AEG Live getting in tune with Nielsen, Billboard

Teaming on branded events, shows

The Nielsen Co. and AEG Live, the Los Angeles-based division of AEG, announced Wednesday a strategic alliance focused on Nielsen's Billboard music brand.

Billboard and AEG will work together to expand existing Billboard-branded live events and create new concerts, festivals and televised awards shows worldwide.

AEG Live, which produces and promotes the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and Justin Timberlake's tour, will produce the flagship Billboard Music Awards and Latin Music Awards and negotiate television agreements for those programs.

AEG Live's role also will extend to production, sales, promotional and merchandising efforts for existing Billboard-branded programs. The long-term alliance includes music and entertainment productions originating in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany and provides global broadcast rights to AEG for events produced in those countries.

Under the agreement, the Billboard Touring Conference is expected to move to L.A. Live, the $2.5 billion downtown Los Angeles sports and entertainment complex being developed by AEG. At its new 4 million-square-foot home, the Billboard Touring Conference will continue to present expert panels, awards and networking events for the live entertainment industry.

"Our alliance marries AEG's leadership and innovation in live entertainment and music to Billboard's unmatched brand strength and credibility with both consumers and the industry," said John Kilcullen, publisher of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter and senior vp of Film and Performing Arts at Nielsen Business Media. "This agreement provides unlimited opportunities to further extend the Billboard brand through market-leading concerts, tours, festivals and TV productions. Propelled by our combined creativity, AEG and Nielsen will provide new ways for consumers and the industry to experience the music and performances they love."

Billboard, a 112-year-old brand that extends to digital products, nightclubs and specialized industry conferences, will work with AEG Live to build mobile and online content into their joint live programming.

"Having the ability to form this alliance to further grow and develop an incredibly successful brand, especially in broadcast and new-media platforms, is certainly a rare opportunity," AEG Live president and CEO Randy Phillips said. "Billboard is the gold, platinum, diamond and crystal standard for both the music industry and the music consumer. AEG Live is a quality-over-quantity company, and the fit between these two organizations is seamless. Our alliance crosses our live touring, sponsorship, content creation and facilities divisions to create unparalleled live and broadcast events."

The Nielsen Co. is a global information and media company involved in marketing information, media information, business publications, trade shows and the newspaper sector. Its business publications include The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Back Stage, Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek.

Ayala Ben-Yehuda is a correspondent for Billboard.