Live Nation Entertainment faced another challenging quarter to close out 2020, with revenue dropping 92% in the fourth quarter compared to the same time period in 2019, the company announced in its earnings report on Thursday afternoon.
For the 2020 calendar year as a whole, revenue dropped 84% compared to the previous year.
Revenue for the fourth quarter was down to $178.4 million from nearly $2.3 billion in the previous year, while overall revenue for 2020 was about $8 billion less than in 2019 — totaling $1.4 billion compared to the previous $9.4 billion. Live Nation, which owns both concert promoter Live Nation and ticketing platform Ticketmaster, lost about $368 million between its concert and ticketing divisions in the fourth quarter. Ticketing revenue fell 98% while concert revenue fell 92%. The company lost $1 billion for the year as a whole.
Wall Street, for its part, seems unbothered by Live Nation’s low revenue from the past year: The company’s stock price has climbed steadily, perhaps cheered by Covid-19 vaccines continuing to roll out across the world. Shares sat at around $60 per share a year ago, and dropped to $30 in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit the U.S. — but this week, Live Nation’s stock hit an all-time high, and it currently sits at around $87 per share.
Live Nation reported that it has about $2 billion in liquidity atop an average burn rate of $103 million per month, and CEO Michael Rapino repeated his earlier sentiment from previous earnings calls that the company expects concerts to return at scale in some regions by the summer of this year, with outdoor events coming back first. A full-scale comeback that compares with a pre-pandemic world is beginning to seem increasingly likely for the industry at large in 2022, however. Live Nation said it expects a busy season ahead: It reports low refund requests on tickets (83% of fans are keeping tickets, the company says) and expects nearly twice as many of its major artists to be on tour in 2022 compared to a more typical year (45 versus 25).
With concerts off, Live Nation has been delving heavier into digital options like livestreaming. It bought a majority stake in livestreamer Veeps, founded by Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden, earlier this year. The company said in a release accompanying the earnings report that it would further focus on building out its streaming options for more revenue streams. Livestreaming has quickly grown since the pandemic began, though it far from covers revenues lost from a usually busy concert business.
This story will be updated following Live Nation’s after-the-bell earnings call with analysts.