Live Nation Reports $3.1B In First Quarter Revenue

On the back of higher than expected ticket sales and increases in nearly every market sector, Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) reported $3.1 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2023, according to its quarterly earnings statement, issued after market close Thursday.

That’s a beat for LYV, with the analysts’ consensus pegged at $2.23 billion.

On the bottom line, LYV reported operating income of $142.8 million, more than five times higher than Q1 last year.

“2023 is off to a tremendous start,” the company’s report stated. “For the first time in three years, all of our markets are fully open.  The common theme we are seeing around the world is that live experiences are a high priority for fans.

“In the first quarter, we delivered record results across all divisions, as well as record support for artists. From ticket sales, to attendance, and onsite spend – every sign points to incredible demand for live events.  In the first quarter, over 19 million fans attended our shows across 45 countries and we sold over 145 million tickets with record levels of activity across all markets.”

Concert revenue was nearly $2.3 billion, an 89 percent increase year-over-year. Sponsorship was up 47 percent to $170 million. Many analysts predicted a decrease in ticketing revenue against Q1 2022 — the consensus was LYV would report just shy of $400 million — but Live Nation defied expectations there as well, with $677.7 million in ticketing revenues in the first three months of 2023.

“We sold 73 million fee-bearing tickets in the first quarter, up 40% and delivered $7.7 billion in fee-bearing gross transaction value, up 60% vs first quarter 2022.  We are seeing growth in both volume and pricing across our global markets.  This holds true across all event types from concerts to sports,” the company said.

Though per-caps are generally stronger in the outdoor season, LYV said fan spending showed growth in the indoor season, with an expectation it will continue when shows move outside in the Northern Hemisphere spring and summer.

LYV says its sold 90 million tickets for 2023 shows thus far, 20 percent higher than the same point in 2022. The company says consumer attitudes and market research indicates further growth with “live experiences” leading the way among leisure spending categories.

“We expect to host a record number of fans this year, even against a 2022 comparison which benefited from rescheduled shows attended by 20 million fans.  Ticketmaster should also deliver record activity, with around 600 million tickets managed globally this year,” the company said.

LYV closed at $67.08 Thursday, down 21 cents from Wednesday’s close.