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Live Nation very much back in growth mode, CEO Michael Rapino tells investors

By | Published on Friday 5 August 2022

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So, with the live sector’s post-pandemic revival still very much underway, how were things at the world’s biggest live music business in the second quarter of 2022? Well revenues were up, up up. And compared to 2019, so that’s not just a post-COVID bounce back.

“The second quarter confirmed that the live entertainment industry is back globally and bigger than ever”, declared Live Nation boss Michael Rapino in a statement to investors yesterday. “Live Nation led this return, and continues to deliver the best global network to support artists as they play shows for their fans around the world. Every key operating metric is at an all-time high, as we promoted more concerts, had more fans attend shows where they spent more money, sold more tickets and enabled brands to connect with fans at a scale we have never seen before”.

In terms of specific stats, he added: “Relative to Q2 2019, we drove a 40% increase in revenue to $4.4 billion, an 86% increase in operating income to $319 million, and a 50% increase in adjusted operating income to $480 million. With most of the world fully re-opened, it’s clear that concerts remain a high priority for fans. Consumers are seeking out and spending more on experiences, and the growing demand we are seeing for live music and events is driving our business to record levels, far outpacing any macro issues or cost increases”.

So, that’s all good then. The wider live sector is still facing plenty of challenges, of course, despite COVID restrictions now seeming like some kind of weird distant memory, with venues, promoters and festivals – not to mention touring artists – still dealing with the impact of an eighteen month shutdown, as well as surging costs and wider economic hardships.

But, Rapino was keen to stress, everything is moving in the right direction, and Live Nation’s recovery and return to growth is happening in a particularly rapid fashion.

“As we look forward to the second half of 2022 and into 2023, we have sold over 100 million tickets for our concerts this year, more than we sold for the entire year in 2019”, he went on. “Fan demand remains strong, with continued growth in ticket buying and on-site spending. And given the long-term nature of most of our sponsorship partnerships, our planned sponsorship for the year is now fully committed”.

Looking ahead, he concluded: “As we prepare for 2023, everywhere globally is open for concerts, and we are actively routing into all markets with the largest artist pipeline we have ever seen at this point in the year. For the 2023 tours we have put on sale so far, all signs continue pointing to strong fan demand”.