Music Business

Live Nation–Start Rolling Now

Live Nation Entertainment, originally founded by Robert Sillerman, is one of the largest concert promoters in the world. The headquarter is located in Beverly Hills, California. Until December 31, 2017, Live Nation Entertainment had about 8,800 full-time employees all around the world (Live Nation Entertainment, 2017, p.9). Current CEO is Michael Rapino.

Current CEO Michael Rapino
Founder Robert Sillerman

It is hard to give an accurate date when Live Nation is founded. The history behind this company is a little bit complicated. Robert Sillerman first founded SFX Broadcasting in 1992 (Cengage Gale, 2006). Then Sillerman started to acquire cheap stations such as Multi-Market Radio, ABS Communications and Broadcasting (Cengage Gale, 2006) to enlarge its market. In 1997, Robert Sillerman established SFX Entertainment with his purchasing of New York concert promoter Delsener/Staler (Swayne & Dodds, 2011, p.755). This is also the first time Sillerman broke into the area of concert promotion. In 1998, SFX Entertainment became independent as SFX Broadcasting was bought by other company and it focused on enlarging its market in concert promotion. In 2000, it was sold to Clear Channel Communications (Swayne & Dodds, 2011, p.755). In 2005, Clear Channel Communications decided to create a new independent company (Swayne & Dodds, 2011, p.755), which is Live Nation as we know today.

Nowadays, Live Nation Entertainment owns several brands including Live Nation, Ticketmaster, House of Blues and Live Nation Production, while the company divides its business into three segments: concerts, ticketing and sponsorship & advertising.

Concert is the most important part of Live Nation’s business. In 2017, it promoted more than 29,500 live music events and generated $7.9 billion (as 76.3% of total revenue) from the concert segment (Live Nation Entertainment, 2017, p.4).

As an event promoter, venues are their important assets. Until the end of 2017, Live Nation Entertainment owned, leased or operated a total of 222 venues, including 1 stadium (capacity of more than 30,000 people), 62 amphitheaters (capacity of 5,000 to 30,000), 11 arenas (capacity of 5,000 to 20,000), 73 theaters (capacity of 1,000 to 6,500), 34 clubs (capacity of less than 1,000), 11 House of Blues (capacity of 1,000 to 2,000) and 30 festival sites (Live Nation Entertainment, 2017, p.7). Live Nation’s business and assets are global wide. In 2016, it bought the Sweden Rock festival, Lollapalooza Paris, Big Concerts in South Africa and Secret Sounds in Australia (Dimartino, 2017).

Among those venues, House of Blues is a company which owned several music houses in North America acquired by Live Nation in 2006 for $350 million (Smith, 2006). Everyday concerts and events are held in those music houses all around the country. They also provide dining services and accept private events. Gear Shop is the official gift shop in House of Blues, where you can buy T-shirts and accessories.

Vegas Concerts Rockin’ at the House of Blues (from TBA website)

Ticketing is the second largest segment of the company. In 2017, ticketing business generated $2.1 billion or 20.7% of the total revenue (Live Nation Entertainment, 2017, p.5). Live Nation is operating Ticketmaster, a website where you can book tickets on it. By selling tickets from this platform, even if Live Nation is not the promoter, it can revenue from additional services fee and deliver fee (Steele, 2018). In the second quarter of 2017, 50.2 million free-bearing tickets and 65.3 million fee-free stubs were sold through Ticketmaster (Bylund, 2017). It is estimated that Ticketmaster now holds 80% of the ticketing market (Steele, 2018).

A Star Is Born Official Poster

As the smallest segment of the three, sponsorship & advertising segment brought $445 million or 4.3% of the total revenue in 2017 (Live Nation Entertainment, 2017, p.5). This segment’s business falls more on public relations like maintaining relationships with sponsors. It also provide services of promoting events for clients.

Live Nation is also stepping into the field of film and television productions. Live Nation Productions, which is not a mentioned segment in the annual report, is newly launched in 2016. Belonging to a music promoter, this production team is interested in stories connected to music. Although it is very new, the team has a great success. Last year, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, a documentary produced by Sean Combs and in conjunction with Live Nation Production, hit No. 1 on the iTunes Documentary Charts in five regions around the world (Bell, 2017).

Live Nation Production’s most recent conjunction work with Warner Bros. is the forth version of A Star is Born, starring by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. It will be released on October 5, 2018. Now, four days before the release, it rates 8.8 on IMDb and freshes 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critic Melinda Newman even gives a high evaluation of “though Oscar season is just beginning, it’s hard to imagine A Star Is Born not taking home some serious hardware” (2018). We can definitely expect this film, as well as future works from Live Nation Productions.




Bell, S. (2017, Jul 20). Live Nation Productions & Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ documentary ‘Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A bad boy story’ is No. 1 on iTunes Charts. Billboard. Retrieved from 

Bylund, A. (2017, Nov 3). Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. sold 105 million tickets last quarter. The Motley Fool. Retrieved from

Cengage Gale. (2006). Live Nation, Inc. International directory of company histories. Vol. 80. Detroit, MI: St. James Press. Retrieved from|I2501310654?u=nysl_ce_syr

Dimartino, D. (2017, Feb 8). Live Nation leads the charge in concert business’s booming revenue. Variety. Retrieved from

Live Nation Entertainment. (2017). 2017 Annual report. Retrieved from

Live Nation Entertainment. (2018). Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2018. Retrieved from

Newman, M. (2018, Sep 25). Lady Gaga’s ‘A Star Is Born’ hits all the right notes: Movie review. Billboards. Retrieved from

Smith, E. (2006, Jul 6). Live nation to buy house of blues for $350 million. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Steele, A. (2018, May 7). Ticketmaster facing its rival. The Australian. Retrieved from

Swayne, L. E. & Dodds, M. (2011). Encyclopedia of sports management and marketing. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.