Irving Azoff doesn’t tweet anymore, thanks to Live Nation lawyers who asked the candid chairman to keep mum in social media (“I don’t think it’s fair that they let Nathan [Hubbard] tweet and not me.”) But in an hour-long keynote chat with Billboard editorial director Bill Werde at Billboard’s Touring Conference on Wednesday, he had a whole Twitter feed’s worth of opinions, stories and frank assessments of the music industry’s past, present and future.
Pandora, irks Azoff for its controversial royalty payments to artists – particularly when he considers the company’s apparent value. “I heard a number from an investment banker this week that they’re out selling for a $3 billion valuation. The sum total of our entire music business at the biggest music company in the world has a market cap of half of what Pandora’s current valuation is – and they want to pay artists less? To me that doesn’t make any sense.”
Azoff reserved even more choice words for StubHub. “We as managers, and I think I can speak for my partners in promoting and ticketing, believe it’s an artist-first business. The fan reserves the right for the first sale. I don’t believe the first sale of the ticket should go to a scalper who just wants to sell it to somebody else. We believe the first ticket should just go to a fan who just wants to go to a show.”
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