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Concert Promoter AEG Streamlines Its Act

Thursday, April 24, 2014   (0 Comments)
Wall Street Journal (04/13/14) Karp, Hannah

Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) plans to expand aggressively and focus primarily on synergies between its concert promotion unit AEG Live and its numerous venues around the world. AEG's failed auction a year ago demonstrated that "what was important to [bidders] and what they got excited about—it didn't necessarily coincide with what we'd always thought," notes AEG CEO Dan Beckerman. AEG's new strategy emphasizes the development of "entertainment districts" around its arenas in London and Berlin. In May, the company will start construction of a new arena in Las Vegas in collaboration with MGM Resorts International. AEG also has obtained an equity stake in the management company that operates the French indoor sports and concert arena Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy. The firm also plans to drive business to its venues by growing its digital presence in areas such as ticketing, digital marketing, and video streaming of events and festivals. For example, AEG will air part of its Coachella musical festival on cable TV for the first time. In addition, AEG plans to open up its AXS ticketing service to third-party venues, as well as offer them better financial terms than they receive from rivals. The company estimates AXS has processed more than 17 million tickets in the 16 months ended in February, generating more than $1 billion in revenue.

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