Warner Music France has become the latest major record company to enter the live music business, acquiring tour production, promotion and booking company Jean-Claude Camus Productions for an undisclosed sum.
"We want to offer our artists the skills and professionalism of Jean-Claude’s people so that we can assist them in achieving their artistic goals," said Warner Music France president Thierry Chassagne.
"Jean-Claude Camus Productions will continue to enjoy a large degree of autonomy in the management of its own development."
Although Warner has a longstanding relationship with Paris-based Camus, it looks to have developed further during Johnny Hallyday’s last tour and recent live co-productions for Christophe Mae and Emmanuel Moire.
Camus has spent more than 50 years promoting French acts including Hallyday, Sheila, Sylvie Vartan, Patrick Bruel, Patrick Fiori and Jean-Michel Jarre. The company has also co-produced shows for international acts – usually working with Pascal Bernardin and Gilbert Coullier – including Bob Marley, Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson and The Rolling Stones.
"When Thierry proposed this agreement, I immediately appreciated the good fit of our two businesses and that working together could further the interests of artists," Jean-Claude Camus explained.
WMF says this is the latest effort to expand and diversify the opportunities it can deliver for its artists. Last year Warner Music France 360° was created, overseeing licensing, merchandising, synchronization, video content, digital and interactive support as well as live, sponsorship and brand partnerships.
It’s not the only change the French live music biz has witnessed since the turn of the year. Eight smaller, although quite prolific, promoters have teamed to form a joint venture company called L’Arrière Boutique.
Bernard Batzen of Azimuth, organizer of Les Meditterrannees Festival, is reportedly working with Bleu Citron, Blue Line, Caramba, Pbox, Pyrprod, Yapucca and Zamora – all of which represent mainly French acts – to try to offset the problems caused by record companies spending less on marketing and tour support.
They’ve set up a Web portal at larriereboutique.fr, which will provide information on concert dates, ticket sales and artist downloads.
The new company is also said to be working as an umbrella under which the eight participating companies hope to combine their purchasing power to negotiate better prices for such things as advertising, print costs, tour buses, PA and lights, and backline rentals.