Coran Capshaw was on to something when he founded Musictoday as a connector between fans, artists, and venues. Taking what he learned from the successful fan club he built for Dave Matthews, he and his team have been building solid e-commerce operations for lots of folks. And they're solid because they're built around access -- the feeling that fans get taken care of, though advance ticketing and special events.
No wonder Live Nation bought them. [WSJ sub req'd.]
When Live Nation was still SFX, it had a lot of these goals in mind. Then, when it got absorbed by Clear Channel, the company focused on corporate synergy -- sometimes at the expense of fans. You would end up with Clear Channel radio stations plugging shows at Clear Channel concert venues sponsored by Clear Channel advertising clients. And fans felt left out.
Spun back out on its own, Live Nation's reconnecting with its roots. That's a good thing, because there are a lot of really great people working at Live Nation who care deeply about the concert-going experience. It's my hope (and, I think, theirs) that all the sharp minds at Musictoday will help them get even better about putting on great shows for fans that actually make money for venues and artists in the process.