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Live Nation reveals another record year with 11% rise in global revenues
Live Nation has reported that 2018 was its eighth consecutive year of record results, with ticketing activity rising by 14% and attendances rising by 8% from 2017.
Last year saw the global live entertainment group deliver double-digit attendance growth across arenas, amphitheatres and theatres and clubs, adding nearly seven millions fans globally for a total of 93 million attendees. This drove concerts revenue up 11%, operating income up 61% and adjusted operating income (AOI) up 22%.
Live Nation subsidiary Ticketmaster, saw fee-bearing gross transaction value (GTV) up 14% and total platform GTV of US$33 billion. This drove a 14% increase in ticketing revenue for the year, and delivered growth in operating income and AOI.
The fourth quarter of 2018 delivered Ticketmaster’s highest fee-bearing GTV quarter ever, selling over 60 million tickets and delivering over US$5 billion in fee-bearing GTV. Overall in 2018, Ticketmaster managed over 400,000 events, selling almost 500 million tickets to fans in 28 countries.
Commenting on the results, Live Nation President and Chief Executive, Michael Rapino stated “our top priority at Ticketmaster in 2018 was deploying our Presence digital ticketing solution, which we see as key for effectively unlocking the value of our customer relationships across our ticketing, concerts and sponsorship businesses. By the end of 2018, we deployed Presence in over 200 venues, operating 20,000 events for 40 million fans, approximately half of whom used digital tickets.”
Adding added that in 2019, Ticketmaster is hoping to have presence in more than 500 venues, with over 125 million fans in attendance, Rapino continued “I believe we have tremendous opportunity for growth on a global basis, particularly in the 13 markets where we promote concerts but do not yet have a substantial ticketing operation.
“In 2018, we furthered our international expansion, establishing ticketing operations in Italy, growing our German operations and laying the groundwork for expansion into Latin America.
“Ticketmaster continues to exceed expectations, both operationally and in its leadership position in digital ticketing, which we believe it can extend globally and deliver continued profitable growth.”
Concerts Growth Accelerated in 2018
Across all of the artists Live Nation works with, it invested over US$6 billion to promote 35,000 shows in 40 countries, with Live Nation by far the largest financial supporter of artists in music. In addition to growing its show count and attendance, our pricing and on-site initiatives also continued to grow our operating income and AOI.
In its high-margin sponsorship business, Live Nation grew revenue, operating income and AOI all by 13% in 2018. Live Nation’s top strategic sponsors were a key driver of this growth, with 75 sponsors collectively spending over US$350 million to reach fans, up 11% over 2017. Sponsorship at Live Nation festivals grew 13%, driven by new deals with brands including Heineken, Barclays, State Farm and Frito-Lay.
Ticketmaster Extends Global Leadership Position
Ticketmaster continued growing its leadership position in ticketing in 2018, with fee-bearing gross transaction value (GTV) up 14% and total platform GTV of US$33 billion.
Live Nation’s top priority for Ticketmaster in 2018 was deploying its Presence digital ticketing solution, which the company sees as key for effectively unlocking the value of its customer relationships across Live Nation’s ticketing, concerts and sponsorship businesses.
By the end of 2018, Live Nation deployed Presence in over 200 venues, operating 20,000 events for 40 million fans, approximately half of whom used digital tickets.
For 2019, the company anticipates further growth expecting to have Presence in over 500 venues by the end of this year, with over 125 million fans attending events at these buildings. At that point, Live Nation will cover over 75% of major sports and Live Nation buildings, making Ticketmaster by far the global leader in digital ticketing.
At the same time, Live Nation expects to continue building its marketplace, with the fourth quarter of 2018 being its highest fee-bearing GTV quarter ever, selling over 60 million fee-bearing tickets in a quarter for the first time, and delivering over $5 billion in fee-bearing GTV.
Overall in 2018, Ticketmaster managed over 400,000 events, delivering almost 500 million tickets to fans in 28 countries. Live Nation continues adding new clients to our marketplace, who collectively added over 10 million new tickets in 2018.
2019 Growth Drivers
Live Nation continues to see the tremendous power of live events, with strong consumer demand and a robust supply of new and established artists hitting the road from clubs to stadiums.
The company believes that the live entertainment business will continue to have strong growth for years to come as fans globally drive demand, artists are touring more and on-site spending, sponsorship and ticketing all benefit from the concerts flywheel.
Rapino concluded “in 2019, I expect us to further extend our global concerts position while enhancing our on-site hospitality business and capturing additional pricing opportunities.
“Our sponsorship business will continue driving double-digit growth as more brands look for that direct connection with music fans ... and as Ticketmaster continues its transformation to a truly digital ecosystem, it will also benefit from continued growth in concert ticket sales and further expansion of our global footprint.”
Images: Drake (top) and Michael Rapino (below). Courtesy of Live Nation.
12th October 2018 - Live Nation enters partnership to develop integrated resort in South Korea
28th September 2018 - Global study reveals the importance of live music in escaping digital overload
5th September 2018 - Live Nation backs new Brisbane live music venue
17th August 2018 - Ticketmaster Australia looks to continue resale operations
2nd March 2018 - Live Nation registers record revenues through 2017
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