I'm not a big fan of Live Nation's venues, business practices, corporate personality, or logo design, but it's hard not to admire the company's chutzpah. While the music industry continues its slow-motion crash and burn and freaked-out stakeholders turn to more stable and lucrative investments (Beanie Babies, for instance), these guys are apparently on some insane, doomed quest to own as much of what's left as they can. The Wall Street Journal
reports today that, hot on the heels of its controversial acquisition of Ticketmaster, Live Nation is bidding to buy part of Warner Music Group
(subscription required), currently the third largest of the Big Four labels, ahead of ailing EMI.
The WSJ notes that the purchase "could combine under one roof the world's third-largest recorded-music company with the biggest concert promoter, artist-management firm and events-ticketing operation."
Interestingly enough, LN's offer only covers Warner's recorded-music wing, not the Warner/Chappell publishing wing. This makes the deal even crazier, since as pretty much anyone trying to make a buck in music knows (especially in the current "everything is free" climate), publishing is where the money is, not selling records. This only makes LN's pursuit that much curiouser.