Amid scrutiny for its ticketing practices, Live Nation/Ticketmaster CEO Michael Rapino’s compensation package tops $139 million.
Rapino signed a new agreement with Live Nation to continue his employment through 2027. That earned him a $6 million signing bonus. His base salary is $3 million, a bump up from his base salary of $2.1 million in 2021—after a pandemic reduction. Rapino earned a $12 million cash performance bonus for 2022 and stock awards of $116 million—vesting as early as 2024.
Ticketmaster has faced widespread scrutiny over its failure to handle hugely popular tours like Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras Tour.’ Lawmakers have turned their eye towards Ticketmaster’s tacked on fees practices and the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation is said to be undergoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Live Nation controls a huge swath of the live entertainment industry through its promotional business, venue operations, and Ticketmaster ticketing services. Concert attendance is on the rise as pandemic protocols are precautions have finally lifted and massive concert tours are scheduled in major cities across the United States.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has called on activists and artists to speak up about their experiences with Ticketmaster. “Ticketmaster should look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem, it’s me’,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), making a play on Taylor Swift lyrics. Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster in 2010 and represents around 70% of all live tickets sold in the United States. Meanwhile, Ticketmaster tacks on additional fees between 40-50% of the base ticket price that customers pay.
Now Congress is considering the TICKET Act, which would force services like Ticketmaster to disclose fees upfront in all advertising. The final price that is advertised is the price the consumer should pay for concert tickets, sporting events, and any other large gathering ticketed by services like Ticketmaster. Meanwhile, Live Nation blames ticket scalping (which it participates in) for high ticket prices.