Live Music's $20 Billion Year: Rolling Stones, One Direction, Live Nation Top Boxscore's Year-End
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Billboard (12/12/14) Waddell, Ray
The North American concert industry enjoyed record earnings in 2014 despite declining attendance, thanks to a spate of blockbuster ticket sales by One Direction, the Rolling Stones, and Justin Timberlake, along with a series of spectacular stadium shows, according to Billboard Boxscore. One Direction and Timberlake's global tours amassed nearly $500 million and sold more than 5 million tickets combined. Boxscore estimates domestic grosses are up 3.4 percent this year versus 1.7 percent in 2012, with gains largely credited to higher ticket prices. Still, worldwide Boxscore data estimates grosses and box office are down 3.8 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, compared with gains of 30 percent and 26 percent in 2013. However, stakeholders maintain a positive outlook on the state of the touring business. "Healthy attendance, great ticket sales, lots of great artist-development stories, and acts that are sustaining," reports Paradigm's Chip Hooper. "On all levels, it was a really positive year." Live Nation's Bob Roux cites his firm's ticket sales topping 25 million in the U.S. alone, driven primarily by Boxscore's top 25 tours, for a total Boxscore gross of $2.1 billion. He also calls 2014 a record year for his company's stadium business, with Live Nation promoting about 70 profitable performances that sold more than 3 million tickets. Live Nation's Dave Zedeck notes One Direction and Timberlake's grosses augur well for the youth market's hunger for live music as well as the artists' ability to develop into headliners.
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