Live Nation Reports 2018 Was Eighth Straight Record Year

Live Nation rang up its eighth consecutive year of record results with revenue, operating income, and adjusted operating income all up year-over-year, even adjusting for the 2017 impact of a $110 million legal accrual, according to the company’s financial reports for the fourth quarter and calendar year 2018 released Feb. 28.

U.S. consumer spending on live experiences grew by $5 billion per year over the last 10 years, according to the company, which adds that it believes the trend will “structurally continue driving increased demand for concerts globally.”
Live Nation reports attendance rose by double digits in 2018 across arenas, sheds, theaters and clubs. Globally, more than 93 million ticketbuyers spun turnstyles, up some 7 million from the prior year. Concert revenue was up 11 percent, operating income up 61 percent, and adjusted operating income rose 22 percent in 2018.
Ticket sales and show counts for 2019 are up by double digits to date, the company reports. While the income from those sales isn’t booked until shows are performed, it’s a strong indicator of performance to come.
“The strength of our business is continuing into 2019, with ticket sales for shows this year up double-digits through mid-February, along with similar increases in confirmed amphitheater, arena and stadium show count,” Live Nation President/CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement. “With this growth and our plans to further monetize our fan relationships, I currently expect this will translate into continued strong growth in concerts operating income and AOI in 2019.”
Sponsorship revenue, operating income all rose by 13 percent in 2018 and the company reports that more than 70 percent of Live Nation’s budgeted sponsorship net revenue for 2019 is already committed.
Ticketmaster reports its fee-bearing gross transactional value rose 14 percent with a total GTV of $33 billion. The year also saw TM deploying its Presence digital ticketing platform, “which we see as key for effectively unlocking the value of our customer relationships across our ticketing, concerts and sponsorship businesses,” Rapino stated.  By year end, Live Nation reports Presence was launched in more than 200 venues, operating 20,000 events for 40 million fans, approximately half of whom used digital tickets.
Rapino projects Presence will be available more than 500 venues by the end of 2019.