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The London-headquartered music company says its ATC Live division is now the sixth largest touring agency worldwide
By James Hanley on 08 May 2023
UK-based music company ATC has beaten its own expectations to record a profit on revenue of £12.1 million (€13.9m) in its first full year as a a public company.
The London-headquartered group, which opened a New York office in February 2022, has posted its financial results for its first full year of trading since listing on the Aquis Growth Market in London in December 2021 after raising £4.15 million in its initial public offer (IPO).
Its divisions include booking agency ATC Live – which it says is now the sixth largest touring agency worldwide – ATC Management, ATC Services and livestreaming company Driift. In addition, it launched ATC Experience in 2022 to “create and distribute artist-led digital and in-person experiences for global audiences”.
Revenue was up 33% for the year ending 31 December 2022, contributing to an “ahead of expectations” pre-tax profit of £0.01m, compared to a loss of £2.69m in the pandemic-hit 2021. Artist representation contributed £6.57m of total revenue, up from £3.7m in the previous 12 months, while services accounted for £2.87m (2021: £778,502).
When taking into account streaming service Deezer’s acquisition of a minority stake in Driift, the group achieved an overall post tax profit of £2.44m for 2022. ATC, which previously owned 52% of Driift, retains a 32.5% interest.
“We are delighted with the progress we have made in our first year as a PLC, delivering 33% top line growth and profitability earlier than expected”
“We are delighted with the progress we have made in our first year as a PLC, delivering 33% top line growth and profitability earlier than expected, whilst also investing in a number of important strategic developments for the group,” says ATC Group plc CEO Adam Driscoll.
“Our performance has been driven by strong growth across our core artist representation businesses, supported by improved trading conditions as live touring resumed, together with progress within the group’s complementary services and livestreaming divisions. During the year we expanded the group’s geographic footprint, attracted new agents, managers, artist clients and key operational management into the group, and launched new innovative artist service lines.
“The new year has started with continued positive momentum and a pipeline of exciting projects and opportunities. As the music industry continues to undergo rapid change, we believe there is substantial opportunity to co-create, co-produce and deliver new IP via events and experiences, underpinned by our multi-service approach across artists’ commercial interests. We look ahead with confidence in the group’s growth prospects.”
ATC Live, led by Arthur Award-winning agent Alex Bruford, boasts a roster of more than 350 artists including Fontaines D.C, Georgia, Alma, Goat Girl, Mac Demarco, Metronomy and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and says it is on course to deliver 6,000 shows in 2023.
“The live music scene in 2022 has seen strong growth in live music activities and this has created a huge demand for ATC Live’s roster”
“The ATC Live business continues to perform in line with management expectations following a highly successful 2022 and we now represent over 500 clients,” adds Driscoll in the report. “New agents continue to join the business, the most recent being Ed Thompson whose clients include Jungle, a festival headlining act.
“Our relationship with North American agency Arrival Artists continues to deepen and prosper and we are excited about the opportunities to explore new markets together in the coming months and years.”
Driscoll continues: “The live music scene in 2022 has seen strong growth in live music activities and this has created a huge demand for ATC Live’s roster as evidenced by the 400% growth in revenue from £0.56 million in 2021 to £2.22 million in 2022. In a similar vein, ATC Management also achieved double digit revenue growth of 33% from £2.89 million in 2021 to £3.85 million.
“The group expanded its live and management businesses during the year and expects to reap the long-term benefits from these investments.”
“Driift is now poised to play a key role in the renewed growth of the livestreaming sector, which is forecast to become a multi-billion dollar segment over the next three to five years”
Driift, which was co-founded by Ric Salmon and Brian Message at ATC Management, has produced dozens of online shows for artists including The Smile, Westlife, Laura Marling, Nick Cave, Niall Horan, Andrea Bocelli, Kylie Minogue, Fontaines DC and Dita Von Teese, and produced the BAFTA Award-winning Glastonbury Festival: Live at Worthy Farm in cooperation with BBC Studios. It acquired technology and sales platform Dreamstage last year amid a fresh £4m investment from Deezer.
“Driift has had a positive start to 2023 as artists and managers look beyond traditional touring and ticketing and seek promotional and revenue-generating opportunities within the livestream market,” adds Driscoll. “Having weathered tougher trading conditions in 2022, and with strong end-to-end delivery capabilities and a solid balance sheet, Driift is now poised to play a key role in the renewed growth of the livestreaming sector, which is forecast to become a multi-billion dollar segment over the next three to five years.
“Having recently signed a number of deals for upcoming events alongside partnerships with the likes of IMAX, the prospects for the business are looking very good for the coming year.”
A statement from ATC co-chairs Brian Message and Craig Newman says that ATC “continues to cement its position as a leading independent music company at the forefront of a rapidly changing industry”.
“We continue to assess any implications from wider macroeconomic headwinds, including potential pressure on consumer budgets or rising production costs,” they conclude. “However, music and ticketing have often outperformed the wider market in difficult economic times and the livestream sector should improve for Driift as larger players cut expenditure on productions, opening opportunities from talent looking to expand revenue streams. We remain positive about our prospects.”
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