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Monday, May 29, 2023

Live Nation Announces Growth, Explores Real Estate, Bigger Ticket Fees

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. posted another year of double-digit revenue growth in 2018, according to the company’s annual report released Feb. 28, and laid out further growth strategies in an accompanying earnings call.

The Beverly Hills live show booker and ticket broker reported $10.8 billion in 2018 revenue, an 11 percent jump from 2017. Live Nation posted $272 million in operating income, up 61 percent from 2017, and $90.3 million in net income.

In other words, it is business as usual at Live Nation, which controls 80 percent of the U.S. ticketing market through its Ticketmaster Inc. subsidiary, 60 percent of the U.S. concert market, and a growing slice of the international live events pie.

The company summed up its dominance in a few ways during an earnings call. For example, Live Nation ran 19 of the top 25 global concert tours in 2018, company president Joe Berchtold said.

Michael Rapino, the company’s chief executive, estimated the company has a 30 percent share of the international live events market.

One way Rapino stated he would like to further grow Live Nation is real estate. Commercial real estate developers, “are no longer asking movie theaters to be a tenant – they are asking Live Nation.”

Rapino proposed Live Nation investing in new and existing venues. “We should capture not just the content and the food and beverage, but the equity value of real estate over time,” he said.

Another growing revenue source? Ticketing fees from international events.

In the U.S. members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission are scrutinizing Ticketmaster’s fees, often up to 20 percent of the face value cost of a ticket.

Instead of voicing concern over calls to lower fees, Rapino noted Live Nation still has a “great opportunity” to raise fees internationally.

With “just two dollars service fees,” International markets are “probably 15 years behind in terms of service fees,” Rapino said.

Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323)556-8332 or mblake@labusinessjournal.com

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