Heady Links | Digital Music/Concert Industry Edition

I’ve been trying to catch up on some digital music and concert industry news this week. There’s a lot going on, so you know what that means? Yep, another ‘Digital Music and Concert Industry’ version of Heady Links.

So grab your afternoon coffee and check it out after the jump…

Ticket Scene:
Live Nation to offer event tickets [Variety]
This new is further evidence that Live Nation is pushing further into the ticketing side of the concert industry. I’ve mentioned it before, but the fact that their contract with Ticketmaster will be expiring soon makes me think that they’ve got some big plans on the horizon for this area of business.

Nokia, Live Nation Partner For Ticket Rush [Billboard]
I think this is a good step for the company. Anything that makes it easier for fans to buy concert tickets is good in my book. Live Nation has really been on the warpath, gobbling up concert venues and making big partnerships like this one. I think 2007 will be an interesting year as Live Nation hones its digital strategy and continues to push away from its Clear Channel roots.

Warner Signs Secondary Ticket Deal With Viagogo [Billboard]
Viagogo is basically a European version of Stubhub — which is the major U.S. player in the “secondary market” for event tickets (didn’t we used to call this scalping?). I find it interesting that labels are getting into this “secondary ticket market” game. They’re obviously interested in grabbing some of this extra cash generated by tickets after the original sale. But you’d think they might find a better way to deal with this. Why not offer the tickets for auction from the get-go instead of dealing with the “secondary” market auctions?

Ticketmaster Layers Free Downloads Into Ticket Purchases [Digital Music News]

And Bob Lefsetz immediately rips into them with another solid rant.

This move makes sense for both Ticketmaster and iTunes, but I still think that this isn’t nearly as potent an idea as the inverse for ticket sales — which I’ve previously discussed. Putting ticket sales alongside digital downloads and on social networks seems like an obvious next step, yet it has really taken off substantially. Two exceptions..

Social Networks:
iLike To Launch Concert Features [Billboard]
Social network/music discovery site, iLike.com, recently partnered with Ticketmaster to add concert ticket sales alongside artist tour dates and listings. Good move, but it would be much better if they weren’t only limited to Ticketmaster’s offerings. Wouldn’t it be great if people had what they really want: better alternatives to the infamous ‘Ticketbastard?’

Showclix is the other music social networking site that is attempting to put concert ticket sales in context with artist’s tour dates. But it is still quite young and has not generated as much press as MySpace, Last.fm, or even iLike.

Last.FM Augments Offerings with Streaming Video [Wired’s Listening Post]
Another site making news this week is Last.fm, which is one of the most popular social networking sites for music. The site continues to build a dedicated following by adding great features and generally doing things right. Last.fm is now making another big leap by adding streaming videos to its online offerings. Although I doubt that it will truly be a “YouTube killer,” I think that Last.fm’s content partnerships will help combat any potential lawsuits and make for better quality video offerings (two issues that have plagued YouTube).

Snocap Spins Live Performances, Positions Show Downloads [Digital Music News]
And there’s always the social networking behemoth that is MySpace. Last September, Snocap and MySpace partnered to offer artists the ability to sell digital tracks directly from their MySpace page via Snocap’s ‘MyStore’ widgets. Snocap is now going to be launching a ‘live in the studio” series to offer live tracks as well.

Digital Downloads:
eMusic has been popping up quite a bit since it’s business model was discussed at last week’s NARM conference here in Chicago. Mainly at issue is eMusic’s lower payouts to labels and artists in comparison to iTunes. There were some reports late last week that suggested some key indie labels would be pulling their catalogs from the service. eMusic CEO David Pakman ended up having to defend eMusic’s business model on the company’s blog. If you want a more detailed take on eMusic, Hypebot has (finally) started its series on the digital music retailer, with lots of good info and analysis.

Phew! That’s a lot to digest!