Ticketmaster sold 15,000 tickets per minute at ‘peak sale times’ in North America during Q1 2023

Photo Credit: T. Schneider/Shutterstock

MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution, and rights management company.

Concerts giant Live Nation has reported record results across all its divisions for Q1 2023.

For the first time in three years, all markets where the company operates were fully open, and according to Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s President and Chief Executive Officer, “from ticket sales, to attendance, and onsite spend – every sign points to incredible demand for live events”.

Rapino told investors in a statement on Thursday (May 4), that “the common theme we are seeing around the world is that live experiences are a high priority for fans.” 

In terms of finances, across all divisions, including Concerts, Ticketing, Sponsorship & Advertising, Live Nation generated revenues of $3.1 billion in Q1, up 73%.

Breaking down the company’s financial results reveals that its concerts business generated $2.28 billion in Q1, up 89% YoY.

Live Nation’s ticketing business, meanwhile, generated $677.7 million, up 41% YoY.

Sponsorship & Advertising revenues at Live Nation reached $170.1 million, up 47% YoY (see below).

In terms of attendance numbers, the company reports that over 19 million fans attended its shows across 45 countries in Q1, 7.5 million of which attended shows in North America.

The company also breaks down its attendance for Q1 by venue type and location, reporting that in terms of Stadiums, its attendance more than quadrupled to 3.3 million fans in Q1 2023, up from 800,000 in Q1 2022. This growth primarily came from the company’s Asia Pacific and Latin America markets.

At the Arenas level, Live Nation reports that 6.7 million fans attended its shows in Q1 2023, up 3 million or almost 80% versus Q1 2022, largely as a result of growth in Europe and Australia touring.

At the Theaters and Clubs level, Live Nation’s fan count was up 45% YoY in Q1 2023.

Live Nation also reports that it sold over 145 million tickets in Q1 “with record levels of activity across all markets”.

One of the most impressive stats of all to be reported by Live Nation for Q1, however, was that, “at peak sale times during the first quarter of 2023”, its ticketing division Ticketmaster “sold 15,000 tickets per minute in North America”.

Live Nation says that Ticketmaster is forecast to deliver “record activity” in 2023, with around 600 million tickets set to be managed by the division globally this year.

Rapino pointed out in his note to investors on Thursday that “in concerts [Live Nation], have sold nearly 90 million tickets for shows this year, tracking more than 20% ahead of this point last year”.

“These early sales have been driven by a record number of stadium shows and continued strong growth in arena tours,” added Rapino. “With many major tours – from Beyoncé to Drake to Bruce Springsteen – demand was so strong that even when artists added a number of additional shows, they still were not able to meet all of the fan demand.”

According to Live Nation, “over 99.9% of all Ticketmaster transaction[s] were processed without any issues during the first quarter of 2023”.

The company’s average ticket prices on primary tickets rose by 16% in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022, driven, according to Live Nation, “by fan demand for the best seats, particularly at concerts”.

The company also reports that [the] average secondary ticket price “remains close to double that of a primary ticket, continuing to show the extent to which concerts and other live events remain priced below market value”.

Credit: Live Nation/press

“Our results for the first quarter demonstrate the success of our strategy and sets us up for strong growth in 2023.”

Michael Rapino

Commenting on the company’s latest result in a statement to investors on Thursday, Rapino said: “What is clear as we look at our results and operating metrics is that global demand for live events continues to reach new heights – demand has been growing for a long time and is showing no signs of letting up.  Talking to fans, they say that live experiences are the number one leisure category where they expect to spend more in the future.  Naturally, this is leading to record levels of activity in both our concerts and ticketing businesses.

Added Rapino: “Our results for the first quarter demonstrate the success of our strategy and sets us up for strong growth in 2023.  We expect to host a record number of fans this year, even against a 2022 comparison which benefited from rescheduled shows attended by 20 million fans.  Ticketmaster should also deliver record activity, with around 600 million tickets managed globally this year.  Our sponsorship business, even after incredible growth last year, looks to be on track for double-digit AOI growth again this year.

“As we then look to 2024 and beyond, we have all the necessary levers to build our flywheel globally and continue to compound AOI by double-digits for the foreseeable future.”

Cinq Music Group’s repertoire has won Grammy awards, dozens of Gold and Platinum RIAA certifications, and numerous No.1 chart positions on a variety of Billboard charts. Its repertoire includes heavyweights such as Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, T.I., Sean Kingston, Anuel, and hundreds more.Music Business Worldwide

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