Yes, Irving Azoff dumped his Live Nation stock way too early, missing nearly $19 million in gains. But that’s now just a detail: Azoff also somehow walked away with many of this plum management clients, including the Eagles, Van Halen, Steely Dan, and Christina Aguilera, which are now a critical part of the just-inked ‘Azoff MSG Entertainment LLC‘.
The $300 million joint venture includes a $125 million investment in Azoff Music Management by MSG, not to mention a $50 million revolving credit facility.
That is part of a far broader combination that will facilitate a massive expansion in the concept of artist management. The venture, driven by MSG executive chairman James Dolan (another ex-Live Nation board member), also spans publishing and rights management, brand management, television production and live event branding. It even includes a discovery-focused television show called “Streets of the City.”
This may also bode very well for Azoff’s clientele, though post-Live Nation, some questions linger on how committed Azoff will be to building a long-term, viable entity like this. One thing is for certain: Azoff is adept at essentially selling the same thing, over and over again. “The mission of our new venture is to go into a business where we can better an artist’s welfare, well-being and their ability to market their products,” Azoff said. “We’re looking for artist-friendly and, as a result, fan-friendly projects. One way we’ll accomplish this is by supporting talent’s vision and committing capital, along with management consultation, in a variety of fields, to assist the artists in realizing their creative vision.”