HITS Daily Double


Live Nation delivered another record-breaking quarter in operating income and adjusted operating income. Operating income was up 14% in the quarter to $113m, and AOI hit $333m, which is up 17% from last year.

In the third quarter, Live Nation produced 6,800 shows in North America that were attended by 22.4m people. Internationally, 8.84m people attended 1,885 shows.

More than 73m people have attended 26,000 Live Nation concerts in 2019, resulting in operating income being up 12% to $408m while AOI is $862m. Revenue for the first nine months is up 6% over 2018 to $8.7b.

On a conference call with analysts, Live Nation CEO and President Michael Rapino noted, “Our international business has been particularly robust this year, delivering much of our fan growth with a strong year for stadiums and theaters, while in the United States our arena and theater activity was also up.

“As we have grown our show volume and the breadth of artists with which we work, we have also been more effective in pricing tickets closer to market value, particularly with our platinum pricing tool. So far this year we have had over 3,000 arena and amphitheater shows use platinum tickets, with a 54% increase in the number of platinum tickets sold per show.”

Concerts in the third quarter brought in $3.17b, a 4% drop from 2018 that CFO Kathy Willard attributed to an unfavorable foreign currency exchange.

President Joe Berchtold noted that Live Nation had 30 fewer stadium shows in 2019 than 2018 and that they are already looking at “an uptick in stadium volume” net year.

Sponsorships were up 26% to $215.2m. Sponsorship revenue has grown by 11% year-to-date at venues and 31% year-to-date at festivals.

The company has also increased average revenue per fan by $2.50 in amphitheaters to more than $29.

Ticketmaster grew operating income growth by 30% and generated its highest AOI quarter ever, up 20% from last year, and delivered 5% operating income and 6% AOI growth year-to-date.

Live Nation has sold 92m concert tickets this year, a rise of 5m over ’18. and the company expects to have nearly 100m people attend LN shows this year. Rapino said more than 1,500 stadium, arena and amphitheater shows booked for 2020, up double-digits from this same point last year.

Rapino expects digital ticketing to be installed at more than 700 venues by the end of this year.