Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino joins Dave Stewart to discuss creativity -- and innovations in bathroom technology
Thursday night at Live Nation Enterainment headquarters in Beverly Hills, musician/producer/Eurythmic/renaissance man Dave Stewart and branding expert/author/ "marketing guru" Mark Simmons held a media event to introduce their new book, "The Business Playground: Where Creativity and Commerce Collide." It's a playful, genre-busting tome that discusses ways in which creativity can be used in the business world.
The pair discussed the ideas in the book, which has chapter titles such as "Idea Spaghetti," "Mr. Left Brain, Meet Mr. Right" and "Far Out," for about half an hour. Then Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, who's had a rough few weeks, sat down beside Stewart to have a one-on-one conversation about how Rapino and his company employs creativity to sell tickets to the 22,000 concerts that the conglomerate promotes worldwide each year.
Stewart asked Rapino how Live Nation harnesses their collective imagination in the service of filling seats, and Rapino acknowledged that at times it's a struggle: "The irony in our business is, we're kind of considered a sexy business because we're in the music business, but what we've really struggled with is that the band is really the creative front, and they're on the stage." Live Nation, he continued, is the conduit through which the professional creatives -- musicians -- must travel to reach the ears of the audience.
Artists, he said, have been struggling to adjust their business model as concerts have become the major means by which they earn their livings. "The band has been reinventing itself for 20 years. I was at the Rihanna show last night at the Staples Center, and it's a spectacular show. The band has done their job. The band has elevated the show, the song, the performance, and us handlers kind of got lazy along the way, and whether it was the record guy or the ticket guy."