EMI Buying Merchandiser Loudclothing.com To Link With Live Nation, AEG

EMI is buying Loudclothing.com, a Leicester, England-based retailer of band t-shirts and other accessories, as it looks to broaden the range of activities it offers to artists.

The acquisition is from Completely Independent Distribution (CID), whose founder Nic Wastell will now become EMI’s European VP of merchandise, a unit it formed in April through a tie-up with Live Nation (NYSE: LYV) and AEG.

Though recorded-music sales are struggling, live is one of the few areas that’s powering ahead – unlike a CD or MP3, it’s hard to replicate the experience of being at a live concert. But that’s exactly what EMI said it would do last month, when it set up Abbey Road Live, a wing to quickly record gigs at the venues and sell them to punters on the way out, as well as on the web. Labels are trying to diversify from just recorded music by signing artists on so-called “360 deals”, in which the label handles the majority of their business.

The announcement says it’s about “combining the great team and assets of Loudclothing.com with rights from Live Nation and AEG Live”.

Loudclothing.com sells t-shirts, watches, hats etc – most of which is for fans of bands, but there are also items about cartoons and movies. The sale price isn’t disclosed.