Live Nation’s executive leadership appears unconcerned by the many negative headlines about Ticketmaster and the investigation accusing it of running a monopoly on the American live entertainment business.
Its latest earnings report showed an impressive 73% year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 2023, reaching $3.1 billion worldwide across all divisions.
quarterly income of ticketmaster The tickets themselves grew 43% year-over-year to $677.7 million, with 145 million tickets sold. The ticketing division reported “record levels of activity across all markets”.
On the sensitive issue of ticket prices, CEO Michael Rapinoe He sees things quite differently than the people complaining on social media: Given demand, he argues, ticket prices could still be too low.
Its main indicator, in his opinion, is the “secondary” market, that is, the resale ticket market, served by resellers and resale services.
“Average secondary ticket prices remain almost double those of primary tickets, which reflects the extent to which concerts and other live events remain below market value,” he said. Joe Berchtold President and CFO of Live Nation.
While this approach is unlikely to satisfy angry Bruce Springsteen fans, who complained on social media that ticket prices for his tour had skyrocketed to $5,000, Rapinoe said artists and entertainment companies would like to see Live Like Live. Both nations are beginning to realize how much money they are leaving in the hands of the secondary market. “We think we’re still dramatically underserved compared to demand, and you see that every day in the secondary market.”
first quarter results live nation seem to support that claim. Ticket prices increased 16% year-over-year, even as “cost pressures are easing and operating costs per fan are decreasing across all of our covered buildings,” in the words of Berchtold In.
He added: “We are forecasting that cost increases for our festivals and amphitheatres will remain below normal inflation levels.”
Additionally, the leadership of live nation is aware of the controversy over increasing ticket prices, and highlights efforts to create a wider range of prices, which would include cheaper tickets for concerts, as well as more expensive tickets for premium seats and experiences.
“As another initiative to make tickets affordable for all fans, today we are launching our summer concert week $25 tickets are available for approximately 4,000 shows,” Rapinoe said during the call.
In line with the company’s strategy to capture both the high and low end of the concert market, Live Nation is expanding its premium offerings for concert-goers. We’re not just talking about selling expensive tickets; The company wants to sell premium “experiences” to engaged fans.
For this, among other things, the recently released Live Nation vibe A “music-based destination experience company” that caters to fans through all-inclusive packages that include exclusive concerts in intimate venues, cruises, and hotel shots.
“I’ve said many times that this is an industry that has done a good job of scaling to the masses, but not a good job of providing a premium experience for customers,” Rapinoe said on the earnings call.
As for new laws proposed in the US to regulate “junk” ticket sales fees, Rapinoe said that Live Nation supports “all-in” ticket prices. Rapinoe said, “Amidst all the noise, most people — in industry and politics — are arriving at exactly where we are” on the issue of fair ticket prices.
However, when it comes to legislation that would put an end to the practice of monopolizing venues as ticket sellers, officials live nation They appear to be less supportive and doubt that such a law would pass.
“These are the rights of the places,” he replied. berchtold For a question on the matter. And over time, venues are figuring out how they can better monetize some of their rights. What they’ve determined is that the best way to monetize those rights in the United States is to auction them for exclusivity. So I think … if there is a change in exclusivity, the venues will be the worst hit because they will lose the ability to fully maximize their rights.”