Live Nation Entertainment holds center stage as the world's largest ticket seller and promoter of live entertainment. In 2010 the company significantly expanded its ticketing services with the purchase of Ticketmaster Entertainment. The deal, worth some $889 million, created a powerful live-music conglomerate. The firm also owns or operates about 300 venues in North America and Europe. Annually, about 250 million people attend some 180,000 Live Nation events. Live Nation also owns House of Blues venues through HOB Entertainment and dozens of prestigious concert halls. In addition, Live Nation owns a stake in about 250 artists' music, including albums, tours, and merchandise.
Live Nation owns, operates, or leases venues located throughout the world. The company generated almost 65% of revenue from domestic operations during fiscal 2012.
Live Nation’s reportable segments are Concerts, Ticketing, Artist Nation, and Sponsorship & Advertising. In fiscal 2012 about 90% of its revenue came from its Concerts and Ticketing segments.
Its Concerts segment involves global promotion of live music events in its owned and operated venues and in rented third-party venues, the operation and management of music venues, and the production of music festivals across the world.
The Ticketing segment is primarily an agency business that sells tickets for events on behalf of its clients and retains a convenience charge and order processing fee for its services.
The company's Artist Nation segment provides management services to music artists in exchange for a commission on the earnings of these artists.
Its Sponsorship & Advertising segment employs a sales force that creates and maintains relationships with sponsors that allow businesses to reach customers through Live Nation's concert, venue, artist relationship, and ticketing assets, including advertising on its websites.
Sales and Marketing
Live Nation itself spent about $208 million on advertising during fiscal 2012, mostly on promoting its events.
The company’s revenue increased by 8% to about $5.8 billion in fiscal 2012, up from $5.4 billion in fiscal 2011. The overall increase in revenue was primarily due to increases in its Concerts and Ticketing segments of $364 million and $55 million, respectively. The increase in Concerts revenue resulted from strategic priorities to grow owned and operated amphitheater and European festival profitability, expand its portfolio of electronic dance music, and other new festivals and expand into new geographic markets.
Despite the increase in revenue, Live Nation recorded a net loss in fiscal 2012 due to the increase in direct operating expenses, selling, general and administrative expenses, depreciation and amortization, and income tax expenses.
Live Nation has used joint ventures to expand its operations. In 2011 it launched a joint venture with online discount giant Groupon. Through the partnership, Groupon Live offers group discounts and special promotions to help sell tickets to concerts, sporting events, and other attractions. Also that year its business unit Front Line Management, an artist management company, formed a joint venture with Universal Music Group. The JV's goal is to provide artists and their brands a variety of sponsorships, campaigns, and extensions through ticketing and bundling opportunities.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The company has also used acquisitions to fuel its growth. Live Nation has been investing its dance music promotion activities as of late. In 2012 the company acquired Hard Events, a Los Angeles firm that puts on electronic dance music and festivals and concerts across North America. Also in 2012 Live Nation bought Cream Holdings, a major British dance promoter. After that deal closed, the company appointed Cream founder as president of Live Nation's electronic music division.
Media conglomerate Liberty Media currently owns about 27% of Live Nation, but hopes to eventually increase its share to about 35%.