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Live Nation confident of future shows despite major revenue fall

Live Nation confident of future shows despite major revenue fall
February 27, 2021

Global entertainment giant has revealed a 92% fall in its year-on-year income in the fourth quarter of 2020 with its revenue falling to an all-time low.

However, despite the US-based company posting US$1.86 billion in revenue for the full year, down 84% from 2019, confidence in the return of live entertainment has seen the business’ share price  has risen a level higher than its pre-COVID price of early 2020.

Live Nation’s revenue for the fourth quarter was down to US$178.4 million from nearly US$2.3 billion in the previous year, while overall revenue for 2020 was almost US$8 billion less than in 2019.

The company, which owns ticketing giant Ticketmaster, lost about US$368 million between its concert and ticketing divisions in the fourth quarter and lost $1 billion for the year as a whole.

Ticketing revenue fell 98% while concert revenue fell 92%.

Despite facing its most difficult trading year for revenue and ticket sales, Live Nation President and Chief Executive, Michael Rapino expressed optimism for the projected return of live events in 2021.

During an earnings call and citing conversations with governors of US states, Rapino advised of “a clear outline to a 75% to 100%” capacity for outdoor US events in 2021, noting “we are seeing … what we’ve been talking about (fans) are excited to get back to the show as soon as we get the green lights in these markets to open up.”

Rapino (pictured below) went on to say “we continue to have a substantial tailwind in the live event industry, as consumers more than ever are looking to spend on experiences.

“The supply-demand fundamentals of the concerts business remain strong, with artists ready to get back on the road and fans eager to reconnect at events. All our data continues to show that there is substantial pent-up demand for concerts on the consumer demand side.”

Rapino also made reference to a recent survey that indicated 95% of fans are likely to attend a concert when restrictions are lifted and predicted that the pipeline for 2022 is much stronger than usual.

He noted that there are almost “twice as many major touring artists on cycle in 2022 than a typical year - about 45 artists versus the usual 25. And there remains plenty of scheduling availability at arenas, amphitheatres and stadiums to accommodate these additional tours, with over two-thirds of these venues’ nights unused by sporting events or major concerts in a typical year.”

Following Live Nation’s report, its share price rose to surpass a pre-pandemic high, hitting US$87.22 at the time of publication, compared with US$67.76 a year ago.

Looking back on last year, Rapino added “as we look back on 2020, it is clearly not the year anyone predicted, but I am very proud of how Live Nation has dug in and focused on turning this challenge into an opportunity to improve our business.

“Given the massive social and economic toll that the lockdown has had on the public, we believe there will be strong momentum to reopen society swiftly as soon as vaccines are readily available. And we believe outdoor activities will be the first to happen.

“So while the timing of our return to live will continue to vary across global markets, every sign points to it beginning safely in many countries sometime this summer and scaling further from there.”

Live Nation also advised that 83% of fans continue to hold on to their tickets for shows postponed during 2020, and advised of a US$950 million reduction in costs in 2020 and US$1.65 billion in cash savings.

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14th February 2021 - Wellington’s Sky Stadium hosts largest crowd for a concert anywhere in the world for nearly a year

14th February 2021 - ASM Global’s Harvey Lister looks to ‘full revival’ of live events in 2022

20th January 2021 - Western Australia’s live entertainment sector unhappy with state’s tighter event restrictions

8th January 2021 - Live performance paused in Brisbane as Queensland Premier announces city-wide lockdown

16th December 2020 - Coronavirus halted booming year for Australia’s live music sector

30th November 2020 - Coopers Brewery helps live music sector rebound from COVID-19

5th November 2020 - Save Our Stages NSW calls on public to help save the state’s live music industry

23rd October 2020 - Survey shows over 400 Australian Live Music Businesses face imminent closure

22nd October 2020 - Ticketmaster Australia and New Zealand announce new leadership appointments

14th October 2020 - Live entertainment industry counts the cost of COVID

21st September 2020 - Live Nation appoints senior leadership roles within its Asia Pacific division

13th August 2020 - Ticket refunds drive down Live Nation revenues

12th August 2020 - Australia’s Chief Medical Officer says ‘high risk’ live music events are still a long way off

11th August 2020 - Federal Government announces guidelines on live music restart funding

10th August 2020 - Live Performance Australia releases comprehensive COVIDSafe guidelines

18th June 2020 - Live Entertainment Industry Forum welcomes return of sports fans in Queensland

12th June 2020 - Live Entertainment Industry Forum welcomes potential easing of restrictions on outdoor sport and entertainment venues

20th May 2020 - Live Nation to launch socially distanced concerts at Auckland’s The Tuning Fork

11th May 2020 - Live Nation says no return to ‘full scale’ concerts until 2021 as it looks to drive-in events

28th April 2020 - Saudi Arabian investment fund acquires 5.7% stake in Live Nation

25th April 2020 - Ticketmaster to honour refunds to all cancelled or postponed shows and events

13th February 2020 - Ticketmaster expands Asian operations in Taiwan and Singapore

8th February 2020 - Ticketmaster Australia selects 10 local artists predicted for success in 2020

20th February 2018 - LPA releases new Safety Guidelines for the Live Entertainment and Events Industries


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