As a result of ongoing lockdown measures, large-gathering bans, and coronavirus concerns, leading concert promoter Live Nation suffered a 98 percent year-over-year drop in Q2 revenue.
The Beverly Hills-based company recently revealed this and other performance-related information in its Q2 2020 earnings report, covering April, May, and June of this year. Specifically, Live Nation disclosed Q2 2020 concert revenue of $141.8 million, down from about $2.64 billion during the same period in 2019. (While this sum mainly derived from livestreamed concerts in Q2 2020, the entity has also started promoting socially distanced concerts in New Zealand, Germany, and parts of the U.S., among other locations.)
Predictably, with the vast majority of live performances on ice, ticketing income too suffered a sharp decline, as did funds deriving from sponsorship and advertising, which fell 88 percent from Q2 2019’s $151.5 million, to $18.4 million. Accounting for revenue through this year’s first six months, Live Nation reported earnings of roughly $1.44 billion – a 71 percent falloff from 2019’s opening half. And needless to say, Live Nation’s severe fiscal downturn is indicative both of the COVID-19 pandemic’s far-reaching impact and of the situation’s particular hardship for musicians, a large portion of whom rely upon income from shows.
As was also the case with the leading concert promoter’s Q1 2020 earnings report, however, this second-quarter analysis wasn’t entirely without encouraging data. According to the document, 86 percent of fans are opting to keep their tickets in anticipation of concerts’ eventual full-scale return – just a four percent or so decrease from the “over 90% of fans” who decided to keep their passes during Q1, per Live Nation. In a similar vein, CEO Michael Rapino relayed in the press release that Live Nation has “already sold 19 million tickets to more than four thousand concerts and festivals scheduled for 2021…pacing well ahead of this point last year.”
Additionally, Live Nation revealed that 67 million fans tuned into its livestream concerts during the second quarter, and that it expects live performances to return “at scale” during the summer of 2021. Investors appear to be responding positively to the financial report – seemingly signaling confidence in Live Nation’s plan to continue cutting costs and using its liquid capital to sustain operations until traditional concerts resume.
At the time of this writing, Live Nation shares (bought and sold as LVN) were trading for nearly $47 apiece, approximately 1.5 percent less than yesterday’s closing price. Last month, we reported that the company had promised to double its number of black executives by 2025, days after being accused of “systemic racism” in a lawsuit filed by tour manager Candace Newman.