UPDATE: A RECORD YEAR FOR LIVE NATION

UDATE: Live Nation stock topped $100 a share for the first time in nearly two years Friday (2/23), one day after it was announced that the concert giant had set all-time records for attendance, ticket sales and sponsorship activity in 2023.

The stock crossed the three-digit threshold minutes after the opening bell before settling in at just under $97. It had closed Thursday at $93.53, prior to the announcement of the annual results.


Live Nation pulled in $22.7 billion in 2023, a 36% spike over 2022 (let that sink in a minute).

“The live-music industry reached new heights in 2023," confirmed Live Nation ruler Michael Rapino on a call with analysts, "and demand for live music continues to build. Our digital world empowers artists to develop global followings while inspiring fans to crave in-person experiences more than ever. At the same time, the industry is delivering a wider variety of concerts, which draws in new audiences, and developing more venues to support a larger show pipeline. Against this backdrop, we expect all our businesses to continue growing and adding value to artists and fans as we deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth again this year, with our profitability compounding by double-digits over the next several years.”

Concert attendance was up 20%, with 145m people getting up off the couch and going to more than 50k events. Fee-bearing gross-transaction-value tickets were up 30% to nearly $36b, while sponsorship revenue topped $1b, a 13% increase. Concerts brought in $18.76b in 2023, a surge of 39% over 2022. Stadium shows led attendance growth, with more than 29m fans globally, up 60%. On average, tours had 15% more shows than in 2018.

The company produced 33.6k concerts in North America, 16.4k internationally. International markets led the overall fan growth, with a 25% boost. North America was up 17%. Compared to five years ago, LN had 50% more international acts in the Top 50 tours. “The younger the artist, the younger the manager, the more they’re looking at a global touring plan,” Rapino said of the trend he expects to continue over the next five years.

For 2024, ticket sales are looking at a 6% uptick, with 57m tickets sold for shows this year thus far. Confirmed shows for stadiums, arenas and amphitheaters are up double digits from this time last year, with 65% of the full-year booked, compared to approximately 50% booked last year. Rapino said LN is ahead on arena and amphitheater shows around the world, singling out Usher, Justin Timberlake and Bad Bunny and predicting that 2025 will be “a monster stadium year.”

One goal is to continue growing hospitality offerings in amphitheaters. According to Rapino, 9% of the amphitheater audience is participating in VIP programs; he aims to increase that to 30% through new offerings.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, LN brought in $5.84b, a 36% jump over 2022, with concerts accounting for $4.87b of the business.

HITS LIST IN BLOOM
From the desert to the sea (4/16a)
ON THE COVER:
AARON BAY-SCHUCK
AND TOM CORSON
Bunny's hoppin' again. (4/16a)
DESERT HEAT:
PAUL TOLLETT
The cat in the hat is calling the shots. (4/15a)
THIS HITS PHOTO GALLERY IS WANDERING IN THE DESERT
Photographic proof of the weaselfest (4/15a)
THE COUNT: SUPERSTARS TO SURPRISE AT COACHELLA?
The latest tidbits from the vibrant live sector (4/12a)
THE NEW UMG
Gosh, we hope there are more press releases.
TIKTOK BANNED!
Unless the Senate manages to make this whole thing go away, that is.
THE NEW HUGE COUNTRY ACT
No, not that one.
TRUMP'S CAMPAIGN PLAYLIST
Now 100% unlicensed!
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