Secondary ticketing sales soar at Ticketmaster in 2014

One area of Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster’s business grew faster than any other in 2014: the gross revenue generated by its ticket resale operation was up a whopping 55% in the year, to US $900m. And in 2015, that figure’s predicted to top a billion dollars.

Obviously, much of this gross resale revenue will be collected by individual sellers – but a significant percentage will be kept by LN.

Live Nation’s overall ticketing segment saw sales increases of 11% in net revenues to $1.56bn, which it pinned on ‘growth of our primary and resale businesses in North America’.

Particularly, if you dig into the fiscal data, the latter.

The company’s TM+ resale marketplace delivered significant growth in gross transaction value (GTV) in each quarter of 2014 as compared to the prior year.

TM+ powers resale platforms such as TicketsNow and TicketsExchange in North America and GET ME IN! in the United Kingdom.

Ticketmaster effectively acquired a major rival, Seatwave, in November, while recent reports suggest another competitor, EBay-owned StubHub, suffered market share losses in 2014.

“Only 6% of our Ticketmaster events in 2014 were activated with secondary inventory. We have substantial room for growth ahead.”

Michael Rapino, Live Nation

Live Nation COO Joe Berchtold told investors that based on early sales results in 2015, Live Nation expected TM+ to enjoy another double-digit climb in revenues this year – which would see it become a billion dollar gross revenue business.

And Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said: “Secondary growth for [music] concerts in particular has been very strong with a 350% year-on-year increase [in listed resale ticket numbers on TM+ platforms]… despite this strong growth, only 6% of our Ticketmaster events in 2014 were activated with secondary inventory. So we have substantial run rate for growth ahead.”

Throughout the year, 18% of Live Nation ticket sales came via mobile and tablet devices, up from 14% in 2013.

Ticketing direct operating expenses increased $91.1 million , or 14% , during 2014. Excluding the decrease of $5.2 million related to the impact of changes in foreign exchange rates, direct operating expenses increased $96.3 million, primarily due to higher costs associated with the increased primary and resale ticket sales partially offset by a legal settlement received in 2014.

Live Nation’s total revenue hit a record US $6.9bn in 2014, up 6% year-on-year. Inclusive of $13.6m losses to non-controlling interests, LNE posted a full-year net loss of $104.5m for 2014.

In 2013, its FY net loss stood at $36m.Music Business Worldwide

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