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Vivid Seats' Q1 financial report not yet showing full recovery from pandemic

By Bret McCormick

Vivid Seats' Q1 financials, posted yesterday, reflected the impact of the Omicron COVID variant and several major tour cancellations. The secondary market ticketing company's revenue ($130.8M) was down from the preceding quarter, Q4 '21 ($163.9M), as well as Q3 '21 ($139.5M), but was higher than Q1 '19. While many people in the live events sector have touted fans’ pent-up demand, COVID-19 and other external factors are still constraining business. Vivid Seats’ total marketplace orders (ticket orders, net of cancellations) decreased for the third quarter in a row, to 2.02 million. Live Nation also experienced a decrease in total estimated tickets sold from Q4 '21 to Q1 '22, from 127.9 million to 111.3 million. Vivid’s marketplace GOV ($742M) was down about 15% from the previous quarter and was impacted by a higher level of cancellations than anticipated, including scrapped tours by Celine Dion and the Foo Fighters (after their drummer died), as well as the MLB lockout. Positive news included Vivid’s average order size of $368 for the quarter, a 12% increase on '19 levels. Vivid Seats CEO Stan Chia in an earnings call said that the percentage of concert ticket orders for more than four tickets has increased since pre-pandemic. Historically, business should pick up for ticketing companies in the next two quarters, which coincide with the baseball and concert/festival seasons. As of presstime, Vivid shares were trading at $7.60, even with yesterday's closing number. The stock price is off about 42% since it became publicly traded in October of last year.

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