Live Nation Acquires Consumer Data Pioneer Big Champagne

By Eileen Tilson/ @tktalt_tn

Mega-monster Live Nation has acquired consumer data collector Big Champagne for what is being reported as $30 million. So who exactly is Big Champagne and why does this matter so much?

From NY Times Article (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/live-nation-buys-bigchampagne-analyzer-of-consumer-data/)

“BigChampagne, founded in 2001, made a name for itself early in the Internet revolution for developing methods to measure peer-to-peer file-sharing and other forms of online traffic. Those kinds of activity, while not always legal, gave record labels and other entertainment companies valuable insight into consumer tastes and behaviors.

In the years since, BigChampagne has expanded its work to develop its Ultimate Chart, an alternative to the Billboard pop charts that takes account of an array of consumption on social media.” (via NY TIMES)

In an interview, Michael Rapino, the chief executive of Live Nation, said that BigChampagne would help his company churn through the huge amounts of data it collects from its customers when they buy concert tickets or merchandise, as well as continue to take the temperature of pop culture online.

“We love the basics of what they’ve created, and love the idea of taking an incredible amount of fan data off- and online and merging that into a relevant database of what artists are most popular and relevant to today’s consumer,” Mr. Rapino said.

Eric Garland, a founder of BigChampagne and its chief executive, will become general manager of livenation.com, and the company’s other founder, Joe Fleischer, will be senior vice president of content and product strategy for that Web site.

All 26 of BigChampagne’s employees will work for Live Nation, and the Ultimate Chart will “power social discovery, content relevancy and product personalization across Live Nation’s businesses,” according to a news release.

When it was introduced last year, the Ultimate Chart was partly meant as an advertisement for the kind of far-reaching analysis of media consumption data that the company could do.

“When we started the Ultimate Chart it was largely aspirational,” Mr. Garland said. “We built a big data and analytics competency around integrating all these billions of data. But we have needed a bigger stage to put it all together and see the bigger picture.”

Mr. Garland has also become known as an astute observer of digital media and the music business, a trait that Mr. Rapino noted.

“We’re on the hunt for smart guys that understand this industry and crunch all that data and turn it into action,” he said.”

So what does all this mean? It seems very clear to me that there is a new way of charting music bubbling up, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine a room with the most forward thinking minds in the music industry coming together and rearranging the way music data is being tracked…I am definitely intrigued.

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