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Ticketmaster benefits from record month of on-sales

Ticketmaster experienced its busiest month ever in June as a record number of on-sales were launched by parent company Live Nation.

According to Q2 financials released by Live Nation, June was Ticketmaster North America’s fourth best month in history for transacted ticket volume, driven in part by its US concerts division putting the highest number of shows on sale ever during a single month – 50% more than the next highest month back in March 2019.

Live Nation said total revenue for the three months to June 30 was $575.9m, which compared to just $74.1m in the corresponding period in 2020, during the height of global lockdown. 

Concerts accounted for $287.0m, with a $244.0m contribution from ticketing.

The group made an operating loss of $127.3m, which compared to a $588.1m loss a year ago. 

Live Nation said it has structurally reduced its cost basis by $200m as it seeks to convert more of its revenue to operating income and adjusted operating income. It has integrated its Ticketmaster team globally as it works toward a global product roadmap that will both reduce costs and increase flexibility and speed to deploy new client tools.

It added that it is continuing to build its direct-to-consumer businesses, with initiatives ranging from streaming concerts to NFTs to artist merchandise, bringing more value to artists and deepening fan relationships.

“The momentum for the return to live events has been building every month, with ticket sales and concert attendance pacing faster than expected, underscoring the strength and resiliency of the concert business and live events in general,” said Michael Rapino, Live Nation chief executive and president.

“This progress, combined with our cost discipline, has enabled us to deliver positive adjusted operating income for the second quarter, well ahead of where we thought we would for this quarter.

“We expect to see further ramp-up accelerate through the rest of the year, with improving operating income and all segments returning to adjusted operating income profitability for the second half of the year, setting us up for a full-scale 2022.”

Live Nation said it expects to have over six million fans attend its festivals during the second half of the year, with about two-thirds of festivals increasing their attendance compared to 2019. Most of its festivals sold out in record time while average ticket prices have been 10% higher than 2019.

He added: “In the US and the UK, we are seeing strong ticket sales and the restart of our concerts and festivals, highlighted over the past weekends by Lollapalooza and Rolling Loud in the US and Latitude in the UK hosting a combined three quarters of a million fans. With vaccine rollouts increasing throughout Canada and Europe, we expect additional markets to open more broadly in the coming months.”

Live Nation added that Ticketmaster’s technology services continue to attract new clients, adding 11 million net new fee bearing tickets so far this year – already surpassing any previous full year growth. Ticketmaster will therefore benefit in 2022 from both increased Live Nation concert ticket sales as well as additional sales from new client.

Image: Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash