Live Nation has released its Q4 and full year earnings for 2017 and the entertainment giant is reporting a record-breaking $10.3 billion in revenue. Revenue was up 24% from 2016’s $8.3 billion. This report marks the seventh consecutive year of record growth for the international company, despite posting an operating loss of $202 million, a big chunk coming from the company’s $110 million settlement with Songkick. Adjusted operating income fell to $22.8 million from a Q4 2016 gain of $82.9 million.
President and CEO of Live Nation, Michael Rapino praised the company’s growth in the report stating “In 2017, we again delivered strong growth through our flywheel strategy – growing our global concerts business, and thereby driving growth in our high-margin on-site, sponsorship and ticketing businesses. This strategy has consistently delivered results for several years now, creating shareholder value through increasing operating results and cash flow growth as we have continued expanding our global business.”
Live Nation announced that it invested $5.6 billion to promote 30,000 shows in 40 countries and added 15 million fans globally in 2017. The report states that attendance at Live Nation events was up by 21% to 86 million with the average spending of fans at shows up to $24 per person at amphitheaters.
Average ticket prices for Live Nation shows increased by 5% in 2017, amounting to over $250 million additional revenue claiming that artists more effectively captured the true value from their shows. As of Feb. 19, 2018, the company is also expressing that confirmed arena, amphitheater and stadium shows are up 7% compared to this time last year.
“We continue 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 release said. Adding “We believe the live business will continue to have strong growth for years to come as fans globally drive demand, artists are touring more, and sponsorship and ticketing benefit from the concerts flywheel.”
Ticketmaster saw a 15% increase in fee-bearing gross transaction value, or GTV, with total platform GTV of $30 billion, delivering 500 million tickets to fans in 29 countries and a 17% increase in ticketing revenue. The fourth quarter of 2017 was Ticketmaster’s highest-performing quarter in history, selling over 50 million fee-bearing tickets which delivered over $4.5 billion in GTV.
Live Nation attributes a great deal of Ticketmaster’s success on the over 80 artist campaigns on Verified Fan, selling three million tickets and saving fans over $100 million relative to what they would have spent on the secondary market to buy the same tickets. They also touted the success of their marketplace that added new clients to its secondary listings with third-party events enabling Ticketmaster in North America to increase the number of events for which it sold tickets in 2017 by over 25%.
Live Nation also saw 50-plus sponsors collectively spend $285 million to reach our fans in 2017, up 19% from last year. Sponsorship revenue at their festivals grew 20%, driven by new deals with brands including American Express, American Eagle, Samsung and Amazon Web Services. Live Nation’s research suggests that 90% of brands think that the promoter can help them reach millennials with almost 70% of fans say they are more likely to be receptive to brand messaging at concerts.
Rapino’s letter concluded with “In 2018, I expect us to further consolidate our global concerts position while enhancing our on-site hospitality business and capturing 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.”
To read the full report of Live Nation’s Q4 and full year earnings for 2017, head here.