Live Nation (NYSE: LYV) has reported that it turned in the “best first quarter ever” during this year’s opening three months, when revenue jumped from $290.6 million in Q1 2021 to over $1.8 billion in Q1 2022.
The Beverly Hills-based promoter just recently posted its Q1 2022 financials, which revealed a hike of nearly $1 billion in revenue attributable to concerts (totaling $1.21 billion). Meanwhile, the ongoing comeback of crowd-based entertainment helped Live Nation’s Ticketmaster subsidiary improve its income from $28.3 million in Q1 2021 to $480.4 million in Q1 2022; total tickets sold came in at 111,292 for the quarter, against 17,151 in Q1 2021.
Predictably, with the multitude of artists who have resumed touring in 2022 – and the high-profile music festivals that have returned for the first time since 2020 – Live Nation’s estimated events increased by almost 6,000 YoY, reaching 6,607. The latter encompasses 4,716 shows in North America and 1,891 international happenings.
Finally, regarding Live Nation’s total revenue for January, February, and March, sponsorship and advertising generated $115.70 million, according to the earnings report.
The total is about $93.1 million more than that produced by the same three-month stretch in 2021, and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said, “We have sold 90% of our planned sponsorship for the year.”
While Live Nation’s operating income finished at $27.1 million for the quarter (compared to a $303.2 million loss in Q1 2021), concerts delivered a slightly larger loss ($149.6 million) in 2022’s first quarter than 2021’s first quarter. However, this uptick was offset in the operating-income category by rebounds for ticketing (totaling $154.8 million) and sponsorship and advertising ($59 million).
In terms of Live Nation’s outlook for the remainder of 2022 and 2023, the aforementioned Michael Rapino specified that there are “over 70 million tickets now sold for shows in 2022, up 36% compared to this point in 2019.” Additionally, the longtime Live Nation head noted that “committed show count is up 44% through late April relative to 2019.”
“We have over 60 tours already under discussion for 2023 – our earliest indicator of next year, and great positioning for ongoing growth,” concluded Rapino.
Notwithstanding Live Nation’s strong 2022 ticket sales and seemingly extensive plans for 2023, it remains to be seen whether fan demand will hold steady given the difficult economic climate and the abundance of concerts to choose from.
All manner of tour announcements reach DMN’s inbox daily – Arcade Fire today unveiled a concert series, whereas Barry Manilow detailed six arena performances – and it goes without saying that fans only have so much time and money to spend on entertainment.
Building upon the point, Live Nation earlier this year listed a number of discounted passes on Groupon, including tickets to OneRepublic and Halsey shows. The same Groupon-Live Nation landing page now features $25 tickets to concerts from Brad Paisley, Swedish House Mafia, the Wu-Tang Clan and Nas, Jack White, Brandi Carlile, Steely Dan, and Chris Brown and Lil Baby, to name just some.
For further context, Groupon reportedly keeps 50 percent of the revenue from each on-platform sale. At the time of writing, Live Nation stock was down about two percent from yesterday’s close, at $93.25 per share.