Live Nation Trims Losses To $48.5 Million, Credits Lower Ticket Prices
Live Nation has pared losses in the first quarter of 2011, reporting upticks in ticket sales for concerts and sporting events, driven by lower ticket prices. Overall, Live Nation's net loss for the quarter was down to $48.5 million compared to $122 million in Q1 2010. Revenue grew by 17% to $849 million against $723 million in the same quarter from last year.
Concert ticket sales were up by almost 13% and sports ticketing improving by 17% against the previous year. The increases were driven by more aggressive pricing models and more conservative approach to booking shows. "The bands that are winning are the ones who probably changed the way they went to market this year." Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said.
While ticket sales were up, for the start of the year, most major touring artists go with early onsale dates which are already reflected in the Q1 results. "We expect ticket sales to be flat for the entire year," Mr. Rapino told an analyst during the earnings conference call.
Other challenges might come from potential strikes by players in both the NFL and the NBA. Mr. Rapino estimated that strikes in both leagues could cost Live Nation as much as $20 million.
At the conclusion of the conference call, one analyst asked the burning question that was on everyone's mind, did Live Nation make any money off of Charlie Sheen? "We absolutely did. We were paid to be the production arm behind the scenes and we developed the merch business through Front line." Mr. Rapino replied. "And the boys in the UK want the show over there." Mr. Azoff added. - CelebrityAccess