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Live Nation Earned $1.7B in Q1 2019, Expecting Annual Double-Digit Growth (Again)

Live Nation is already projecting double-digit operating income and adjusted operating income growth for 2019, based on the company's first quarter earnings for the year where revenue jumped 17% to…

Live Nation is already projecting double-digit operating income and adjusted operating income growth for 2019, based on the company’s first quarter earnings for the year where revenue jumped 17% to $1.7 billion compared to the same period last year. 

Despite a $24 million operating income loss, the touring industry giant believes it is off to a good start in 2019 with its AOI for the months of January through March hitting a high of $115 million.


“We continue to benefit from a global concerts industry that is structurally growing, with strong tailwinds for both supply and demand,” said Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino in a release. “Our performance is further accelerated by our concerts flywheel driving additional profitable growth in our on-site, sponsorship, and ticketing businesses.”

In the first quarter of 2019, Live Nation reported 15 million fans attended its concerts — an increase of 22% year-over-year. Within the concerts division, revenue is up 27% and through mid-April the company has already sold 49 million tickets for concerts occurring this year. Live Nation attributed some of the strong growth in concert revenue to its growing use of platinum tickets, which yield higher payouts to promoters and artists.

The promoter saw a 9% decrease year-over-year in ticketing revenue for the first quarter of 2019, but blamed that on earlier onsales that occurred in late 2018 instead of this year. And despite that the reduction in Q1 ticketing revenue, Ticketmaster has still sold an 4 million more concert tickets for shows this year through mid-April than over the same time last year.


Live Nation’s sponsorship revenue is up 1% year-over-year in what the company refered to as “typically its lowest activity quarter” for the division. And, through mid-April, Live Nation said it is pacing double-digits ahead of last year in committed net revenue, already reaching over 80% of its target for the full year.

“We expect our growth to be driven again by our festivals and large strategic sponsors, and we continued adding a number of these new partners, including Verizon in the United States, Rogers Communications in Canada and Diageo in Europe,” said Rapino. “As a result, we currently expect to deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth in sponsorship again this year.”