HITS Daily Double


Concert revenue was up 25% to nearly $7.9 billion at Live Nation in 2017 as the company posted its seventh consecutive year of record results across all divisions—concerts, sponsorship and ticketing. Overall revenue reached $10.34b in 2017.

The company staged 19,933 concerts in North America, a rise of nearly 2,400 shows over 2016. Attendance was up 13%; show count was up 14%.

Worldwide, Live Nation spent $5.6b to promote 29,576 events, up 3,300 year to year. The company now promotes 97 festivals in 14 countries.

Sponsorship revenue grew 18% to $440m at constant currency, driven by significant increase in activity in Germany and Asia. Average ticket prices increased by 5%, and ticketing revenue topped $2b for the first time, hitting 2.14b.

“Overall, we expect a very strong year across our amphitheaters, arenas and festivals, with some decline in stadium show count on a year-over-year basis,” Chairman/CEO Michael Rapino said. “Given our plans to further monetize our fan relationships, I expect this will translate into continued strong growth in concerts operating results in 2018.”

During an investor call, the company said it was looking to acquire and build new amphitheaters in 2018. They also predict that ancillary spends at amphitheaters will hit $30 within a couple of years; in 2017, the on-site spend was up $2 to $24 per fan.

This year, Rapino also predicts the company will further consolidate Live Nation’s global concerts position, enhance on-site hospitality businesses and increase additional pricing opportunities.

“We believe that our sponsorship business will continue driving double-digit growth as more brands look for that direct connection with music fans. And a more effective Ticketmaster marketplace, along with further alignment with artists, should continue to build on Ticketmaster’s success.”

In the fourth quarter, Concerts revenue was $1.84B (up 53%); Sponsorship and Advertising hit $98.6M (up 11%); and Ticketing reached $633.2M (up 21%). Ticketmaster had its best quarter ever in Q4, selling more than 50m tickets. The company expects Ticketmaster to post continued mid-single figure growth percentage-wise this year and Rapino anticipates that more artists will use the company’s Verified Fan program.

The company took a hit in the fourth quarter with a $110m legal settlement with Songkick that reduced operating income and adjusted operating income.