In a long rumored deal, Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke’s Oak View Group has purchased live music trade Pollstar. The acquisition left some questioning the editorial independence of an outlet now owned by two these active and outspoken industry professionals.
Oak View Group has acquired Pollstar, the top trade publication for the concert and ticketing industries. The announcement was made by Oak View cofounders Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff at their inaugural VenuesNow conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Pollstar co-founders Gary Bongiovanni and Gary Smith will continue to helm the publication and its annual Pollstar Live! conference.
“We’re so proud of our team and everything we’ve accomplished over the years, and are looking forward to our next chapter with OVG,” said Bongiovanni. “Joining OVG gives us an opportunity to take Pollstar to an entirely new level and realize the brand’s full potential as the benchmark for our industry,” added Smith.
“Pollstar has served our industry as a trusted and invaluable resource during an era where music and ticketing have evolved dramatically,” said Azoff. “Pollstar concert data is the gold standard for the live entertainment industry and the Pollstar Live! conference is the epicenter of the concert business each winter,” said Ray Waddell, former Billboard touring editor, now President, Conferences & Publications for the Oak View Group.
Conflict Of Interest?
Some in the industry are now questioning the editorial independence of a trade publication owned by two outspoken music executives and their company, which is actively involved in major concert venues and touring.
“It hard to imagine Irving and Tim not picking up the phone and calling the two Gary’s (at Pollstar) to influence how they, their dealings and their competitors are portrayed,” a touring industry veteran told Hypebot.