Covid Concert Carnage: Live Nation Falls 95% In Q3
Live Nation shared the Covid-induced carnage of its 3rd fiscal quarter reporting a decline in revenue of 95%.
The concert giant reported revenue of $184 million, down from $3.77 billion in the same period in 2019. Live Nation’s concert business led the downhill charge, reporting just $154.8 million in revenue for the quarter, off from the $3.17bn the division recorded in Q3 2019.
“no major changes in our business conditions or outlook”
Ticketing also weighed on Live Nation’s quarterly revenue, with losses of $19.8 million for the quarter, after reporting revenue of $388.5 for the same period last year.
Sponsorship and advertising was off as well, with a reported decline of 78% from 2019 and revenue of just $47.9 million for the quarter.
“There have been no major changes in our business conditions or outlook over the past three months, and while we see signs of promise around the world as some live events return, most regions we operate in continue to have various restrictions on live events. For now, we continue to maintain a strong cash management discipline, while planning for the ramp-up to resume live shows as soon as possible,” said Live Nation’s Michael Rapino in an investor release.
According to Live Nation, the company has reserves of cash and cash equivalents worth $2.6 billion, which includes $951 million of free cash, to support operations during the pandemic.
The company said it anticipates its cash reserves will be sufficient to seem them through to the anticipated return of the live sector, which they currently expect to occur in the summer of 2021.
Live Nation also touted their cost reduction program which has reduced their monthly burn rate to $110 million on average for the last 9 months.
As well, Live Nation sounded optimistic notes about their anticipation of the return of the live industry in 2021.
“Festival on-sales for next year have been strong, with EDC Las Vegas 2021 sold out in less than 24 hours at a higher capacity than last year, and with ticket sales for Reading, Creamfields and Isle of Wight festivals in the UK all pacing ahead of last year at this time. And we are encouraged by the enthusiasm for the recent events and gatherings that have started to take place, including our first sold-out arena tour with 20,000 fans in New Zealand, where business is headed back to normal,” Rapino said.
Rapino also shared some details about the company’s plan to return to concerts at scale safely once the ravages of the pandemic subside.
“On the technology front, Ticketmaster is creating the tools we will need to make sure live events can deliver a variety of safety precautions when returning and enhance the fan experience well into the future. We recently unveiled SmartEvent, which includes new products such as our social distancing seat mapping tool and timed entry technology that have been created to give venues the flexibility to plan how to manage everything from venue access to box office interactions. Existing products, including our SafeTix digital ticketing technology, can fulfill new needs, including being a key facilitator for contact tracing when required. And the ability to integrate third-party applications with our digital ticketing platform enables a range of customizable features from contactless concessions to testing and health questionnaire tracking,” Rapino said.
“On the concert front, Live Nation is developing a set of standards for executing shows at our venues. We are collaborating with health experts to create show guidelines that put in place procedures which can adapt to various situations, across all regions. From venue sanitation procedures to fan-friendly policies on ticket purchases and the latest testing options, we are setting standards that will give fans, crews and artists peace of mind before, during and after the show,” he added.