Live Nation acquires BigChampagne
On the Internet, data is king.
So, it's no surprise that Live Nation Entertainment Inc. has acquired BigChampagne, an online measurement company that has provided a window into digital media consumer habits, particularly for music, since 2001.
Terms of the acquisition, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.
Eric Garland, founder and chief executive of BigChampagne, said the deal arose from a meeting he had this year with Live Nation executives to request access to the Beverly Hills concert promoter's customer database so that he could analyze the live entertainment business.
Also based in Beverly Hills, BigChampagne is a 26-person boutique market research firm, specializing in how people use and pay for digital entertainment, particularly music.
"I came begging for their data," Garland said.
Based on sales volume, Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing online retailers, moving billions of dollars worth of tickets and merchandise through its online storefronts annually. In the first nine months of this year, the company sold more than $5 billion worth of goods through its online channels, up from $4 billion during the same period last year.
In addition, Live Nation has been quietly beefing up its online presence, forging partnerships with social network site Facebook as well as the streaming-music service Spotify in order to bolster its connections with music fans.
In September, Garland ran into Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino and Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard at a Facebook event in San Francisco. The three hit it off.
"They asked me what I thought," Garland recalled. He responded that what made Facebook so powerful was the personal information that the social network had about its 750 million users, including their musical tastes, their locations, their age, their level of education, what games they played, their favorite authors and so on.
"Our company focuses on making sense of all that data and extracting the relevant thread from the mass chaos," Garland said. Live Nation and Ticketmaster have "collected billions of points of data about their customers, and they were interested in finding out ways to use that data to connect fans with the music experiences that they were offering. In the end, they bought my company."
Rapino, in a statement, said, "BigChampagne brings us a great technology platform and an innovative team to help us better understand our fans and deliver insights across all areas of our business.”
-- Alex Pham
Photo: Eric Garland, founder and chief executive of BigChampagne. Credit: BigChampagne.