"We continue to see the tremendous power of live events, with strong global consumer demand," Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino wrote in a letter to shareholders. "Live is a truly unique entertainment form — it cannot be duplicated. It is elevated, not threatened, by technology and is borderless. Fans around the world can now discover, follow, share and embrace artists, creating greater demand for live shows. We believe the live business will continue to have strong growth for years to come as fans globally drive demand, artists are motivated to tour, and technology drives conversion."
Company officials estimate they added 7 million fans global in 2016, reaching 71 million total. That includes double-digit growth in North America and internationally. Live Nation added promotion offices in Germany, South Africa and Israel and maintains a presence in 40 countries.
Average ticket prices increased 5 percent across amphitheaters, arenas and stadiums with an emphasis on higher pricing on top tier tickets and capturing true market value for the best seats. Average per-fan-spending on food and beverage also grew 9 percent to an average of $22 per fan, bolstered by higher quality concessions offerings.
Advertising and marketing continued to be a growth category with the company's top 50 strategic sponsors contributing over $1 million per year to Live Nation for a total $245 million spent to reach fans, up 20 percent from last year.
For ticketing, the company saw gross transaction value result in $28 billion spent on 480 million tickets sold to fans in 28 countries. The company is reporting an 11 percent increase in ticketing revenue and 6 percent growth in adjusted operated income at constant currency.
On the secondary market, Ticketmaster saw some of its most impressive growth with a 26 percent uptick in gross transactional value and six of the company's 10 top sales months occurring in 2016.
"Our success in 2016 reaffirms that Live Nation has created an unparalleled live platform, bringing 550 million fans in 40 countries to those unrivaled two-hour events each year," Rapino wrote. "The live business continues to have a strong growth opportunity with artists touring as their primary source of income and using concerts as the best way to engage and connect with their fans."