Live Nation reports record 2017, confirms Robomagic deal

Live Nation reports record 2017, confirms Robomagic deal

Live Nation has reported a seventh consecutive record year of results, achieving growth across all of its divisions. 

The promoting giant was up in concerts, sponsorship and ticketing in 2017, staging 30,000 shows in 40 countries. Revenue was up 24% to $10.3 billion (£7.5bn), concert attendance rose 21% to 86 million and sponsorship and advertising revenue increased by 18%, according to its latest set of financial results

The company has also confirmed that veteran promoter Rob Hallett and his Robomagic Live firm have become part of its live music empire. While there has been no official announcement, Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino tweeted: "Rob Hallett’s Robomagic joins @livenation - great news for us finally @robh25 we work together."

Hallett (pictured) founded rival AEG's UK office in 2005 and enjoyed a memorable decade-long stint with the global promoting giant, touring the likes of Bon Jovi, Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Usher and Leonard Cohen across Europe.  

Exiting AEG in 2014, he launched boutique live, 360 and finance venture Robomagic the following year. Projects have included a Duran Duran arena tour, festival partnerships Caught By The River Thames and Fold, and last year's BBK Takeover, co-promoted with Live Nation's Festival Republic subsidiary. It has upcoming concerts planned with Jammer, Why Don't We, H.E.R. and Lemz. 

Live Nation brought UK promoters Cuffe & Taylor and Metropolis under its wing last year and acquired certain assets from CERG, the entity formerly known as Songkick.

Average ticket prices for Live Nation shows increased by 5% in 2017, resulting in more than $250m (£181m) additional revenue

"In the United States alone, over the past 10 years consumer spending on experiences has grown $5bn (£3.6bn) per year, and we believe this trend will continue driving a structural increase in demand for concerts globally," said Rapino. 

"The strength of our business is continuing into 2018 with confirmed arena, amphitheater and stadium shows through February 19 up 7% compared to this time last year. Overall, we expect a very strong year across our amphitheatres, arenas and festivals, with some decline in stadium show count on a year-over-year basis. 

"Given our plans to further monetise our fan relationships, I expect this will translate into continued strong growth in concerts operating results in 2018."

Ticketmaster, Live Nation's ticketing arm, continued to lead the ticketing market, with gross transaction value (GTV) up 15%, delivering 500 million tickets to fans in 29 countries for a 17% increase in ticketing revenue. GTV from its secondary ticketing platforms also increased by 16%. 

"The Ticketmaster platform continues to demonstrate its effectiveness in selling tickets to fans, with the fourth quarter being our top quarter ever, selling over 50 million fee-bearing tickets which delivered over $4.5 billion [£3.3bn] in GTV," said Rapino.

Rapino also hailed the impact of Ticketmaster's Verified Fan initiative. "Throughout the year, we worked with over 80 artist campaigns on Verified Fan, selling three million tickets and saving fans over $100 million [£72.5m] relative to what they would have spent on the secondary market to buy these tickets," he said. "As we look toward 2018, it will continue to be a top priority to evolve Verified Fan, while also building out a full suite of services that give artists greater control over how their tickets are priced and distributed.

"At the same time, we have also continued to improve our marketplace, already by far the largest ticketing marketplace in the world. We remain focused on building the inventory available to fans, adding new clients and expanding our secondary listings."

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