Sunday, 28 May 2023

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Live Nation President and CFO talks AI, ticketing legislation and TikTok at J.P. Morgan conference

The live-events business is seeing one of its biggest boom years in recent memory, and few companies are capitalizing on it as well as Live Nation.

The live-entertainment company that owns Ticketmaster clocked $2.28 billion in revenue in its concerts division in Q1 2023, up 89% YoY. A total of 19 million fans attended Live Nation shows in 45 countries in Q1, an increase of 73% YoY compared to the 11 million fans in Q1 2022.

Its ticketing division generated $677.7 million, up 41% YoY. That was on the strength of some big-name tours by artists such as Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Drake.

However, for investors wondering what happens when superstar tours wrap up, or if iconic rockers like Springsteen retire, in the view of Joe Berchtold, Live Nation’s President and CFO, the supply of artists to the live business just isn’t a problem nowadays.

That’s thanks in large part to streaming services like Spotify and social media sites like TikTok.

“The reality is, today, on the supply side, you’re seeing artists able to emerge, develop and build global followings in a way that could never happen historically,” Berchtold said during a Q&A session at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference on Tuesday (May 23).

“We’re very thankful for the Spotifys of the world. We’re very thankful for the Instagrams, and TikToks that let [artists] build global brands,” he told the session’s host, J.P. Morgan analyst David Karnovsky.

“We certainly wouldn’t have heard, three years ago, [about] a lot of the biggest artists that are out there today. Bad Bunny last year, Karol G this year. You’ve got a Mexican rapper who’s the number one artist streaming on Spotify these days,” he added, referring to Peso Pluma, who’s currently topping the Spotify charts in Mexico.

Like others in the business, Berchtold sees a lot of potential in the globalization of musical artists’ fan bases that streaming services and social media platforms have made possible.

“We are getting lots of other sources of music that maybe once were regional [that] are now going global. [They] were selling out mid-sized buildings, now they’re selling out stadiums. So you’re seeing that supply continue to build and I don’t see any letting up in that on the demand side.”

“You’re seeing artists able to emerge, develop and build global followings in a way that could never happen historically.”

Joe Berchtold, Live Nation

In that regard, Berchtold is on the…

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