the first few months of 2017, the company had acquired six music businesses in different countries increasing significantly the number of artists under the management of the company (Holmstrom, 2019).
Companies can either pursue a defensive or offensive competitive strategy against their competitors. An offensive competitive strategy is one in which a company directly competitors from who it wants to capture market share. A defensive competitive strategy is a marketing strategy in which firm strategies to retain its market share from being overtaken by a competitor. The strategy undertaken by Live Nation is primarily an offensive. The company has practically created a sort of monopoly by ensuring that it controls every aspect of the live entertainment industry. The company is set on acquiring any business that threatens its dominance in any sector of the live entertainment industry. The company utilizes its huge size to buy off its rivals in different parts’ of the world doing away with any competition and in the process creating a monopoly. The company has even been criticized for violating Antirust law by creating an environment in which other firms cannot compete and essentially controlling the market to the detriment of the consumer whose choice is limited and is subject to price exploitation.
Gerber, D. J. (2020). Mergers and acquisitions. Competition Law and Antitrust, 75-88. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198727477.003.0007
Haeruddin, I. M. (2017). Mergers and Acquisitions: Quo Vadis? management, 7(2), 84-88. DOI: 10.5923/j.mm.20170702.02
Holmstrom, E. (2019). Dancing in the dark: An analysis of the live entertainment industry and the deceptive market practices of Ticketmaster and live nation. Western Journal of Legal Studies, 9(2). https://doi.org/10.5206/uwojls.v9i2.8070
Jarnow, J. (2014). Live nation. Oxford Music Online. https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.a2267077
Vekariya, S. (2016). Impact of pre-merger and post merger on financial performance (With reference to private sector banks). Indian Journal of Applied Research, 1(5), 6-8. https://doi.org/10.15373/2249555x/feb2012/3
Zulheri. (2017). Competition merger review for cross-border mergers and acquisitions in Indonesia. Indonesia Law Review, 7(3), 395. https://doi.org/10.15742/ilrev.v7n3.374