Live Nation Entertainment on ‘song’



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Live Nation publishes first quarter results Image: Live Nation Entertainment

The world’s leading live entertainment company Live Nation Entertainment released on May 5th its financial results for the quarter ended March 31st, 2022.

The ‘Live Nation Entertainment’ stated that momentum has picked up for all of its businesses over the course of the first quarter, and as a result, the company delivered financial performance that greatly surpassed its previous expectations, with operating income of $27 million and the adjusted operating income (AOI) of $209 million.

Artistes are back on the road and fan demand has never been stronger, reflections that live events remain a clear priority for consumers as social lives restart.

California (US)-based Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprising global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts and Live Nation Media and Sponsorship.
 

Ticketing push

Ticket buying serves as a leading indicator to the company’s overall business. Ticketmaster’s strong first quarter performance drove the company’s overall profitability, and shows how well its concert and sponsorship businesses are positioned to deliver record results this year.

Despite some markets taking longer to reopen, the quarter was the company’s second highest ever for transacted gross transaction value (GTV) excluding refunds, trailing only Q4 2021, with March being the company’s highest month ever for transacted GTV, excluding refunds.

In primary ticketing, the company is now benefiting from the 17 million net new fee bearing tickets it gained in 2021, which helped drive transacted GTV for the quarter up 33 percent relative to Q1 2019. This quarter the company also added seven million net new additional tickets through new contracts with venues as well as content creators, setting up for ongoing growth this year and into 2023.

The company’s secondary ticketing GTV growth was even higher, up 106 percent relative to Q1 2019, driven largely by: Average resale ticket price being up almost 20 percent relative to Q1 2019 as tremendous fan demand pushed up the market pricing. Ticketmaster gained additional market share by effectively leveraging its team and league partnerships across the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and other sporting events, and the market growing at a double-digit pace, demonstrating high demand for live events as well as how much runway there is to continue pricing efficiently.
 

Sponsorship push

The ‘Live Nation Entertainment’ further stated that sponsorship activity fully returned in Q1, delivering financial results that well exceeded Q1 2019. The company is seeing growth along a number of dimensions – expansion of existing relationships, new categories expanding its breadth of partners and new ad units being created both onsite and online.

The number of strategic sponsors that generated over $1 million of revenue per year has risen by close to 30 percent since 2019, with their committed spend up 70 percent and accounting for 80 percent of its total sponsorship revenue. About 60 percent of this growth has come from three categories of particular priority over the past two years – technology, telecom and purchase path integration – which have collectively more than doubled their sponsorship since 2019.

Much of the company’s focus with brand partners is how it will collectively elevate the fan experience. Through its partnership with Verizon, Live Nation Entertainment started powering its venues with cutting-edge 5G connectivity and launched an initiative with Snap to give artistes augmented reality (AR) capabilities at shows and festivals.

At this point its sponsorship sales are up double digits relative to this point in 2019, and it has sold 90 percent of its planned sponsorship for the year, positioning itself for continued strong financial performance.
 

Concerts push

All leading indicators point to double-digit growth in fan attendance at the company’s concerts this year relative to 2019. Approximately, 11 million fans attended its shows in the first quarter compared to 15 million in Q1 2019 – this was expected as it planned for limited concert activity in the early months of the year to allow for markets to open.
 

Upbeat

Looking ahead to the Summer and the rest of the year, the company remains optimistic that it is just getting going as all leading indicators reinforce record activity levels and financial results.

Ticketing sales were at a record level in Q1, with momentum building over February and March. It has sold almost 20 million more tickets to its concerts this year than at this point in 2019, with a large number of tours still to go on-sale. Concert fans are showing no signs of slowing down – they are paying more for the best tickets, attending the shows and spending more onsite as they create lifetime memories.

Sponsors are looking to spend more than ever on live entertainment and Live Nation’s scale and global platform is making the entertainment company the partner of choice. While the United States and the United Kingdom have driven much of its activity over the past year, the rest of the world is now rapidly opening up.

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