S&P 500   4,967.23
DOW   37,986.40
QQQ   414.65
North Carolina medical marijuana sales begin at Cherokee store
Biden sees a $35 price cap for insulin as a pivotal campaign issue. It’s not that clear-cut
Ukrainian and Western leaders laud US aid package while the Kremlin warns of 'further ruin'
'Civil War’ continues box-office campaign at No. 1
Conservative Brazilians laud Elon Musk at rally in support of ex-president Bolsonaro
Tens of thousands of Colombians protest against the leftist president's reform agenda
Stock market today: Asian shares shrug off Wall St blues as China leaves lending rate unchanged
S&P 500   4,967.23
DOW   37,986.40
QQQ   414.65
North Carolina medical marijuana sales begin at Cherokee store
Biden sees a $35 price cap for insulin as a pivotal campaign issue. It’s not that clear-cut
Ukrainian and Western leaders laud US aid package while the Kremlin warns of 'further ruin'
'Civil War’ continues box-office campaign at No. 1
Conservative Brazilians laud Elon Musk at rally in support of ex-president Bolsonaro
Tens of thousands of Colombians protest against the leftist president's reform agenda
Stock market today: Asian shares shrug off Wall St blues as China leaves lending rate unchanged
S&P 500   4,967.23
DOW   37,986.40
QQQ   414.65
North Carolina medical marijuana sales begin at Cherokee store
Biden sees a $35 price cap for insulin as a pivotal campaign issue. It’s not that clear-cut
Ukrainian and Western leaders laud US aid package while the Kremlin warns of 'further ruin'
'Civil War’ continues box-office campaign at No. 1
Conservative Brazilians laud Elon Musk at rally in support of ex-president Bolsonaro
Tens of thousands of Colombians protest against the leftist president's reform agenda
Stock market today: Asian shares shrug off Wall St blues as China leaves lending rate unchanged
S&P 500   4,967.23
DOW   37,986.40
QQQ   414.65
North Carolina medical marijuana sales begin at Cherokee store
Biden sees a $35 price cap for insulin as a pivotal campaign issue. It’s not that clear-cut
Ukrainian and Western leaders laud US aid package while the Kremlin warns of 'further ruin'
'Civil War’ continues box-office campaign at No. 1
Conservative Brazilians laud Elon Musk at rally in support of ex-president Bolsonaro
Tens of thousands of Colombians protest against the leftist president's reform agenda
Stock market today: Asian shares shrug off Wall St blues as China leaves lending rate unchanged

Live Nation Entertainment Q1 2023 Earnings Call Transcript


View Latest SEC 10-K Filing

Participants

Corporate Executives

Presentation

Operator

Good day, everyone. My name is John and I'll be your conference operator on today's call. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to Live Nation Entertainment's First Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions].

Before we begin, Live Nation has asked me to remind you that this afternoons call will contain certain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ, including statements related to the company's anticipated financial performance, business prospects, new developments and similar matters. Please refer to Live Nation's SEC filings, including the risk factors and cautionary statements included in the company's most recent filings on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K for a description of risks and uncertainties that could impact the actual results. Live Nation will also refer to some non-GAAP measures on this call.

In accordance with the SEC Regulation G, Live Nation has provided definitions of these measures and a full reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP measures in their earnings release or website supplement which also contains other financial or statistical information to be discussed on this call. The release reconciliation and website supplement can be found under the financial Information section on Live Nation's website at investors.livenationentertainment.com.

It is now my pleasure to turn the conference over to Michael Rapino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Live Nation Entertainment. Please go ahead, sir.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us. 2023 is off to a tremendous start. For the first time in three years all of our markets are fully opened and the common theme we are seeing around the world, the live experiences are a high priority for fans. In Q1, we delivered record results across all divisions as well as record support for artists and ticket sales, to attendance and onsite spend every sign points to incredible demand for live events. In the first quarter were 19 million fans attended our shows across 45 countries and we sold over 145 million tickets with record levels of activity across all markets.

We delivered revenue of $3.1 billion and AOI of $320 million, up 73% and 53%, respectively relative to Q1 last year. In general, all my comments will be relative to Q1 last year. This performance is indicative of a continued long term growth and set the stage for a record 2023 as we are more positive than ever about artist touring, fans attending concerts to see their favorite artists and our role helping make that happen. It is clear as we look at our results and operating metrics with global demand for live events continues to reach new heights. Demand has been growing for a long time and is showing no signs of letting up. Talking to fans, they say that live experiences are the number one leisure activity were they expect to spend more in the future. Naturally, this is leading to record levels of activity in both our concerts and ticketing business.

First in concert. We sold nearly 90 million tickets for shows this year tracking more than 20% ahead of this point last year. These are early sales and have been driven by a record number of stadium shows continued strong growth in arena tours. With many major tours - from Beyonce to Drake to Bruce Springsteen - demand was so strong that even when artists added a number of additional shows, they still were not able to meet all of the fan demand. As a further initiative to make tickets affordable to all fans, we launched today our Summer Concert Week with $25 tickets available to nearly 4,000 shows.

When fans attend shows, they continue spending to enhance their experience. While our key outdoor season has not started, early reads from U.S. and European indoor venues that we operate demonstrate further growth in average per fan revenue. As we provide more elevated hospitality options for fans, we have launched Vibee, which hosts destination events centered around live music and launched this week with the sale of U2 Sphere VIP packages selling out.

We have also continued building our Venue Nation portfolio, with new venues expected to host nearly three million fans at one thousand shows this year, driving more long-term growth and profitability across all our businesses. Our ticketing business benefits from the same structural tailwinds as concerts, with further growth driven by our success in adding new clients, notably in international markets. As a result, we sold 73 million fee-bearing tickets in the first quarter, up 40% and delivered $7.7 billion in fee-bearing GTV up 60%. We are seeing growth in both volume and pricing across our global markets. This holds true across all event types from sports to concerts; and from the biggest superstars to new artists.

Our brand partners recognize that the passion for live music has never been greater, and that Live Nation provides a unique on-site and on-line platform to connect with fans in meaningful ways on a global scale. In the first quarter, we continued adding partners for 2023 and beyond including Google Pixel, PayPal, and Levi's. With this, we have commitments for over 80% of our planned sponsorship for the year.

Equally important, fans are embracing the value brands can provide to the concert experience, with around 70% of live music goers agreeing that brands can enhance their time at the show. Our team is the best in the industry at working with brands to develop programs that deliver value to fans, which in turn grows our brand relationships and attracts new ones.

Our results for the first quarter demonstrate the success of our strategy and sets up for a strong growth in 2023. We expect to host a record number of fans this year, even against a 2022 comparison which benefited from rescheduled shows attended by 20 million fans. Ticketmaster should deliver record activity, with around 600 million tickets managed globally this year. Our sponsorship business, even after incredible growth last year, looks to be on track for double-digit AOI growth this year. As we look to 2024 and beyond, we have all the necessary levers to build our flywheel globally and continue to compound AOI by double digits for the foreseeable future.

With that, I will turn the call over to Joe to take you through more details.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Thanks, Michael, and good afternoon, everyone. Building on 2022, we started out this year with a record Q1 our highest first quarter revenue, AOI, fan count and ticket sales. All of our markets are fully open selling tickets, hosting tours, and connecting brands with fans. Our reported revenue of $3.1 billion for the quarter was $1.3 billion, better than 1Q22, an increase of 73%. On a constant currency basis, our revenue was $3.2 billion for the quarter. So there was roughly a 2% unfavorable impact due to the slight strengthening of the US dollar, primarily against the Canadian and Australian dollars. Given the limited FX impact on our numbers, the rest of my comments will just be a reported currency.

Our reported AOI of $320 million for the quarter was $111 million better than 2022, up 53%. With an improvement of $65 million in ticketing, $50 million in concerts and $26 million in sponsorship. Over half of our AOI growth came from our Asia Pacific and Latin American markets. We are expanding our global touring activity and diversifying our historical seasonality. We converted roughly 59% of this AOI to adjusted free cash flow of $190 million, which is significantly higher than our 43% conversion in 1Q22. And our deferred revenue, a key leading indicator of growth ended this quarter at $4.4 billion, up 28% from this point last year.

Let me give a bit more color on each division. First in concerts. we had the highest concert attendance ever for Q1 with 19.5 million fans attending our shows of 79% compared to 2022 when we had approximately 11 million fans. Show count was 9,600 events, up 43% compared to 2022 1959 1959 2022 with more fans per show due to a heavier mix of stadium and arena events and stronger than historical average attendance levels. As a result, our concerts revenue for the year grew by 89% to $2.3 billion, while we delivered $1 million in AOI, a $50 million improvement over 1Q22. This is the beginning of what we see is a very solid year for our concert segment including margin expansion relative to last year.

Looking a bit deeper at our fan metrics, we had strong growth across the board, stadium attendance more than quadrupled to 3.3 million fans this quarter, up from 800,000 fans in 2022. This growth primarily came from our Asia Pacific and Latin American markets. Arena attendance was 6.7 million fans for the quarter, up 3 million or almost 80% from 2022 largely as a result of growth in Europe and Australia touring. Theater and fan club count was up 45% and while it's not a large quarter for festivals. We did see festival fan count grow by 50% from our Mexico and Australia and New Zealand expansion.

Overall, our international markets drove fan count growth accounting for over 90% of our increase versus 2022. This was due in part to the closure is still in effect in 1Q22. That said, we expect to continued strength across all global markets through 2023, along with some seasonal shift toward Q1 activity. Last year, we discussed the various cost headwinds at our operated venues and festivals. Thus far this year, cost pressures are declining and our operational cost per fan is down across our indoor buildings and we are forecasting the cost increases will remain below general inflation levels for our festivals in amphitheaters. As a result of these improved conditions, we expect overall profitability per fan will again increase this year as cost increases are more than mitigated by increasing average revenue per fan pricing and onsite sponsorship.

Next in ticketing, where our numbers reflect growing fan demand for live experiences. In 1Q23, we sold 72.6 million fee-bearing tickets of 21 million tickets or 41% compared to 2022. Nearly 2/3 of the growth was driven by concert tickets as North American concert ticket sales increased by 35%, while international concert ticket sales increased even more by 65%. With this increased ticket volume GTV for the quarter was $7.7 billion, up 60% compared to 2022.

At peak sales times during the quarter, Ticketmaster has sold 15,000 tickets per minute in North America with more than 20 million fee-bearing tickets sold each month globally and in Q1 over 99.9% of all TM transactions were processed without any issues. While secondary ticketing volume grew to similar rate, ours continues to be largely a primary ticketing business with secondary ticketing accounting for only a mid-teens percent of our overall GTV. With these growing ticket sales, revenue for the quarter was $678 million and AOI was $271 million, delivering margin of 40%. It's hard to compare these margins to Q1 of last year given the geographic mix shift and increased cost of ramping our staff back up over the course of last year, but these margins are ahead of our full year 2022 numbers and we expect margins for the full year to continue being in the high 30s.

On the pricing front, average ticket prices on primary tickets rose by 16% compared to Q1 of 2022, driven by fan demand for the best seats, particularly at concerts. Average secondary ticket prices remain close to double that of a primary ticket, continuing to show the extent to which concerts and other live events remain price below market value. We also saw revenue from non-service fees grow double digits as we further build ancillary revenue streams, including insurance, upgrades and other up sells. Lastly, so far this year we have signed clients, accounting for nearly 8 million net new tickets up 15% compared to this point last year, positioning us for ongoing growth.

Finally, in our sponsorship business topline revenue improved by $54 million or 47% to a $170 million in Q1. Our AOI for this high margin business was $96 million, up 37%. Sponsorships growth during the quarter was driven by the reopening of international markets that were closed in Q1 of last year. The increase in high profile artist on sales that attract premium marketing partners and the expansion of our venue network. We had double digit growth in both onsite and online sponsorship, with onsite sponsorship representing most of our AOI growth year-over-year. From a geographic perspective, our international markets delivered 54% growth in the quarter, while North America had 26% growth. Contributing to our sustained growth since last year has been our strategic sponsors that generate over $1 million of revenue in the year. Relative to Q1 of last year, our number of strategic sponsors grew by 15%, while the revenue from those partners rose by over 20%. These marketing partnerships now account for 85% of our total sponsorship revenues. Sponsorship margins were slightly lower than average during the quarter as we had higher variable expenses due to artist activation costs for Avis talent presales, with tickets sold for these key sponsored programs four times that of last year. This timing plays out, we anticipate there for the full year variable expenses and margins will be in-line with 2022.

A few other points on 2023, we continue to project the Capex will be approximately $450 million this year with 2/3 on revenue generating projects including new venue builds and renewals as well as other organic investments to support growth. The remaining 1/3 is on maintenance Capex as we catch up on deferred 2020 and 2021 maintenance. We ended the quarter with $2.4 billion of available liquidity between free cash and untapped revolver capacity, giving us ample flexibility to continue investing in growth. We're comfortable with our leverage particularly given the AOI growth ahead with approximately 87% of our debt at a fixed rate with an average cost of debt of roughly 4.7%. In addition, the majority of our debt is long dated and nothing is maturing within the next 18 months. The only notable change to our below the line guidance from Q1 is on accretion due largely to assesses impressive growth above previous projections. We estimate that accretion will be approximately 40% higher in 2022 and should be factored into your EPS estimates. At this point, we don't expect any material FX impact on revenue or AOI for the year.

With that, let me open the call for questions. Operator?

Questions and Answers

Operator

Thank you sir. [Operator Instructions].

And the first question comes from the line of David Karnovsky with JP Morgan. Please proceed with your question.

David Karnovsky
Senior Research Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Hey, thank you, Michael, Joe. We've seen a couple of bills introduced in Congress to address ticketing practices and contracts. So I'm wondering, first, how you think some of these items might impact your business assuming they were fully enforced and then just based on meetings, you've had, do you think these bills largely meet the primary concerns of lawmakers as you've come to understand them.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah, thanks. Yeah, what kind of watching, what's going on and we believe that through all of the noise, most people are ending up in the industry and politics at exactly where we are in the principles of what the fair act it, so whether it's all in pricing, cleaning up deceptive practices in the secondary, giving artist more tools, those seem to be all the common themes coming out in all of these different bills which were fully supportive of an - and having our own build fair act. We know Senator Cantwell and Cruz introduce theirs, [Indecipherable] has got to bill coming [Indecipherable] and Cornyn. These are all in the same vein, in the same thematic around helping the artist control their ticket and get them in the hands of the fans and be away of some of the practices in the secondary of the spec selling, deceptive websites, hopefully better protection bots and we've always supported all in pricing. So this is - this is not [Indecipherable] versus any of these, we are aligned to all of these bills, we think all of these bills we've sent continuing for long time, it's better for our business because it helps us deliver a better on sale and fan experience, so right now it's the wild west. We're doing our best, but any bills and these natures that start putting some better regulations and controls around the experience is going to help our overall business. Okay then was hoping to get expand a bit more on why the - maybe can you frame the [Indecipherable] is this something you plan to build primarily for your major festivals residencies or is this - is there a wider opportunity across your promotional footprint and then just interested what drove the decision to kind of build this out internally versus maybe putting that out to bid for events partner. Yeah, we look at the - as we look at the excitement overall, if you look at what we've been talking about on our Investor Days the last few years, the premium business is a huge opportunity for us. I think I've said many times in the industry that has done a great job of being scaled GA, but nothing a great job of doing a premium experience for customers, the sports and new arenas and stadiums are doing a great job on that. But as an industry, Live Nation and music industry has not done that and we think there's a great opportunity overall to launch more products and services that can provide a better premium experience with a customer. So this would just be an extension and a continual strategy towards what we call the premium experience. We've got a company called VIP Nation will do about 1,000 of those events this year, those are based around the concert and the tour and go into a sound check or early experience of meet and greet to we've been the leader in that space and expanding that. Ticketmaster has launched Ticketmaster Travel, looking at ways we can map - we can put - put both the ticket and an airline or hotel together to take advantage of that scale and we've been testing that in UK with great success and Vibee is another product where we looked at Poland and we looked at on location in BIB and Quince and others that were doing it. The difference is, we have the scale, so we already have been doing it. We have the expertise. So we looked at our insomnia team and built-out Vivee launched it with the U2 experience sold out and were close to $20 million in ticket sales around a high end premium experience. So we have the in-house expertise and this is another product in our ongoing strategy, whether it's clubs, premium memberships, premium clubs subscriptions, all the ways we're going to continue to look to say, how do we turn the GA into a premium experience product.

I know there is also the challenge of some of these other companies have is the - the expensive part about doing this is the right and we don't have that problem. So when you're chasing the Olympic rights, you're chasing a business for premium, it's a little harder unless you are in-house, so I'm sure on location those fabulous with their UFC experiences similar to us, we don't have to pay right, these are all our rights, so we can do it in house. We don't have to outsource it and split any of that upside with anyone else but our own businesses.

Operator

And the next question comes from the line of Brandon Ross with LightShed Partners. Please proceed with your question.

Brandon Ross
Analsyt at Live Nation Entertainment

Hey guys, thanks for taking the questions. One on your fundamentals and then a follow-up to David's question on the bills in Congress. Actually I'll start with that one. I think the Klobuchar bill, very specifically attack your venue exclusivity. Can you kind of just respond to that bill and how important is the venue exclusivity model to you in North America; and then kind of on the fundamentals, last year was obviously a pretty depressed year in terms of concert marketing, I tell you hate the word margins, Joe, we'll go with that anyway. Is it - should we see a real bounce back in that and continuing payables get up from 2023 and beyond into future. Thanks.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Thanks, Brandon. First of all, on the exclusivity point I think. First point I should make is, Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Glad to hear everybody doing well.

Brandon Ross
Analsyt at Live Nation Entertainment

Thank you.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

But to the - to the exclusivity point, I always start with these are the venues rights and the venues have been figuring out over time, how do the best monetize certain rights they have what they have determined is the best way to monetize those rights in the US is by auctioning them off for exclusivity. So I think it's frankly primarily were there to be any changes in exclusivity, it's the venues that would be hurt the most because they would lose the ability to fully maximize the rights. We're very confident that with the quality of our systems, its ability to handle on-sales in a way that no other system can - can do has been shown both by the clients that we've been adding as well as you've seen in the press issues that other systems have with very modest on sale. So we're very confident in our ability to deliver I think it's uncertain any bill in today's Congress, not just this one, but any build it doesn't have bipartisan support, out of the gate, has as its challenges, but the more fundamentally I think that you'd see the venues respond to that and - and probably pushed back because they would be hurt a lot more than we would.

In terms of the performance of the business, I tried to give a lot of details in there. I think that as you know, first of all, we look more at the cash profitability of the business where that is, how that's operating on a per fan basis, which as I said, we expect to continue to grow this year. I also noted I think in the concert side, the last year was a bottom tick in terms of our margins, we expect it to be coming back this year. We don't obsess over margins, because, for instance this year we expect to be having a great stadium and arena year as you can tell by the numbers were I gave for Q1. That's inherently going to be a lower margin business from one of our amphitheater customers, we're still going to pursue that business, still great business but it's - but it impacts technically the margin while generating cash profitability. So, I think that we are on an upward trajectory, I think 2023 is going to be great and every very early sign we have for 2024 is continued success.

Brandon Ross
Analsyt at Live Nation Entertainment

Just one quick follow-up to that comment. The key, I think there is concern about lapping the supply-side for next year. Do you feel good about the supply side coming out it's 2022 and 2023. I know you get asked this question every year as things grow, but especially since you feel confident with what you're seeing so-far. That's all.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah, yeah, as you know, yes, we love this and the - I think the follow was all about the air pocket and would there be enough shows in 2023, so hopefully we put that to bed. We don't think this has anything to do with pent-up demand or COVID rescheduling, that stuff has long been flushed out in 2022. This is all about regular business back to business and I think we're thrilled that we're sitting here looking at comparable last year but basically had almost a year and a half combined into a year because of all those rescheduled shows of $20 million. To be sitting here today above and beyond last year's numbers shows the global strength of the business and then also just shows the global strength of the business from the amphitheaters, the stadium, to the club, to the festival, we're looking at all territories around the world, firing in all cylinders. We're looking at the kind of talent you see on the road right now. This isn't just the Rolling Stones, right, that question we always have to fight off. Six of the top 10 artists were younger artists. You look at Lollapalooza Coachella with Bad money, Karol G, Rosalina, the black [Indecipherable] by the BTS, Billie Eilish. I mean, there's just a host of great new talent every year coming up filling the pipe that we didn't know. Luke Combs, who is going to be selling stadiums out this year. Two years ago we had no idea Bad Bunny was going to be the largest selling artist last year. So we just continuously the pipe, the supply demand we think for the future it's really-really strong, there is more and more artists hitting the studio right now on Tik-Tok, the creator economy is alive and well and they all want to be the next bad money and we've said it before we're also seeing this encouraging new supply strategy where for many years, it was all about the US or UK based artists that fill the charts and fill the stadiums and most other talent was domestic, it might have been big in Canada, it might have been big in Korea, but it didn't travel. This is the real breakout year where the world - the world and the consumer are truly global and now you can see artists coming from Latin America and Korea and becoming global superstars. That didn't happen for the last 30 years, it was a very pop US or UK controlled industry. So we think that alone gives the next kick to the supply chain for the next 10 years of young talent from, it will be from India, South Africa, it's going to be everywhere overnight finding their way to Tik-Tok and and to Spotify, some other places to become these global stars that are selling arenas and stadiums out in their markets.

Operator

Thank you. And the next question comes from the line of Stephen Laszczyk with Goldman Sachs. Please proceed with your question.

Stephen Laszczyk
Stock Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Hey, great, thank you. Maybe for Michael on underlying concert demand, setting aside the stadium and arena tours for the moment. Can you maybe talk about how demand for the average or even smaller amphitheater, clubs, Joe, who is trending compared to what we saw for the types of shows last year. I think there is some concern that maybe the top shows are performing well this year, but it's perhaps come at the expenses in the smaller ones, but just love to hear your thoughts on how those smaller and average size shows are performing.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yes, Stephen absolutely.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Joe, Joe is helping out.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah, just to give you a feel on that. We don't have a lot of amphitheaters yet just in the first quarter but if you look at our theaters and clubs, which tend to be pretty strong this point of the year. They're tracking around 8% ahead in terms of average attendance per show. We're doing that with also increased pricing, lower cost structure on per fan basis, so those shows are performing very well for us.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

And just to jump on Joe there - unlike the movie - the movie theater kind of model, we're not a hit-driven industry right - we are a truly scale business and, you're right, we looked at the beyond phase of the world, there always going to do the great numbers, but when you're sitting here today looking at even our festivals, the Lollapaloozas are the easy ones. So we have over 200 festivals, Bonnaroo to one day festivals in smaller markets to our US and international businesses and all of it seems to be doing really really well. So whether it's say a middle of the road festival in a smaller market, whether it's a clawback at all levels, there seems to be incredible demand and on a global basis. So we haven't seen just the top stuff selling and - and they're not coming to the other stuff, the demand seems to be uniform from clubs to stadiums from Pittsburgh to Milan.

Stephen Laszczyk
Stock Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Great, thanks for that. And then maybe just one on the venues business, you called out in the press release, think you expect to host 3 million incremental fans at new Live Nation venues this year. I'm curious maybe for Joe, as you look at your ambitions on the venue side, how many incremental fans or shows you think you can - you can add to the flywheel over the next couple of years, maybe just given how the venue pipeline stands today.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah, I think this year would be typical and what we would hope to add in the low millions per year from our own venues with a mix of some new amphitheaters, new arenas at the larger end, while continuing to build-out the club and theater portfolio. So it continues to be a meaningful part of it and more robust as I said earlier you can scale to stadiums and arenas faster, but over time we've learned, we can deliver a very accretive returns for our shareholders by operating it and being able to sound to bear money and the sponsorship money as well.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Well I think we laid that out in our November Investor Day probably on a more macro-level, we wanted to remind investors, we've been doing this for a long time, we have a large venue portfolio. We don't see that strategy changing, it's not - it's not incrementally different than its been year-after-year we bolt-on and continue to look around the world that opportunists markets where there's a great return and we keep adding venue, club, theater and arena, if we can find the right market like Austin, where it's big return. So will continue that strategy over-time and I think we laid out in November to cleaner - cleaner in terms of how many and what numbers we look to subscribe to over time.

Operator

And the next question comes from the line of Jason Bazinet with Citi. Please proceed with your question.

Jason Bazinet
Financial Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Just had a question about your cash balance. It seems like you guys used to run, I don't know $0.5 billion or something and it's been four times something over the last year. Do you think the spirit of being cautious that it just makes sense to have more cash on hand or do you think there is some flexibility to deploy it in one way or another.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah. I think just to make sure you have the cash numbers right. I think those cash numbers included untapped revolver capacity, right. So from that metric, it's probably not quite that extreme, but we continue to see a very strong set of opportunities to continue growing the business. We just talked about the venue business, which we've been in, but we've been kind of global basis has a lot of great opportunities to continue to build out portfolio, and we think even within our existing portfolio there are lot of things that we can do to enhance the fan experiences Michael was talking about. So at the moment we're - maybe being a little conservative coming out of COVID, but looking to continue to grow the business and we'll continue to reassess it and see what the right options are.

Jason Bazinet
Financial Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Can I just ask one follow-up. One of the more interesting things to me, looking at your stock price is, it seems so depressed relative to the fundamentals, you guys have been putting up for the last year or so part of the DOJ related, part of it fears of sort of COVID pent-up demand, but I was just surprised you guys didn't sort of take advantage of that seeming disconnect with share repurchases.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah, I think the flip side of share repurchases tactically is one thing. I think we've also seen a lot of companies out there that embark on share repurchases and the market takes that as a signal that they are growth ideas and I think that we have such a robust set of growth ideas that we wouldn't want that to be misunderstood. Secondly, when you invest in growth, you deliver compounded returns over time. You can maybe get an attractive return from - from a stock if you think there is a dislocation, but you lose out on the accretive compounding impact you can have by investing in these growth opportunities. As I said, I think we'll continue to look at all the options as we move forward, but I think in immediacy of coming out of it that's been our thought process.

Operator

And the next question comes from the line of Stephen Glagola with TD Cowen. Please proceed with your question.

Stephen Glagola
Vice President, Equity Research at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah, thanks for the question, Michael and Joe. Just two specific questions around the proposed legislation and how that's could potentially - could potentially impact your business. So one on the prohibition of ticketing exclusivity with venues, just provide like I guess your color on the competitive position of Ticketmaster in international markets that you operate on an allocation or non-exclusive model, just to kind of glean insights on how that US could be from that. We can how renewals are trending there and new business there. One, and then two on this junky protection act, I believe there is a provision that the FTC can determine if mandatory ticketing fees are excessive. So, I just wanted to know how would fee caps impact your service fee revenue, would that impact more than what the venue collects or what the primary ticketing service collect as well. Thank you.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

I think you need to - you need go listen to [Indecipherable] will help you. This venue drivers, as Joe said, this is the venue business. I know everyone wants to subscribe to ask the venue demand, demand most of the service fee and kind of auction for the tickets. So again, we think that the bill, the venue that is built in billion dollar arena or multi-billion dollar stadium in that market. I think he is - I think he is going to continually pretty, pretty strong and vocal about his rights and returns on what companies he can't hire exclusively or not to - to services his business. So whether it's - whether it's Microsoft or CRM or Salesforce or Ticketmaster, I think they -I think they're going to look at other options for the best return for their business. So we look at that from that perspective and we look at Europe just because it was always thrown out very likely that international is an allocation in the US is here just kind of for the trend, International is moving more towards an exclusive model than away from it. As new buildings are being built over there and you're building your arena what's really had been under developed that was mostly a - a soccer business or football, but as the new buildings are getting built, they are looking over here and realizing that this is another revenue stream that they should be leveraging. So I look at international probably moving closer to the US model and the US model moving to the international model because I think they're now realizing that they've been undervaluing their exclusive ticketing rights for their venues. Now we do - we do really well over there, because we always will do well in an open market with the best technology, we sell more tickets than the competitor, so if you are an open allocated market and you're going to allocate to us and others, we're going to do really, really well because we're going to be the one that always sell the most tickets for you, we will end up allocating more to us, but we don't think that model probably ends up here more driven by the venue agenda than the ticketing agenda.

Operator

And the next question comes from the line of David Katz with Jefferies. Please proceed with your question.

David Katz
Stock Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Hi, good evening, everyone, thanks for including me. You've covered a lot, but I was hoping you could just talk about the secondary ticketing market which seems to be an area of growth for new smaller entities other approaches, technologies, etcetera, and I know you've talked about in the past how - what their impact is on the market. What's new with respect to that, what can you do about it to protect yourselves better and I just love an update there please If you can.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

I'll jump-in and Joe well. I just want to remind we said earlier, of all the legislative noise we've - we've been swirling around for six months. The common theme in all of this legislation that you're seeing come forward is around limiting and putting some handcuffs around the scalpers and the business. So we do see a lot of this legislation moving forward is going to help the primary ticket, the content holder, do a better job on that front and It will be harder for the go through the bot, deceptive website, spec selling, a lot of practices drip selling, etcetera. So we do think that, overall, this market right now, legislatively is moving against the secondary business in general, not going to ban it, not going to cap it, but some of the cleanup legislation does help primary hurt secondary, that's a big move that hasn't happened in the last 10-15 years.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah. I think the other piece is, you have to remember that secondary for sports is very different than secondary in the concert, secondary and sports is often used as a distribution platform, where you sell the seasonal ticket to the scalpers, they disaggregated and there performing a function for the sports teams have guarantee them some upfront funding that has value to the teams, value to the fans. You don't have that in concerts, the concerts, the issue is that they're using illegal and deceptive practices to get tickets with the sole objective of increasing the price and selling them to the fans. So, I think what you're seeing is because the artist, don't have the same sort of collective central power that league does today, they can set-up a NFL ticket exchange, you need to give the power back to the artists. So it's very clear that there can be the decision maker, and then it becomes the onus of the secondary players to figure out how they're adding value. It's like any other business today, you have to survive and adapt and grow because you're adding value to others in your ecosystem that hasn't been which how the scalpers have done it in music over the past several years and it's finally gotten to the point where you're getting the pushback now from the artists and that's been fully understood by our politicians.

David Katz
Stock Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Thank you and to say nice quarter would be understating bidding by $100 million. Thank you.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Thanks.

Operator

And the next question comes from the line of Ben Swinburne with Morgan Stanley. Please proceed with your question.

Ben Swinburne
Managing Sirector at Live Nation Entertainment

Thanks, good afternoon. Two questions. Michael, you also mentioned I think in your prepared remarks that the secondary prices are running about two acts primary last year, I think it was last year so that Bruce Springsteen moment about market pricing, expectations that more artists would embrace that. I was wondering if you could just sort of update us today on sort of the trend in market pricing on primary and sort of pricing back house, [Indecipherable] house the right way where you feel the industry is in the businesses today. And then secondly you guys are always thinking pretty far ahead around technology. What are your thoughts on AI as an opportunity for Live Nation, just broadly, it's obviously a huge topic these days, so would love to hear what you think.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Perfect. On - on pricing, I think we've been saying for the last few years, the the great transparency and sunlight of secondary it's really helped the artist and the management team look at their pricing models. Historically, it was a fairly static pricing, three different maybe price points, same price point all across the country, didn't matter if it was a Friday in New York or Tuesday in Pittsburgh, so the business has gotten really-really sophisticated with our price master or different dynamic models that artists can now use. So we see that there's still years away between where the artist markets the price and what the market is willing to pay. The artist is one of the few - a few products in the world it's worth more than a minute it's sold, what they do that for their brand and accessible - accessibility and I think that'll continue, but I do think we've seen the artist looking at their ticket price and the whole manifest and how do we bring the prices down in the back, bring the prices up in the front. So we can sell-out and make sure everyone gets a ticket at an affordable price, but let's not look secondary runaway with the front row. So we think that we're still dramatically underpriced versus demand and you'll see that every day on the secondary and we think that's probably going to live for the next 5 to 10 years as the artist moves closer to market probably never gets to market but between here and where they feel comfortable we think there is years of - of upside, but they'll continue to look at.

Ben Swinburne
Managing Sirector at Live Nation Entertainment

AI, Joe, you can talk about the TM.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah, yeah. I think I know just to be clear it's all upside for us. There is no concern that somehow AI can never replace the live experience. For us it's a - I consider it a infrastructure tool for both efficiency and effectiveness. So if you think about using AI on recommendations much better marketing, much better individual recommendation in terms of making you aware of shows you might want to go to. Clearly, we're using machine-learning now to help inform models on suggesting pricing that we were just talking about, AI is just the same thing, the next level of data input through that machine-learning process. It'll help us automate a lot of tools. The event creation process takes place at every venue, being able to use much better data, machine learning, whatever, what's going on elsewhere in the TM system will make that more efficient. A lot - all the chatbots do you have today, those who go to a whole another level of effectiveness, working with fans and be a much lower cost than you have today and then as we're finding box using AI to continue in our battles to make sure we know who is the person or trying to know who is a person, but if he is not, so it kind of runs throughout all of our infrastructure, it's a lot of places that we're using machine-learning today. AI is really that to the next level.

Ben Swinburne
Managing Sirector at Live Nation Entertainment

Thank you, Jeff. Very helpful.

Operator

And the next question comes from the line of John Healy with Northcoast Research. Please proceed with your question.

John Healy
Research Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah, thank you for that squeezing me in. I just want to ask a question on kind of the pace of growth and we really get deferred revenue, I think it's up almost 30%, you talked about the concert ticket sales at this point, up 20%, any help that you could give us just on if you think that type of pace of growth can be sustained this year. I think, I think the message is clear, it's going to be a strong year, but we just love to get a little color and flavor about kind of the speed at which you could grow this year.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah. I think that you generally start the year coming out of the gate fast this when you're led by stadiums and arenas. So that those are the shows that we've long talked about get on - put on sale earliest relative to that show date. So you've got great scalability in the stadiums, which you're seeing, four times the level of activity, good scalability in your arenas. So that's driving your huge increase in attendance, strong increase in ticket sales and $90 million in your deferred revenue. I think as you get into more of the shows that take place in our buildings across the festivals, amphitheaters to some extent, theaters and clubs you generally have a lower level of scalability, you still have very solid growth, but not the same level as you have with your stadiums and arenas. So I don't think we're ready to try to declare an exact number, but I think we recognize the level you have in Q1 is probably going to be the high point of the year.

John Healy
Research Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Okay that's great. And then just wanted to.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

And - and I think, sorry, I just wanted to jump on that for one sec, John. And just what's more important to us is just helping both sides realize what's the future in 2024 on. So we went through obviously COVID was down and last year was an extraordinary year, so how does 2023 and 2024 start to look, and we're very optimistic, we look at this year has been a very strong year coming off what people probably thought we couldn't be last year and we think 2024 into forward you kind of look at what we historically have deliver. We've been the high single industry growth business and a high single digit revenue AOI business year-after-year for many years and we look at going forward, we think we're back to be in a great strong growth business year-over-year off this foundation business. So we think the industry is back, bigger than ever and we think there is years of industry growth we've shown you when the industry grows, we tend to - we tend to arise with that tied and capture as much as industry growth. We tend to do a couple of points better so industry been grown about 8% or 9% a year, we tend to beat it. So we look at this as a long-term continual growth story again.

John Healy
Research Analyst at Live Nation Entertainment

Great. And then just a big picture question I want to ask. I think you called out, APAC and Latin America as fuel and some growth to start the year just as we think about those businesses long-term. Is it safe to say that as they become a bigger piece of the pie, the margin level of the business should rise, are those business - I always thought those businesses have potential to be maybe higher-margin than the US market, but we're just kind of curious how you're thinking about those as I said today.

Joe Berchtold
President and Chief Financial Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

Yeah. I don't think we start with thinking about it as margin. We think about them as being massive growth potential markets, probably, the least developed of our major markets. So having great growth opportunity to continue to drive more fans and more obviously highly profitable fans as we establish more venues in those markets and ensure that you can get some attractive margin, [Indecipherable] operate but I think more than more than starting with any margin focus, we're looking at just what's the volume of fans and what's the overall concerts, ticketing, sponsorship, profitability we can drive off that.

Operator

At this time, we have reached the end of the question-and-answer session and now I would like to turn the floor back over to Michael Rapino for any closing comments.

Michael Rapino
President and Chief Executive Officer at Live Nation Entertainment

I appreciate everyone. Thank you. We'll talk to you in the summer.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks].

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