Live Nation continues to post record financial results with today’s Q2 earnings report that shows income, ticket sales, and attendance – as well as ticket prices and per person onsite spending – up by double digit percentages over the same period in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.
Among the highlights are a 40% increase in revenue (relative to 2019) to $4.4 billion, 86% increase in operating income to $319 million and operating income rose 50% to $480 million over the quarter.
Live Nation clocked record quarterly attendance with more than 33 million fans pushing the turnstiles at some 12,500 events. Of the 6 million-attendee increase over 2019, 5 million were attributable to Live Nation efforts in international markets.
Ticketmaster, a Live Nation company, reports a record quarter as well with AOI up 86% and gross transacted value up 76%. The company also reports that average ticket price jumped 10% through June, which Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino characterized as “largely in line with the U.S. inflation level over the period.” He also notes the average “entry level” ticket price remains $33, while onsite fan spending is up 20% at all venues.
Rapino also alluded to dynamic ticketing, in the news recently with some Bruce Springsteen fans expressing sticker shock over the price of some of the highest-priced VIP packages for his upcoming North American tour, saying that artists are widely adopting the practice – and keeping more of their own money on the table.
“With market-based pricing being widely adopted by most tours, we expect to shift over $500 million from the secondary market to artists this year, continuing to support those who created the concert and ensuring they are benefiting from it,” Rapino said.
It’s born out by the increases in not only revenue but in increased fan spending that can be attributed to improvements in VIP and other amenities, including food and beverage offerings, camping and other perks for those with the ability to spend up.
In any event, the second quarter results are fairly spectacular for the world’s largest concert promoter, despite global inflationary fears and lingering COVID concerns – and if current onsales for future shows are any indication, ticketbuyers don’t seem to be making purchasing decisions based on such worries.
Live Nation reports it has already sold more than 100 million tickets for 2022 concerts, more than were sold during all of record-setting 2019. At the same time, concert bookings are up more than 30% for all venue types vs. 2019, and almost 30 new venues have been added to Live Nation’s global portfolio.
“The second quarter confirmed that the live entertainment industry is back globally and bigger than ever,” Rapino said in a statement. “Live Nation led this return, and continues to deliver the best global network to support artists as they play shows for their fans around the world.
“Every key operating metric is at an all-time high, as we promoted more concerts, had more fans attend shows where they spent more money, sold more tickets and enabled brands to connect with fans at a scale we have never seen before.”