In the first quarter of 2018, Live Nation beat the Wall Street consensus by $140 million to reach nearly $1.5 billion in revenue. Live Nation is reporting that the first quarter of 2018 has seen a 19 percent increase in revenue and a 24 percent spike in adjusted operating income.
The industry giant’s Q1 report shows that revenue between January and March of 2018 reached $1.48 billion, a 19 percent boost from 2017’s $1.2 billion. The company’s adjusted operating income grew from $92 million to $114 million and reduced their operating loss from $21.4 million loss in 2017 to a $6 million loss this year.
“2018 is on track to deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth along with expected strong gains in revenue, operating cash flow, and free cash flow,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said of the first quarter indicators in the release. “Our key leading indicators for our concerts, sponsorship & advertising and ticketing segments are ahead of last year, and we currently expect each of our businesses to deliver record revenue, operating income, and AOI this year.”
In comparison to the same time last year, Live Nation’s concert business has promoted 22 percent more shows for 15 percent more fans to reach a 20 percent growth in revenue. The company attributes a significant amount of that growth to its amphitheaters that have not only seen a 37 percent increase in revenue but have also increased on-site fan spending.
“Across the myriad of initiatives we are executing this year — enhancing our VIP offerings, adding points of sale and improving product selection — we now expect our average spend per fan to grow by at least $2.50 this summer,” the report stated.
The report adds that the average ticket pricing is up double digits across each amphitheater, arena and stadium venue type and that Latin America has seen tickets sold for shows in the region more than tripling so far this year.
Live Nation’s sponsorship and advertising has also seen growth with revenue up 17 percent and, through April, are pacing double digits ahead of last year in committed revenue, and have more than 80 percent of their planned revenue for the year committed. Twitter, Proctor & Gamble, and Frito Lay have recently been added to Live Nation’s roster of sponsorship partners in hopes of connecting with the approximately 90 million fans attending Live Nation events globally.
Live Nation’s ticketing platform, Ticketmaster, had its largest quarter in history, transacting nearly 60 million tickets for 21 percent growth in global gross transaction value to $5 billion. In the first quarter of 2018, Ticketmaster signed an additional 135 clients, adding new clients across 19 countries.
“Our strategic partnership with the NFL is off to a strong start, with substantial increases in both primary and secondary ticket sales in the few weeks since schedules were released. And as our pioneer client for digital ticketing, the NFL has eliminated ticket PDFs for next season, positioning the teams to identify a much higher portion of fans attending their games,” the report boasts.
The report also announced the partnership with and investment in Blink Identity, which has cutting-edge facial recognition technology, enabling fans to
associate their digital ticket with their image, then just walk into the show.
Following a redesigned purchase experience on mobile that was rolled out last year, mobile ticket sales are up 36 percent for the quarter, now accounting for almost 40 percent of all ticket sales, with conversion rates improved by over 20 percent.
“With this strong start to the year, we expect another record year in ticketing,” the report reads.