Live Nation Strikes Massive U2 Deal; 12-Year Pact

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Live Nation has now executed a massive, 12-year deal involving U2, according to deal points shared by company president and chief executive Michael Rapino this morning.

The pact covers lucrative merchandising, touring, digital, and branding areas, and is global in scope.  The relationship does not include recordings or publishing assets, as Universal Music Group will retain its ongoing relationship with the group.

That falls short of the all-encompassing deal structure involving Madonna, though Live Nation is jumping into a significant basket of U2 revenue-generators.  And like Madonna, U2 is an absolute powerhouse that can stuff massive venues.  Additionally, both artists will allow Live Nation to compete aggressively on the ticketing side with Ticketmaster, a partner that is being phased out in favor of an internal solution by next year.

The U2 pact continues an existing live performance relationship between the groups, one that dates back to the late 90s.  “We’ve been dating for over 20 years now, it’s about time we tied the knot,” Bono joked.  On the digital side, Live Nation will handle fansite aspects and other digital tie-ins, including, already managed by Live Nation-owned Signatures Network.  The deal is expected to officially close within a few months.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.