Here’s what Live Nation’s second-quarter data means for live music
Earlier this week, Live Nation released its second-quarter reports. The financial documents revealed that the company's revenue has taken a massive plummet amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the report, the company claims that 86 percent of 2020 ticketholders have opted to keep their tickets for rescheduled shows. However, one big factor is missing from this figure.
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Earlier this year, both Live Nation and its partner Ticketmaster announced massive layoffs amid the pandemic. In April, Ticketmaster furloughed hundreds of its employees. Following this, in May, Live Nation also furloughed 2,000 North American employees as part of its cost-reduction plans.
Then, earlier this week, Live Nation revealed just how much it is struggling financially. According to the financial results, the second quarter officially ended on June 30, 2020. During this time period, Live Nation posted a net revenue of just $74.1 million, 98 percent lower than the $3.16 billion it earned in 2019’s second quarter.
Despite the loss of profits this year, Live Nation appears to be remaining positive. In the report, the company shares that 86 percent of ticketholders have opted to keep their tickets for rescheduled shows. CEO Michael Rapino even referenced this data in his statement this week.
“Importantly, we remain confident that fans will return to live events when it is safe to do so,” Rapino says. “Our strongest indicator of demand is that fans are holding on to their tickets, even when given the option of a refund. Through the end of the second quarter, 86% of concert fans are keeping their tickets for rescheduled shows, demonstrating their continued desire to attend concerts in the future despite the current uncertainty.”
This data seemingly shows that concertgoers are staying optimistic about the future of live music. However, one key factor is missing from this figure that needs to be considered. Live Nation did not calculate canceled events or festivals into this refund rate.
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For the report, Live Nation only included their own promoted concerts that are rescheduled with new dates or have soon-to-be-announced dates. This figure also doesn't include festivals. Since most festivals are no longer happening in 2020, they are being canceled rather than rescheduled. These cancelations mean that ticketholders were immediately refunded for the events. Therefore, these individuals didn't have the option to keep their tickets for rescheduled shows.
As well, many concerts and tours were reportedly canceled, and never rescheduled, due to poor ticket sales amid the pandemic. At this time, it is unknown if the inclusion of canceled shows and festivals would significantly skew Live Nation's projected 86 percent refund rate. So, it is still rather uncertain how consumers feel about returning to concerts and events next year.
Nevertheless, the company is still making plans for a big return in 2021.
Live Nation states that the United States will likely see the return of live events in the summer of 2021. Due to this, Live Nation predicts that ticket sales will "ramp up" around that time.
“Over the past three months, our top priority has been strengthening our financial position to ensure that we have the liquidity and flexibility to get through an extended period with no live events,” the statement says. “Our expectation is that live events will return at scale in the summer of 2021, with ticket sales ramping up in the quarters leading up to these shows.”
Live Nation’s full second-quarter financial report is available to read here.
Are you holding onto tickets for rescheduled 2021 shows? Let us know in the comments below.