Music

Live Nation Revenue Soars 21% in Record First Quarter

A lively arena business and seemingly insatiable demand for live music helped Live Nation achieve a record first quarter, the company announced Thursday (May 2). 

Total revenue grew 21% to $3.8 billion and adjusted operating income (AOI) improved 15% to $367 million as every business segment — concerts, ticketing and sponsorship & advertisements — beat the prior-year quarter. 

Ticket sales for arenas and amphitheaters for 2024 are on track for a double-digit improvement, and confirmed shows for large venues — stadiums, arenas and amphitheaters — are also up double digits. “Global fan demand is stronger than ever, more artists are out on the road, and more venues are being added to bring them together,” CEO Michael Rapino said in a statement.

In the concerts division, revenue grew 26% to $2.9 billion as fan attendance grew 21% to 23 million and arena attendance rose by nearly 40% to 10 million globally. Festival attendance grew by double digits and was driven by Latin American markets. Year to date, Live Nation has sold 86 million tickets, about the same as 2023 despite more arena shows and fewer stadium shows.  

Venue Nation, Live Nation’s venue management and operation business, saw improvements as fans increased their spending at concerts. In the first quarter, food and beverage spending rose by over 10% at U.S. clubs and theaters.

Ticketing revenue increased 7% to $723 million and AOI rose 5% to $284 million. Fee-bearing gross transaction value reached nearly $8 billion. Boosted by double-digit growth in international markets, Ticketmaster sold a record 77 million tickets in the quarter. The company said artists that toured in 2023 are seeing increased ticket sell-throughs and higher grosses per show at arenas and amphitheaters compared to their tours last year.  

Sponsorship & advertising revenue rose 24% to $211 million. This year, Live Nation added new clients Jaguar Land Rover’s Defender and, for U.K. festivals, headline partners Rockstar Energy and Liquid Death. 

Looking ahead, Live Nation expects a double-digit increase in attendance to its amphitheaters and other operated venues. The outdoor venues in particular are especially lucrative. Live Nation expects per-fan profitability at amphitheaters — which are 2.5 times the amount of similar third-party venues — to increase by double digits in 2024.

Full-year margins are expected to be higher than last year and AOI is expected to be on par with 2023 levels, excluding a potential payout for lawsuits related to the Astroworld tragedy in 2021. Live Nation accrued an unknown amount for Astroworld legal expenses in the first quarter.

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