Live Nation’s busy summer drives record third quarter

Featured image credit: Live Nation Entertainment

Live Nation Entertainment has reported a record third quarter, powered by a busy summer with concerts from the likes of The Weeknd, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bad Bunny.

Reported revenue for the third quarter amounted to $6.2bn (£5.52bn/€6.33bn) made up of $5.3bn for concerts; $531m for ticketing; $343m for sponsorship and advertising and a loss of $13.7m for other and eliminations. 

Consolidated operating income amounted to $506m, while adjusted operated income totalled $620.7m. This was made up of $280.8m for concerts; $163.2m for ticketing; $226.2m for sponsorship and advertising; a loss of $3.4m for other and eliminations; and a loss of $46.1m for corporate. 

The results were spurred on by a successful summer of live music, with Live Nation reporting its highest ever quarterly attendance. Over 44 million fans attended 11,000 events, while 89 million fans attended 31,000 events across the year until the end of September. 

Live Nation president and chief executive Michael Rapino said: “Fans around the world continue prioritising their spend on live events, particularly concerts.  Despite varying economic headwinds including inflation, we have not seen any pullback in demand, as on-sales, on-site spending, advertising and all other operating metrics continue showing strong year-on-year growth.

“With this demand, revenue was up over 60% relative to Q3 of 2019, with each division up at least 30%.  Operating Income was up 95% to $506m, with all divisions up at least 60% and AOI was up 45% to $621m, with all divisions up at least 25%.”

Live Nation’s ticketing platform Ticketmaster witnessed its highest gross transaction value (GTV) quarter ever. The platform transacted $6.7bn of fee-generating GTV on 71 million tickets, up 69% and 42% respectively, relative to Q3 in 2019. 

GTV growth was also strong across primary and secondary markets up 51% and 132% respectively, with concerts driving 80% of the growth in primary, and concerts and sports driving secondary growth. 

Live Nation also said that stadiums had a particularly strong quarter with fan count more than tripling to nearly nine million fans. Its venues also hosted more fans, with attendance increasing by 14% compared to Q3 in 2019. 

Nineteen million fans attended during the quarter, with 38 million fans attending up until the end of September. The entertainment giant is predicting that it will host more than 50 million fans at its festivals and Venue Nation division this year. 

Sponsorship also marked its biggest quarter ever, driven by festivals and online partnerships. On-site and online interest in sponsorship is up 64% and 63% respectively this year, and festival sponsorship has been the largest growth-driver on-site. 

Looking forward to 2023, Rapino added: “Clearly 2022 has been an incredible year of returning to live events, and we expect it to finish strong.  Ticket sales for concerts this year were up 34% for the quarter, and now stand at over 115 million tickets sold for shows this year, up 37% from this point in 2019.

“More importantly, momentum is strong with early signs pointing to continued growth in 2023 across our businesses.  Ticket sales for shows in 2023 are pacing even stronger than they were heading into 2022, up double-digits year-over-year, excluding sales from rescheduled shows.  In our sponsorship business, confirmed commitments are up 30% from this time last year, showing the resiliency and long-term commitments that brands have for our business.”