Live Nation Entertainment reported both an impressive final quarter of 2017 and and strong full year results, according to the latest financial filings from the concert giant. For 2017, Live Nation reported revenue of $10.3 billion for the year, up 24% from 2016.
But operating income for the same period slipped from $194.9 million in 2016, to $91.4 million, a loss of 53% for the period. The company blamed the loss on a $110 million legal settlement, reportedly with Songkick, at the end of their fiscal year.
Despite the operating loss, the company’s key segments performed well during the year, with revenue from concerts up to $7.892 billion for the year, up by 26% from 2016. Ticketing was up as well, topping $2.1 billion, an improvement of 17%.
Live Nation’s sponsorship team also performed in 2017, recording revenue of $445.1 million and operating income of $251.5 million, improvements of 18% and 10% respectively.
Live Nation stock was flat in after hours trading Tuesday.
“In 2017, we again delivered strong growth through our flywheel strategy – growing our global concerts business, and thereby driving growth in our high-margin on-site, sponsorship and ticketing businesses. This strategy has consistently delivered results for several years now, creating shareholder value through increasing operating results and cash flow growth as we have continued expanding our global business,” said Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino.
For the fourth quarter, Live Nation’s revenue topped $2.546 billion, up by 42% from the previous year. Breakouts of the revenue include a 53% improvement in concert revenue, a 21% improvement for the company’s ticketing segment and an 11% bump for their sponsorships unit. Operating income for the quarter was not as rosy and weighed by the settlement. Live Nation reported that their operating income stayed flat, but negative for the quarter, with a loss of $202 million for the period, while adjusted operating income also stayed flat, with a loss of $22.8.
In the filing, Live Nation also revealed that more people than ever are attending concerts. In 2017, concert attendance at Live Nation events grew substantially, with 86 million people going to shows, up by 21%.
“Across all of the artists we work with, we invested $5.6 billion to promote 30,000 shows in 40 countries, with Live Nation by far the largest financial supporter of artists in music. Fans, more than ever, find the live experience, from club shows to arenas to festivals, a top entertainment choice and the best way to celebrate their favorite artists and share the experience with other fans. In the United States alone, over the past 10 years consumer spending on experiences has grown $5 billion per year, and we believe this trend will continue driving a structural increase in demand for concerts globally. In 2017, we built on our leadership position across our business, with double-digit fan growth in both North America and internationally, and across arenas, stadiums, festivals, and theaters and clubs,” Rapino said.
As well, Ticketmaster reported that fee-bearing gross transaction value, or GTV, was up 15% for the year, and total platform GTV of $30 billion, delivering 500 million tickets to fans in 29 countries.