Live Nation Entertainment released financial results for their fourth quarter, as well as the full year of 2018, last week, which showed the company’s eighth consecutive year of growth.
The report showed that revenue, operating income, and adjusted operating income increased, with revenue up 11 percent to $10.8 billion, and concert attendance rounded-out at 93 million, which was up 8 percent. Concerts growth accelerated; across the globe, the company invested over $6 billion to promote 35,000 shows in 40 countries. While their show count and attendance grew, so did consumer spending. For the past ten years, consumer spending on live experiences has grown by $5 billion per year, a trend Live Nation expects to continue to increase.
The report notes that it was a “strong growth year” for Live Nation, as the global concerts business drove growth in its high-margin venue, sponsorship, and ticketing business. In years to come, the company expects growth to excel as fans drive demand and artists tour more, benefiting on-site spending, sponsorship, and ticketing.
Michael Rapino, President and CEO of Live Nation, noted in a press release that the strength of the business will continue through 2019. By the end of this year, he expects Live Nation to have presence in over 500 venues with over 125 million fans attending these events. This presence means that Ticketmaster would cover 75 percent of major sports and Live Nation buildings, making the company “by far the global leader in digital ticketing.” As of February 2019, the report noted that ticket sales were already up by double-digits.
“I believe we have tremendous opportunity for growth on a global basis, particularly in the 13 markets where we promote concerts but do not yet have a substantial ticketing operation. In 2018, we furthered our international expansion, establishing ticketing operations in Italy, growing our German operations and laying the groundwork for expansion into Latin America.
“Ticketmaster continues to exceed expectations, both operationally and in its leadership position in digital ticketing, which we believe it can extend globally and deliver continued profitable growth.”
The company discussed its financial performance in a webcast teleconference last week, which is available for replay on the Live Nation website.