The concert business will end 2010 on a sour note, Live Nation Executive Chairman Irving Azoff told analysts today.
"We're still not seeing a consumer recovery" in ticket sales, after a summer when revenues declined, Azoff said at a meeting organized by Liberty Media. Liberty owns 14% of Live Nation, the No. 1 owner of concert halls and, with Ticketmaster, an e-commerce powerhouse.
Next year may improve, he said, as hitmakers who sat on the sidelines in 2010 plan major tours. He's especially optimistic that the cast of the TV show Glee, Van Halen, Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, and Fleetwood Mac will fill arenas and ampitheaters.
But Live Nation hopes to boost its profits by upselling consumers -- encouraging people who buy concert tickets to also spring for the performer's recorded music, a DVD of the concert, T-shirts, ringtones, posters, books, and banners.
"We intend to become the Amazon of the music business," Azoff said.