Live Nation Execs Bank on 2021 Concert Comeback as Quarterly Earnings Fall 92 Percent

Live Nation UK Launches EDM Division, Electronic Nation

Live Nation experienced a 92 percent year-over-year earnings dip during 2020’s final three months, owing to continued lockdown measures and large-gathering bans, but higher-ups remain confident that business will accelerate later in 2021.

The Beverly Hills-based concert promoter recently revealed its financial specifics for Q4 2020, which delivered $237.3 million in total earnings against over $2.89 billion in income during the same stretch in 2019. Within the Q4 2020 total, concerts generated $178.4 million, per the performance analysis, compared to more than $2.29 billion in Q4 2019.

Ticketing in Q4 2020 experienced the largest year-over-year decline of any Live Nation segment, with earnings having dipped from $448.3 million in October, November, and December of 2019 to $10.9 million. (Estimated full-year ticket sales volume came in at 119,924, as opposed to 486,588 in 2019.) Lastly, the Ticketmaster parent company brought in $47.1 million from sponsorship and advertising during the fourth quarter (the figure totaled $148.4 million in Q4 2019).

Factoring for all of last year, including the pre-pandemic January and February, Live Nation earned about $1.86 billion – an 84 percent falloff from 2019 and its $11.55 billion in income. As was also the case in Q4 2020 itself, ticketing was hit hardest, with revenue down from $1.55 billion to $188.4 million. Concert earnings fell by 84 percent (totaling $1.47 billion in Q4 2020), to 65 percent for sponsorship and advertising ($203.7 million).

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino once again struck an optimistic tone when discussing the prospect of live music’s coming back this summer, pointing to the decline in new COVID-19 cases and the ongoing rollout of vaccines. “While the timing of our return to live will continue to vary across global markets, every sign points to it beginning safely in many countries sometime this summer and scaling further from there,” wrote Rapino.

“All our data continues to show that there is substantial pent-up demand for concerts on the consumer demand side,” continued the Ontario-born Live Nation head. Moreover, 83 percent of fans have opted to hold onto their concert tickets, the report indicated, with a 63 percent retention rate for festival passes.

This percentage of fans who’re awaiting shows’ rescheduled dates is the same as in Q3 2020 and just seven percent less than in Q1 2020. And at the time of this piece’s publishing, Live Nation stock (LYV) was trading for $90.99 per share – an almost five percent boost from yesterday’s closing value.

Based upon this near-record stock price, the $500 million Live Nation stake that Saudi Arabia purchased in April of 2020 is now worth a staggering $1.12 billion. Separately, Live Nation, which issued $500 million in fresh debt last month, is suing Factory Mutual for allegedly failing to provide policy-related compensation “for property damages and business interruption losses” incurred amid the pandemic.

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