NEWS: A Deal to Acquire Concert Tracker Pollstar is Raising Eyebrows
Music moguls Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff are acquiring concert data company Pollstar in a deal that is attracting scrutiny from industry insiders.
The news was immediately met with raised eyebrows given that the new owners are executives so tightly connected with the concert business, not only managing acts and promoting shows, but also building and servicing arenas and clubs.
Leiweke is a former chief of tour promoter AEG while Azoff is a former executive chairman of rival promoter Live Nation who currently manages The Eagles.
The two executives also own the trade magazine covering the venue business, Venues Today.
Leiweke and Azoff are co-owners of Oak View Group which develops and invests in sports and live entertainment businesses and also offers services such as security for concert venues.
Pollstar, meanwhile, produces charts of the best-selling concerts in the US and overseas. The company also owns a print publication and a web destination and a data business, called Pollstar Pro.
While no one is suggesting that Pollstar is fudging its well-respected charts on tour ticket sales, there are clearly concerns about whether Pollstar could be influenced.
“There will always be doubt,” said one person familiar with the situation.
One music touring executive called the deal “astounding,” raising concerns that Pollstar’s new owners could press the publication into one-sided coverage that promotes their business interests.
“How can anybody think there is credibility from this publication?” the exec said.
Pollstar’s long serving editor in chief Gary Bongiovanni and CEO Gary Smith are remaining with the company.
“Pollstar has served our industry as a trusted and invaluable resource during an era where music and ticketing have evolved dramatically,” Azoff said in a statement. “Their insights and analysis are fundamental to the success of our business and we’re looking forward to growing the brand’s influence and impact for years to come.”
By Claire Atkinson
[Thank you to Alex Teitz, http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing this article.]
Pollstar is the only printed trade magazine exclusively covering the global live events business for more than 35 years. We have also been available online since 1994. Over the years we have shifted to a digital world and all of our data is available online including all of the contacts from our printed directory series including Booking Agencies, Talent Buyers, Concert Venues and Concert Support Services. Our print products are included for subscribers who pay only $99 more per year. http://www.pollstar.com