Live Nation Earnings Rise to $1.4 Billion For Q1, Up 17% Year-Over-Year

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Courtesy of Live Nation


'We've booked more shows, sold more tickets and had more sponsorship commitments than ever before at this point,' said Michael Rapino.

The earnings juggernaut that is Live Nation, the music industry's largest company, has had yet another banner quarter with earnings rising to $1.4 billion for the three months ending March 31, 2017 and which exceeded expectations.

The multi-faceted concert, ticketing, promotions and advertising business saw continued growth with first quarter revenue up 17% year-over-year and operating income improving  36% to  $21 million with adjusted operating Income up 25% to $92 million.

"This year we have booked more shows, sold more tickets and have more sponsorship commitments than ever before at this point of the year," Live Nation's president and CEO Michael Rapino stated in the earnings report. "With the strength of these leading indicators, I am confident we will once again deliver record topline, operating income and AOI performance in each of our businesses in 2017."

More Specifically, Live Nation's concert ticket sales for 2017 increased to a whopping 46 million, up 25% through April. The company boasted over 4,000 arena, stadium and amphitheater shows in the quarter, up 10% over this point last year. Its concert revenue grew 14% from $754.9 million to $863.3 million with adjusted operational income from the quarter coming in at $22 million.

The globe's largest promoter said it expects to continue driving profitability in the concert business through "increased onsite spending," which is the result of investment in more points of sale and refining "product assortment and pricing." The company also noted it now promotes shows in 40 countries where, according to the report, "business is looking strong."

For its sponsorship and advertising vertical, Live Nation reported continued double-digit growth and the "tremendous attraction" 70 million plus onsite fans presents for advertisers. The report said that sponsorship and advertising grew 11% from $57.6 million to $64 million with adjusted operational income from the quarter coming in at $33.2 million.

At the end of the quarter, the promoter said it already had "over 80% of our planned advertising for the year, pacing double digits ahead of this point last year." The report also noted tits top advertisers which have over one million dollars in advertising per year are increasing their spends and account for 75% of the total committed spend through the quarter.

Interestingly the report cited increased demand for live concert video content which provides ad revenue and can be used for marketing purposes, The report noted video partnerships with  platforms that included Twitter (announced yesterday); Hulu, which filmed four concerts in virtual reality with NextVR; and the premiere of the Live Nation-produced Puff Daddy documentary, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The Bad Boy Story, at the Tribeca Film Festival and will now be distributed exclusively by Apple Music starting in June.

Ticketmaster had its largest quarter in history for gross transaction value (GTV) and ticket volume on a transacted basis. Ticketing saw the largest growth of all the verticals at 22% rising to $493.7 million to $405.8 million with adjusted operational income from the quarter coming in at $103.1 million. The company cited its fee-bearing primary and secondary businesses, which grew GTV by 18% and 20%, respectively.

The company also reported it added 245 new clients using its ticketing software platform.

On the digital commerce side, Live Nation said it increased online visits by 10% year-on-year and grew their installed app base by 41% to over 33 million where investments have improved both the fan experience and purchase flow which has resulted in higher sales.

Through deploying APIs to extend it distribution, Ticketmaster sold nearly 4 million tickets off-platform, up 32% year-on-year.

The report also cited its "Verified Fan" product, which leverages proprietary data and analytics to screen and verify potential ticket buyers. Live Nation cited launching the product with Ed Sheeran and subsequently supporting over 30 other tours including Depeche Mode, Twenty One Pilots and Harry Styles. The program, according to the company,  has reduced by over 90% the number of tickets sold on secondary markets.