Live Nation has reported $8.7 billion in revenue for the first three quarters of 2019, a 6% increase from the same time last year.
In addition, the promoter delivered its highest operating income and adjusted operating income (AOI) quarter ever from July 1-Sept. 30 with $260 million and $427.1 million respectively.
With more than 92 million concert tickets sold for 2019, Live Nation brought its year-to-date operating income to $408 million and AOI to $862 million for double digit growth in both areas. Ticket sales through mid-October are reportedly up 5 million from the same time last year. The company projects it will sell nearly 100 million tickets to fans attending its shows by the end of 2019. Concert revenue, however, is down 4% from Q3 2018 to $3.2 billion.
Overall in 2018 Live Nation reported $10.8 billion in revenue — its best year ever. If the company's growth continues at its current pace, it's reasonable to expect it will top $11 billion in 2019 for another record year.
“Our international business has been particularly robust this year, delivering much of our fan growth with a strong year for stadiums and theaters, while in the United States our arena and theater activity was also up,” said Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino in the report. “As we have grown our show volume and the breadth of artists with which we work, we have also been more effective in pricing tickets closer to market value, particularly with our platinum pricing tool. So far this year we have had over 3,000 arena and amphitheater shows use platinum tickets, with a 54% increase in the number of platinum tickets sold per show.”
The report credits its growth in the concert division to improving hospitality and increasing the availability for VIP and lawn experiences. Average revenue per fan has increased by $2.50 in amphitheaters to $29. The company has also seen success in the concert division thanks to creating or operating new venues. Since the start of this year it has added 36 venues to its portfolio, ranging from the Brooklyn Bowls in New York and Las Vegas to the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto and the Sportpaleis in Belgium.
Ticketmaster grew operating income growth by 30% and generated its highest AOI quarter ever, up 20% from last year. It also delivered 5% operating income and 6% AOI growth year-to-date, as every quarter in 2019 has been one of its top 10 gross transaction value quarters ever. In the third quarter, Ticketmaster brought in $388.5 million in revenue for its parent company, Live Nation.
With Ticketmaster’s continued push into digital ticketing, the Ticketmaster app is now regularly in the top 10 rankings for entertainment in the Apple App Store, driving a 30% increase in app downloads over the past year.
In the sponsorship division, Live Nation’s deals delivered 17% operating income and 18% AOI growth for the quarter. That amounted to 14% operating income and 13% AOI growth year-to-date. The report highlights brand activations such as Bud Light's branded photo installations at its amphitheaters and Revlon's roller rink at Lollapalooza.
“As we approach the end of 2019, we are confident that our strong performance will deliver another record year with growth in revenue, operating income and AOI,” said Rapino. “With an early look to next year, our 2020 pipeline is up substantially, with over 1,500 stadium, arena and amphitheater shows booked already, up double-digits from this same point last year.”