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New clients, APIs drive biggest-ever TM quarter

The biggest quarter in Ticketmaster's history, a 10% increase in bookings and 17% year-on-year growth in revenue, to $1.4bn, are the key takeaways from Live Nation's Q1

By Jon Chapple on 05 May 2017

Michael Rapino, Live Nation, Q1 2017 financials

image © Rainer Hosch/Live Nation

Live Nation beat Wall Street expectations in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017, posting a 17% year-on-year increase in revenue to US$1.4 billion, according to its latest financial results.

Speaking to investors yesterday, Live Nation CEO and chairman Michael Rapino said the positive Q1 results – which also saw operating income grow 36% (albeit to a loss of $21 million; an improvement on Q1 2016’s -$33.3m) – point to “another year of record growth” for the live entertainment giant, which in 2016 recorded its sixth year of record-breaking turnover.

According to the Associated Press, the performance exceeded analysts’ expectations, with stock research firm Zacks predicting revenue of a significantly lower $1.27bn.

Concert ticket sales grew to 46m, an increase of 25%, with Rapino (pictured) once again praising the company’s concerts business as the “engine that powers the Live Nation flywheel”, driving growth in ticketing and advertising. As of the end of April, Live Nation had booked more than 4,000 arena, stadium and amphitheatre shows for 27, an increase of 10% on last year.

“All of the leading indicators for our concerts, sponsorship and advertising, and ticketing segments are ahead of last year”

Ticketmaster, meanwhile, delivered the biggest quarter in the history of the business, adding 245 new clients growing gross transaction value (GTV) 18% in the primary market and 20% for secondary sales, for a total ticketing revenue of $493.7m (up from $405.8m in Q1 2016).

Tickets sales “off-platform”, such as those through partner sites like Spotify and Facebook, are also on the rise – “deploying APIs to extend our distribution”, said Rapino, has yielded close to 4m additional ticket sales, a 32% year-on-year increase – as is the demand for concert video, with content such as the virtual-reality (VR) videos produced in partnership with Hulu and NextVR providing Live Nation with “an array of additional ad units and valuable marketing for our tours”.

“Twenty-seventeen is on track to be another year of growth and record results for the company,” he concluded. “All of the leading indicators for our concerts, sponsorship and advertising, and ticketing segments are ahead of last year, and we expect each of our businesses to deliver record revenue, operating income and AOI [adjusted operating income] this year.”


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