Whilst many are lauding this as a shrewd investment from Live Nation and for the future of the music business, not all industry pundits are applauding. Maverick music industry commentator Bob Lefsetz says this morning in his daily newsletter that this deal is "old men trying to cash in one more time to support their egregious, expansive, expensive lifestyles" and an attempt by Live Nation to bolster its flagging stock price.
Live Nation's chairman, Michael Cohl, commented in the Times piece that he was not worried, and that "the whole [deal] is what's important, [Jay-Z] could be doing more tours and doing great, there could be endorsements and sponsorships."
Given that Jay-Z sold his Rocawear Company for over $200 million last year and has many other financial interests, Mr Cohl may well be on the right track with Live Nation's new artist-related businesses. But, with an ever-increasing need to maintain and leverage these superstar artists' brand equity, Live Nation is really going to have to learn to speak the language of brands and manage brand-related businesses.