When he was growing up in Thunder Bay, Michael Rapino probably had no clue that he’d one day be at the help of the biggest concert promotion company in the world. Yet here he is, the CEO of Live Nation. His second in command is Arthur Fogel, the guy who puts U2, Madonna, Lady Gaga and the Police on the road. He’s from Hamilton. (Ever seen the documentary Who the F@#k is Arthur Fogel? I was one of the script editors for that film.) Together, these two hosers pretty much control the global touring industry.
Back to Rapino, though. Re/Code takes a look at what this guy does.
Getting a record deal used to be the big prize in the music business. Emphasis on the “used to.”
“Artists have bills just like you and me,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said on the latest episode of Recode Media with Peter Kafka. “They make money when they go on the road. They need to go on the road.”
When they do, it is almost a given that Rapino will make money, too: Live Nation dominates the tour business and put on 25,000 shows last year. If you go to see Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen or Luke Bryan this summer, you’re going to a Live Nation show. And even if you’re not going to one of those Live Nation shows, chances are very good that Rapino will make money anyway because Live Nation and its subsidiary Ticketmaster sold 530 million tickets last year.
But Rapino still has real challenges: He wants to figure out how to make more money from each show his customers go to. And he wants to make them happier — by figuring out how to solve problems like scalpers.
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