The live events industry is enjoying one of its biggest boom years in recent memory, and few companies are reaping the benefits as well as nation live.
The live entertainment company that owns Ticketmaster stopwatch $2.28 billion In revenue in its concerts division in Q1 2023, up 89% year over year. A total of 19 million fans attended Live Nation broadcasts in 45 countries in the first quarter, an increase of 73% year over year compared to the 11 million ventilators in the first quarter of 2022.
Its ticketing division generated $677.7 millionat the top 41% year over year. This was thanks to tours by big name artists such as Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Drake.
However, for investors wondering what happens when superstar tours end or iconic rockers like Springsteen retire, in the opinion of Joe Berchtold, president and chief financial officer of Live Nation, the offer of artists to the live business is simply not a problem these days.
This is largely thanks to streaming services like Spotify and social media sites like TikTok.
“The reality is that today, on the supply side, you see artists able to emerge, grow and build global followers in ways that could never have happened historically” , Berchtold said during a Questions and answers session at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference on Tuesday, May 23.
“We are very grateful for the Spotifys of the world. We are very grateful for the instagrams, and TikToks which allow [artists] build global brands,” he told session host David Karnovsky, an analyst at JP Morgan.
“We certainly would not have heard, three years ago, [about] many of the greatest artists that are out there today. Bad Bunny last year, Karol G this year. You have a Mexican rapper who is the number one artist streaming on Spotify these days,” he added, referring to Peso Pluma, who currently tops the Spotify charts in Mexico.
Like others in the industry, Berchtold sees a lot of potential in the globalization of music artist fanbases made possible by streaming services and social media platforms.
“We get many other sources of music that were maybe once regional [that] are now global. [They] were selling mid-rise buildings, now they’re selling stadiums. So you see that the supply continues to expand and I don’t see any slackening on the demand side.
“You see artists able to emerge, grow and build global followings in ways that could never have happened historically.”
Joe Berchtold, Live Nation
In this regard, Berchtold is on the same wavelength as his colleague Michael Rapino, founder and CEO of Live Nation, who said during the presentation of the company most recent earnings call early May that the industry “sees this encouraging new sourcing strategy, where for many years it was US or UK based artists filling the charts and filling the stadium [globally]. And most of the other talent was domestic.
“This is the real breakout year where the world and the consumer are truly global. And now you can see artists coming from Latin America and Korea and becoming global superstars.
Berchtold’s conversation with Karnovsky was wide-ranging. Here are two other things we took away from his appearance at the JPMorgan conference:
AI has the potential to transform the ticketing industry – and it has already done so
Asked by Karnovsky about the potential of AI technology in the concert and ticketing industry, Berchtold said Ticketmaster has been using AI for quite some time.
“We have many areas in Ticketmaster where we use what we used to call ‘machine learning’. We… take a lot of data input and use [them] realize [how to] make everyone’s life easier. So for me it’s more of an infrastructure component that runs inside Ticketmaster. »
Going forward, Berchtold said there are many areas where AI could improve Live Nation’s business, from helping develop new shows for venues to creating campaigns. marketing “much more effective and targeted in terms of marketing. Pricing is another as we continue to think about how you optimize pricing and move even more towards a one-on-one relationship with fans,” he said.
Berchtold sees potential for AI in the tricky area of customer service.
“Ticketing is complicated customer service because when fans have a need, they usually have a need right now,” he said, comparing it to customer service in the airline industry.
“I can’t wait until tomorrow because I have a show tonight, or I have a problem that needs to be solved… Using AI to help inform that will be great. SO [these are] things that can all help us, because they help us to be more efficient or effective in our work. »
Rush for ticket price legislation highlights business realities
Ticketmaster has repeatedly defended the practice dynamic pricing, on the argument that if ticket prices do not meet demand, it will be the resellers who will benefit by selling those tickets at a huge markup over their original price, while artists and gig companies will get none of this extra income.
“What’s happening at the state level is obviously the scalpers have realized they’re losing the federal battle,” Berchtold said.
“And so they try to go running in the States [in the] hope they can sell a list of goods to some senators who don’t understand the big picture. And you get pop-up bills. The vast majority of the time, fairly simple conversations of sports teams, artists, their representatives explain the reality and [the bills] get killed,” he said.
Massachusetts lawmakers John Velis and Dan Carey recently introduced a bill in the state legislature prohibit dynamic ticket pricing.
“No matter the event, consumers are fed up with the lack of transparency from ticket sellers. Seeing ticket prices increase as you navigate the buying process is devastating. Sellers shouldn’t be able to hide behind websites while consumers are left behind,” Carey, a representative for the state House of Representatives, said in a statement.
“The scalpers understood that they were losing the federal battle. And so they try to go run across the states [in the] I hope they can sell a list of goods to some senators who do not understand the big picture.
Joe Berchtold, Live Nation
Berchtold reiterated Live Nation’s position that the company is not against all attempts to regulate the ticketing industry. In particular, Live Nation Rapino said he supports efforts to introduce “all-inclusive” ticket pricing, where the advertised price includes all fees. One of these bills is the federal banknote lawintroduced last month by Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington.
Berchtold commented that “as painful as the last six, eight months have been” – referring to the recent flurry of legislative proposals – it has actually been helpful to the industry in some ways, “because it has shone a lot more than one light and made what is happening more transparent.”
Berchtold suggested lawmakers simply don’t know how the ticketing industry works — but in trying to legislate it, they learn.
“I think the amount of tension, press, conversation [around the issue] made its operation more transparent. This transparency is good for us, because I am very confident in what we are doing. We start with the artist…we serve the artist, and I don’t think that will ultimately turn out to be wrong.The music industry around the world