Live Nation Reports Record Q3 Earnings on Back of Blockbuster Summer Season

Increased attendance at events at every level from clubs to stadium drove a record third quarter for Live Nation, the company reported in its Q3 report Thursday.

LN reported revenue of nearly $6.2 billion, up 63 percent against Q3 of 2019, the standard comparison as the industry returns to in-person events after two years of COVID-19 shutdowns.

As for the bottom line, Live Nation reported operating income of $506.2 million and net income of $397.4 million, both up strong against Q2. Generally, LN highlights “adjusted operating income” in its reports, a non-GAAP measure that does not include depreciation of certain assets nor non-recoupable ticket sales advances.

The company beat expectations with a reported earnings per share of $1.39, well above the consensus analyst expectation of $1.05.

Though Live Nation reported increases of at least 30 percent in all divisions, the main driver, of course, remained concert revenue.

Live Nation says it staged more 11,000 concerts in 50 countries, drawing 44 million attendees in the quarter ending Sept. 30. That resulted in nearly $5.3 billion in revenue, driven by double-digit attendance growth in every type of venue operated by the company: clubs, theaters, sheds, arenas, stadiums and festivals.

Big stadium plays by Bad Bunny, The Weeknd and Red Hot Chili Peppers led to “a particularly strong quarter” in that sector, with “fan count more than tripling to nearly nine million fans,” the company said in its earnings release.

The demand has driven what the company calls “greater market pricing” for its events — that’s increased ticket prices — and the company expects to “transfer over $550 million of additional payments to artists this year.”

Despite inflationary pressures and the resultant general trend of consumers being more judicious with their spending, on-site fan spend was up 20 to 30 percent at venues in the United States and Europe, the company reported. As a result, the company says it intends to increase premium options.

Ticketmaster reported its highest gross transaction value quarter ever, continuing a trend in that sector of Live Nation’s business. All spots in the list of the top 10 GTV months all-time for Ticketmaster have occurred in the last year.

The sponsorship sector also had a record quarter, surpassing the previous record set in Q2. Though both domestic and international business showed strong growth, the 93 percent increase in overseas sponsorship was a huge driver in the increase.

Looking forward, the company expects the growth to continue in Q4 and into 2023. Excluding sales from rescheduled shows, ticket sales for 2023 show double-digit growth year-over-year from ’22 and sponsorship commitments are up 30 percent.