Live Nation Reports Record $22.7B Revenue In 2023

ALL SHE SURVEYS: Beyoncé performs onstage during the “Renaissance World Tour” at Johan Cruijff Arena on June 18, 2023 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. “Renaissance” was Live Nation’s top-grossing tour of 2023 and a major driver of its record revenue reported Thursday (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood)

Across-the-board increases in concert attendance, ticket sales and sponsorship revenue drove Live Nation to new heights in 2023.

The company reported $22.7 billion in revenue in its year-end earnings report filed after market close Thursday. That’s a 36 percent increase over 2022’s year-end number.

For the fourth quarter, Live Nation (NYSE: LYV) reported revenues of $5.84 billion, an increase of 36 percent over the same quarter last year. That’s a beat, well over the analysts’ consensus expectations of $4.72 billion.

On the bottom line, for the quarter, LN took a loss of $81.5 million. That equates to a quarterly loss of $0.35 per share. That too is a beat, as analysts planned for a $1.08 EPS loss. It’s also an improvement over the same quarter last year, when LN took a $120 million loss. Year-end EPS was $1.37, more than double last year.

Live Nation saw year-over-year increases in every sector of its business. Concert revenues for the year were up 39 percent to nearly $18.8 billion, ticketing was up 32 percent to nearly $3 billion and sponsorship was up a more modest 13 percent, but cracked the billion-dollar mark to $1.068 billion.

“The live music industry reached new heights in 2023, and demand for live music continues to build. Our digital world empowers artists to develop global followings, while inspiring fans to crave in-person experiences more than ever. At the same time, the industry is delivering a wider variety of concerts which draws in new audiences, and developing more venues to support a larger show pipeline,” LN President and CEO Michael Rapino said in an earnings statement. “Against this backdrop, we expect all our businesses to continue growing and adding value to artists and fans as we deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth again this year, with our profitability compounding by double-digits over the next several years.”

Live Nation says it staged more than 50,000 concerts in 2023, drawing more than 145 million attendees worldwide. The company says its business is increasingly global with 50 percent more international artists in its top 50 tours compared to 2019. Tours are also 15 percent longer than they were in that pre-pandemic baseline year.

Overall fan growth was up 20 percent, with 25 percent increases in overseas markets and 17 percent in North America. Stadium show attendance was up 60 percent to 29 million

On-site per-ticket spending ended the year up double digits in all of LN’s venue sectors — amphitheaters, festivals, clubs and theaters and cracking the $40 per-fan mark in sheds.

Gross transaction value for Ticketmaster ended at $36 billion, up 30 percent from last year, matching reported gains from the quarterly reports. Total tickets were up 13 percent to 620 million, including 329 million fee-bearing tickets, an increase of 17 percent. LN says of the 21 million net new client tickets, 80 percent were from overseas markets.

Looking forward, LN predicts a strong 2024, as well.

Ticket sales for 2024 events are ahead of 2023 by about 6 percent with double-digit increases in arenas and sheds. The pipeline is fuller as well — with venues at 65 percent booked; at this time last year it was 50 percent. Sponsorship commitments are booked at 75 percent for the year, with growth driven by increases in Latin America and Asia.

Deferred revenue at year’s end was $2.9 billion, up 8 percent from last year and fee-bearing GTV is up double digits to $13 billion.

LN expects strong growth particularly in the second and third quarters of 2024.

The earnings release also touted LN’s “On The Road Again” program, which provides $1,500 in gas and travel cash per show to all headliners and supporting acts playing Live Nation clubs and eliminated merch cuts at LN’s owned-and-operated clubs. That program, the company says, is now extended through 2024. LN says it invested more than $13 billion in artists in 2023, up 40 percent. The company promoted more than 7,000 touring artists in more than 40 countries.