Live Nation Entertainment has witnessed its revenue soar by 44% to $16.7bn (£13.9bn/€15.8bn) in 2022 compared to pre-pandemic revenue in 2019.
The entertainment giant brought in $13.5bn for concerts in 2022 compared to $4.7bn in 2021, and $2.2bn for ticketing last year compared to $1.1bn during the year prior.
Sponsorship and advertising amounted to $968m in 2022 compared to $412m in 2021. Overall, consolidated operating income amounted to $732m in 2022 compared to a loss of $418m in 2021.
Adjusted operating income (AOI) for concerts amounted to $170m compared to a loss of $221m the year prior, and ticketing brought in an AOI of $827.9m compared to $421m in 2021. Sponsorship and advertising posted a total AOI of $592m compared to $242.2m the year before.
The estimated number of fee-bearing tickets sold amounted to 281 million while 270 million non-fee-bearing tickets were reported, with the total of 551 million estimated tickets sold in 2022. This is compared to 277 million sold in 2021 and 120 million in 2020.
Revenue in the fourth quarter for concerts amounted to $3.40bn compared to $2.0bn in Q4 in 2021, and ticketing revenue totalled $651m compared to $488m in the fourth quarter of 2021. Sponsorship and advertising brought in $246m in the fourth quarter of last year compared to a total of $170m in 2021 Q4.
Consolidating operating income in the fourth quarter of 2022 amounted to a loss of $120m compared to a loss of $125m in Q4 in 2021. AOI for the fourth quarter equalled a loss of $185m in 2022 compared to $122m in 2021, and AOI in the ticketing segment totalled $228m in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to $212m in 2021. Sponsorship and advertising’s AOI in the fourth quarter of 2022 equalled a loss of $4.7m compared to a loss of $2.3m the year prior.
In a press release, Live Nation said: “In 2022, we saw fans around the world continue to prioritise their spending on attending live events, particularly concerts. Our research consistently tells us that concerts are a top priority for discretionary spending, and one of the last experiences fans will cut back on – and we are seeing this play out in both our results for 2022 and early indicators for 2023.
“With this strong demand, last year in the concert business we had 121 million fans attend our shows across 45 countries, while in ticketing, we helped connect 550 million fans with their favourite artists, teams and other performers. In both cases, the majority of our growth came from international markets, further reinforcing the global nature of untapped fan demand and the opportunities we have for growth, as we help artists reach more fans with their live music.”
Live Nation also announced its support for a FAIR Ticketing Act, which stands for ‘Fans & Artists Insisting on Reforms in Ticketing’.
It calls for artists to be able to decide resale rules, to keep pricing low for attendees and prevent scalpers from exploiting fans. It also calls for it to be illegal to sell speculative tickets, which sees scalpers use deceptive tactics to trick fans into spending more or buying tickets that the seller does not have.
Further calls including expanding the ‘BOTS Act’ and increasing enforcement to deter those that break the law, and crack down on resale sites that make it easy for ticket scalpers and mandate all-in pricing nationally, so that fans know the price of tickets fully before reaching check-out.
Live Nation added that six states in the US had already passed legislation protecting resale including Illinois, Colorado, Connecticut, New York, Virginia and Utah. Another six are currently considering new laws to protect resale including California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington.