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Revenue Up, But Losses Widen At Live Nation

image from allindstrom.comDespite a strong increase in Q4 revenue, Live Nation's losses for 2012 widened, impacted by a $68.2 million charge in the wake of former chairman Irving Azoff's departure in December. For the year, Live Nation posted a loss of $163.2 million, or 87 cents a share for 2012, vs. a loss of $83 million in 2011.

New investments,  one time write-offs, falling revenue from European concerts along with declines in management division income drove the company's loss. But for the final quarter of 2012, Live Nation saw a strong increase in sales, up by 21% against the same period in the previous year and beating analyst predictions of 1.29 billion.

Also in Q4, overall revenue for concerts was up by 31.9% to $915.8 million in Q4 and 10.4% at $3.870 billion for 201. Ticketing saw modest gains of 5.6% in the same period, rising to $372.5 million from the previous year. Sponsorship and advertising saw Q4 gains as well, with revenue up by 13.3% to $54.7 million and $247.9 million, or 7.4% for the year. 

“During 2012, the company increased revenue by 8% and grew all our business segments while continuing to invest in our long-term ticketing platform,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment. “Our ongoing growth in operating profitability was driven by the continued success of our core business of bringing more fans to more events, with ticket sales growth of 4% at our concerts and 5% for Ticketmaster.”

“Looking forward to 2013, I am confident that we will continue the successful growth of the core business. As of the end of 2012, we have sold 9 million concert tickets for 2013 shows, a 58% increase from a year ago. Our ticketing replatforming project is in its last full year of investment and will deliver major product innovations for clients and fans throughout the year, highlighted by our integrated inventory product for fans to be rolled out mid-year. I expect another strong year for our Sponsorship & Advertising business as we accelerate our online advertising and continue leveraging our festival base," Rapino added. 

The CEO also hinted that several major tech initiatives would be unveiled in 2013,  perhaps pointing to the thus far secret work of the concert and ticketing giants internal tech incubator Live Nation Labs. - by Celebrity Access and Bruce Houghton

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