Live Nation shares solid second-quarter earnings

Live Nation shares solid second-quarter earnings

The world’s largest live-entertainment company, Live Nation, released its Q2 2017 financial report on August 9. The document showed revenue increasing 29% over the same quarter in 2016 to $2.8 billion, with operating income up 53% to $113 million, and adjusted operating income (AOI) rising 22% to $221 million.

President/CEO Michael Rapino was obviously very pleased and commented:

2017 is on track to be another year of growth and record results for the company. Our key indicators for our businesses — concert tickets sold for shows this year, contracted sponsorship, and fee-bearing ticketing GTV — are all pacing double digits ahead of last year and as a result we expect each of our businesses to deliver record revenue, operating income and AOI this year.

The company announced it has already sold 68 million tickets through July, up 22% over the same time last year.

Sponsorship and advertising revenue was at $124.6 million, up 31% over Q2 2017, while Ticketmaster fee-bearing ticketing gross transaction value (GTV) is up 9% for the quarter to $486.4 million.  Year-to-date (six months), ticketing is up 15% overall, with gains of 20% in operating income and 13% in AOI.

On this particular topic, Rapino added:

Our Ticketmaster results are validating our dual strategy of delivering an effective marketplace for fans to buy tickets while providing a great software solution to venues, teams and artists looking to maximize the value of their events. By continuing to do so effectively, I expect us to again deliver high-single-digit growth in ticketing operating income and AOI this year.

Live Nation also noted, about Ticketmaster:

Secondary ticketing was down approximately 2% in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the prior year, as the second quarter of 2016 was up approximately 50% versus the same period in 2015

But the company expects a return to “double-digit growth” in the value of tickets sold through its secondary platforms in the third quarter of this year.
 Ticketmaster has also expanded its listings to also include secondary tickets to shows for which Ticketmaster is not the primary ticketer, all purchased through the same checkout flow – a move that the company says has increased the number of events it has listed by 35%.

But Ticketmaster also explained that its "Verified Fan" product is picking up steam as a way for artists to keep tickets off secondary services:

Since launching the product earlier this year, we have worked with 50 artists in the United States and Europe to sell over 1 million tickets to true fans, with a dramatic reduction in these tickets then being sold on secondary sites.