Live Nation Delivers Record Operating Income As Revenue Drops In Q3
According to Live Nation, operating income grew 11% in the quarter and 12% year-to-date while AOI grew 11% in the quarter and 13% year-to-date, handily beating last year’s Q3 results which were also records for the company.
Live Nation reported revenue for the quarter of $3.73bn, which was down 2% from the $3.83bn they reported in Q3 2018.
Live Nation reported that concert demand continues to accelerate and stated that through mid-October, they have sold 92 million tickets, which is a 6% improvement over 2018. According to Live Nation, 73 million fans attended more than 26 thousand concerts and generating $113 million in operating income, which is up 14%, and $333 million in AOI, which is up 17% from last year.
“Our international business has been particularly robust this year, delivering much of our fan growth with a strong year for stadiums and theaters, while in the United States our arena and theater activity was also up. As we have grown our show volume and the breadth of artists with which we work, we have also been more effective in pricing tickets closer to market value, particularly with our platinum pricing tool. So far this year we have had over 3,000 arena and amphitheater shows use platinum tickets, with a 54% increase in the number of platinum tickets sold per show,” Live Nation Chairman and CEO Michael Rapino said.
Live Nation also touted other aspects of their “concert flywheel” noting that the average event revenue per fan from hospitality was up in all of their venues, most notably in amphitheaters where average revenue per fan increased by $2.50 to over $29 per person.
Live Nation’s Sponsorship unit reported double-digit growth for the quarter, growing operating income by 17% and adjusted operating income by 18% for the quarter. For the full 9 months of 2019, sponsorship revenue has grown by 11% year-to-date at Live Nation venues, while festival sponsorship has grown by 31%.
Ticketmaster grew operating income growth by 30% and generated its highest AOI quarter ever, up 20% from last year, while revenue for the unit hit $388.5 million for the quarter, up 5% from the same period in 2018.
“This growth continues to provide Ticketmaster the scale to invest in the evolution from paper tickets to digital, which is being demanded by venues and content that are seeking greater control of their tickets and looking to develop a more direct connection with fans,” Rapino said.
“Our Presence rollout is pacing ahead of schedule, and we expect digital ticketing to be installed at over 700 venues, representing 120 million tickets, by the end of this year, with over 60% of the fans at digital-enabled events now entering with their mobile devices,” he added.
Rapino also provided a rosy view of business operations for the company in 2020, noting that the concert pipeline for next year was already filling up with over 1,500 stadium, arena and amphitheater shows booked already.
“And as we look forward, we continue seeing tremendous opportunity to expand our global concerts and festivals business, driving further growth in on-site execution, sponsorship and ticketing,” Rapino said.
photo: Rapino (Live Nation / Rainer Hosch)