Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino doesn’t believe the rapidly-growing coronavirus (COVID-19) will seriously impact his company’s operations or effect its long-term financial outlook.
In an earnings call last week, the president acknowledged that the virus might impact shows in countries and regions where the outbreak is prevalant, and some gigs may need to be postponed so that fans aren’t exposed to COVID-19. However, if shows need to be cancelled, he said this will not cost the company much money, as “we don’t pay an artist until they play.”
“When you have a month, two months – anytime you cancel in advance, there’s actually no cost incurred yet, the artist isn’t at the show, the people aren’t in the venue, you haven’t paid the cost,” he said. “So this is – the easiest economic challenge for us is to reroute and reschedule a show no cost to us.”
Additionally, he pointed out that concert season really ramps-up in the summer, and by then, coronavirus containment is anticipated.
“Most of our business doesn’t start till the middle of June onwards,” Rapino said. “So the next few months, we’ll have some cancellations, I assumne, here and there in some arenas and clubs, but the heart of the business happens this summer.”
A handful of musicians have already been forced to cancel or postpone upcoming shows due to the virus. K-Pop act Seventeen had to cancel their upcoming Ode To You Tour across Europe, followed by the K-pop event Korea Times Music Festival in Los Angeles this April. BTS, Green Day, and Stormzy were also forced to cancel upcoming shows; BTS ARMY fans who received refunds for their tickets opted to donate their funds toward coronavirus relief efforts, raising more than 400 million SKW.
Live Nation made news last week when the company released its final quarter and full-year 2019 financial report, which showed an 8% increase in revenue from 2018. The company reported a total revenue of $11.54 billion with 500 million tickets sold.