Live Nation Continues Its Post-Pandemic Run With Record Q1 Earnings

Live Nation saw record growth in the first quarter of 2023, closing out a politically challenging period — which came in the wake of last fall’s Taylor Swift ticketing snafu — on strong financial footing.

Increased demand for concert experiences, international growth and little to no consumer resistance on top-tier pricing for superstar artists led the company to post a record $3 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 73% from the first quarter of 2022. The company also posted adjusted operating income of $320 million, an increase of 53% over the year-ago quarter.


“This performance is indicative of our continued long-term growth and sets the stage for a record 2023, as we are more positive than ever about artists touring, fans attending concerts to see their favorite artists, and our role helping make this happen,” CEO Michael Rapino wrote in a letter to shareholders filed with the SEC ahead of Thursday’s earnings call.

The company’s concerts division has sold nearly 90 million tickets for shows this year already, tracking more than 20% ahead of sales at the same point last year. 

“These early sales have been driven by a record number of stadium shows and continued strong growth in arena tours,” according to Rapino. “With many major tours — from Beyoncé to Drake to Bruce Springsteen — demand was so strong that even when artists added a number of additional shows, they still were not able to meet all of the fan demand.”

The company’s ticketing business, led by Ticketmaster, was driven by international growth in new markets, with the company selling more than 73 million fee-bearing tickets, up 40% over the first quarter of 2022. Ticketmaster delivered $7.7 billion in fee-bearing gross transaction volume to its clients this quarter, an increase of 60% over the same period last year.

“We are seeing growth in both volume and pricing across our global markets. This holds true across all event types from concerts to sports; and from the biggest superstars to new artists,” Rapino wrote. “As we then look to 2024 and beyond, we have all the necessary levers to build our flywheel globally and continue to compound AOI by double-digits for the foreseeable future.”

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