Live Nation sees 21% revenue increase in Q1

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Live Nation’s revenue for the first quarter of 2024 has risen some 21% to total $3.8bn (£3bn/€3.5bn), up from last year’s posting of $3.1bn. 

The ticketing segment accounted for $723m of this, compared to $678m in the same quarter the year prior, while concerts accounted for $2.9bn; an increase from $2.3bn in 2023’s first quarter.

Sponsorships and advertising attracted $211m compared to $170m in Q1 last year. Operating income loss amounted to $37m, meaning adjusted operating income (AOI) has increased 15% to $367m.

Ticketmaster’s $723m in revenue was a 7% increase, and its AOI rose 5% to total $284m. Roughly 77 million fee-bearing tickets were sold, while fee-bearing Gross Transaction Value (GTV) reached nearly $8bn.

Q1 also saw 23 million fans attend shows, a growth of 21%, with arenas leading that increase – a 40% rise to nearly 10 million fans globally. Additionally, festival attendance growth increased by double-digits, driven in particular by Latin American markets. Year-to-date ticket sales totalled 86 million for shows in 2024, consistent with 2023 despite reduced stadium activity.

Sponsorship and advertising’s total of $211m equated to a 24% increase, the highest Q1 ever for this segment.

Confirmed shows for larger venues such as stadiums, arenas and amphitheatres increased by double-digits, with growth led by arenas and amphitheatres. More than 85% of full-year shows at larger venues have been booked, compared to approximately 75% this time last year.

Live Nation’s Venue Nation also revealed plans to open at least 12 major venues globally across 2024 and 2025, as well as two refurbishment projects in the US and Mexico to be completed this year.

Full-year AOI and free cash flow (FCF) conversion is expected to be in line with 2023 levels, excluding potential payout associated with legal accrual. Event-related deferred revenue of $4.4bn is consistent with Q1 this time last year, and Q1 2024 ended with $6.5bn in cash and cash equivalents, including $1.4bn in ticketing client cash and $1.4bn in free cash.

Approximately 93% of debt is at a fixed rate, with an average cost of debt of 4.6%.

“Our Q1 results demonstrate that live events remain a priority for fans around the world. Global fan demand is stronger than ever, more artists are out on the road, and more venues are being added to bring them together. While operating income will be impacted by one-time accruals, we’re on track to deliver another record year with double-digit AOI growth and years of momentum still to come,” said Michael Rapino, president and chief executive of Live Nation Entertainment.