Based on a close scrutiny of his ticketing practices, Live Nation/Ticketmaster CEO Michael Rapino’s compensation package totals over $139 million.
Rapino signed a new agreement with Live Nation to continue his employment through 2027. That earned him a $6 million signing bonus. His base salary is $3 million, an increase over his base salary from $2.1 million in 2021 — after a dip caused by the pandemic. Rapino received a $12 million cash incentive bonus for 2022 and $116 million in stock awards vesting in 2024.
Ticketmaster faced widespread criticism for failing to offer hugely popular tours like Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. Lawmakers have turned their attention to Ticketmaster’s strict pricing practices, and the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation is now under investigation by the US Department of Justice.
Live Nation controls a large portion of the live entertainment industry through its advertising business, venue operations, and Ticketmaster ticketing services. Concert attendance is rising as pandemic protocols and precautionary measures have finally been lifted and major concert tours are planned in major cities across the United States.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has asked activists and artists to speak out about their experiences with Ticketmaster. “Ticketmaster should look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the problem, it’s me'” called Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) plays with the lyrics by Taylor Swift. Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster in 2010 and represents approximately 70% of all live ticket sales in the United States. Meanwhile, Ticketmaster charges additional fees ranging from 40% to 50% of the base ticket price that customers pay.
Now Congress is considering that TICKET law, which would force services like Ticketmaster to disclose fees up front in all advertisements. The final advertised price is the price consumers should pay for concert tickets, sporting events, and other major events sold through services like Ticketmaster. Meanwhile, Live Nation blames ticket scalping (in which it is involved) for the high ticket prices.