THE COMPANY AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2013
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]|
|THE COMPANY AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES||
THE COMPANY AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Live Nation was incorporated in Delaware on August 2, 2005 in preparation for the contribution and transfer by Clear Channel of substantially all of its entertainment assets and liabilities to the Company. The Company completed the Separation on December 21, 2005 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange trading under the symbol “LYV.” Prior to the Separation, Live Nation was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clear Channel.
On January 25, 2010, the Company merged with Ticketmaster. Effective on the date of the Merger, Ticketmaster became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Live Nation and Live Nation, Inc. changed its name to Live Nation Entertainment, Inc.
Due to the seasonal nature of shows at outdoor amphitheaters and festivals, which primarily occur May through September, the Company experiences higher revenue for the Concerts and Sponsorship & Advertising segments during the second and third quarters. The Artist Nation segment’s revenue is impacted, to a large degree, by the touring schedules of artists it represents and generally, the Company experiences higher revenue in this segment during the second and third quarters as the period from May through September tends to be a popular time for touring events. The Ticketing segment’s sales are impacted by fluctuations in the availability of events for sale to the public, which vary depending upon scheduling by its clients. The Company’s seasonality also results in higher balances in cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, prepaid expenses, accrued expenses and deferred revenue at different times in the year. Therefore, the results to date are not necessarily indicative of the results expected for the full year.
Basis of Presentation and Principles of Consolidation
The Company’s consolidated financial statements include all accounts of the Company, its majority owned and controlled subsidiaries and VIEs for which the Company is the primary beneficiary.
The Company consolidates entities in which the Company owns more than 50% of the voting common stock and controls operations and also VIEs for which the Company is the primary beneficiary. Investments in nonconsolidated affiliates in which the Company owns more than 20% of the voting common stock or otherwise exercises significant influence over operating and financial policies but not control of the nonconsolidated affiliate are accounted for using the equity method of accounting. Investments in nonconsolidated affiliates in which the Company owns less than 20% of the voting common stock are accounted for using the cost method of accounting. Intercompany accounts among the consolidated businesses have been eliminated in consolidation. Net income (loss) attributable to noncontrolling interests is reflected in the statements of operations for consolidated affiliates.
All cash flow activity reflected on the consolidated statements of cash flows for the Company is presented net of any non-cash transactions so the amounts reflected may be different than amounts shown in other places in the Company’s financial statements that are based on accrual accounting and therefore include non-cash amounts. For example, the purchases of property, plant and equipment reflected on the consolidated statements of cash flows reflects the amount of cash paid during the year for these purchases and does not include the impact of the changes in accrued expenses related to capital expenditures during the year.
Variable Interest Entities
In the normal course of business, the Company enters into joint ventures or makes investments in companies that will allow it to expand its core business and enter new markets. In certain instances, such ventures or investments may be considered a VIE because the equity at risk is insufficient to permit it to carry on its activities without additional financial support from the Company. In determining whether the Company is the primary beneficiary of a VIE, it assesses whether it has the power to direct activities that most significantly impact the economic performance of the entity and has the obligation to absorb losses or the right to receive benefits from the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE. The activities the Company believes most significantly impact the economic performance of its VIEs include the unilateral ability to approve the annual budget, the unilateral ability to terminate key management and the unilateral ability to approve entering into agreements with artists, among others. The Company has certain rights and obligations related to its involvement in the VIEs, including the requirement to provide operational cash flow funding. As of December 31, 2013 and 2012, excluding intercompany balances and allocated goodwill and intangible assets, there were $109.1 million and $72.4 million of assets and $53.6 million and $34.0 million of liabilities, respectively, related to VIEs included in the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets. None of the Company’s VIEs are significant on an individual basis.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less. The Company’s cash and cash equivalents consist primarily of domestic and foreign bank accounts as well as money market accounts. To reduce its credit risk, the Company monitors the credit standing of the financial institutions that hold the Company’s cash and cash equivalents. These balances are stated at cost, which approximates fair value.
Included in the December 31, 2013 and 2012 cash and cash equivalents balance is $538.4 million and $441.6 million, respectively, of cash received that includes the face value of tickets sold on behalf of clients and the clients’ share of convenience and order processing charges (“client cash”). The Company generally does not utilize client cash for its own financing or investing activities as the amounts are payable to clients and these amounts due are included in accounts payable, client accounts.
The Company’s available cash and cash equivalents are held in accounts managed by third-party financial institutions and consist of cash in operating accounts and invested cash. Cash held in interest-bearing operating accounts in many cases exceeds the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance limits. The invested cash is held in interest-bearing funds consisting primarily of bank deposits and money market funds.
While the Company monitors cash and cash equivalents balances in its operating accounts on a regular basis and adjusts the balances as appropriate, these balances could be impacted in the future if the underlying financial institutions fail. To date, the Company has experienced no loss or lack of access to its cash or cash equivalents; however, the Company can provide no assurances that access to its cash and cash equivalents will not be impacted in the future by adverse conditions in the financial markets.
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
The Company evaluates the collectability of its accounts receivable based on a combination of factors. Generally, it records specific reserves to reduce the amounts recorded to what it believes will be collected when a customer’s account ages beyond typical collection patterns, or the Company becomes aware of a customer’s inability to meet its financial obligations.
The Company believes that the credit risk with respect to trade receivables is limited due to the large number and the geographic diversification of its customers.
The majority of the Company’s prepaid expenses relate to event expenses including show advances and deposits and other costs directly related to future concert events. For advances that are expected to be recouped over a period of more than 12 months, the long-term portion of the advance is classified as other long-term assets. These prepaid costs are charged to operations upon completion of the related events.
Ticketing Contract Advances
Ticketing contract advances, which can be either recoupable or non-recoupable, represent amounts paid in advance to the Company’s clients pursuant to ticketing agreements and are reflected in prepaid expenses or in other long-term assets if the amount is expected to be recouped or recognized over a period of more than 12 months. Recoupable ticketing contract advances are generally recoupable against future royalties earned by the clients, based on the contract terms, over the life of the contract. Non-recoupable ticketing contract advances, excluding those amounts paid to support clients’ advertising costs, are fixed additional incentives occasionally paid by the Company to secure exclusive rights with certain clients and are normally amortized over the life of the contract on a straight-line basis. Amortization of these non-recoupable ticketing contract advances is included in depreciation and amortization in the statements of operations. For the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, the Company amortized $73.6 million, $48.1 million and $38.6 million, respectively, related to non-recoupable ticketing contract advances.
The Company accounts for its business combinations under the acquisition method of accounting. Identifiable assets acquired, liabilities assumed and any noncontrolling interest in the acquiree are recognized and measured as of the acquisition date at fair value. Additionally, any contingent consideration is recorded at fair value on the acquisition date and classified as a liability. Goodwill is recognized to the extent by which the aggregate of the acquisition-date fair value of the consideration transferred and any noncontrolling interests in the acquiree exceeds the recognized basis of the identifiable assets acquired, net of assumed liabilities. Determining the fair value of assets acquired, liabilities assumed and noncontrolling interests requires management’s judgment and often involves the use of significant estimates and assumptions, including assumptions with respect to future cash flows, discount rates and asset lives among other items.
Property, Plant and Equipment
Property, plant and equipment are stated at cost or fair value at date of acquisition. Depreciation, which is recorded for both owned assets and assets under capital leases, is computed using the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives, which are as follows:
Buildings and improvements - 10 to 50 years
Computer equipment and capitalized software - 3 to 10 years
Furniture and other equipment - 3 to 10 years
Leasehold improvements are depreciated over the shorter of the economic life or associated lease term assuming the Company exercises renewal periods, if appropriate. Expenditures for maintenance and repairs are charged to operations as incurred, whereas expenditures for asset renewal and improvements are capitalized.
The Company tests for possible impairment of property, plant and equipment whenever events or circumstances change, such as a current period operating cash flow loss combined with a history of, or projected, operating cash flow losses or a significant adverse change in the manner in which the asset is intended to be used, which may indicate that the carrying amount of the asset may not be recoverable. If indicators exist, the Company compares the estimated undiscounted future cash flows related to the asset to the carrying value of the asset. If the carrying value is greater than the estimated undiscounted future cash flow amount, an impairment charge is recorded based on the difference between the fair value and the carrying value. Any such impairment charge is recorded in depreciation and amortization expense in the statement of operations. The impairment loss calculations require management to apply judgment in estimating future cash flows and the discount rates that reflect the risk inherent in future cash flows.
The Company classifies intangible assets as definite-lived or indefinite-lived. Definite-lived intangibles primarily include revenue-generating contracts, client/vendor relationships, non-compete agreements, venue management and leasehold agreements, technology and trademarks and naming rights, all of which are amortized either on a straight-line basis over the respective lives of the agreements, typically three to twenty years, or on a basis more representative of the time pattern over which the benefit is derived. The Company periodically reviews the appropriateness of the amortization periods related to its definite-lived intangible assets. These assets are stated at cost or fair value. Indefinite-lived intangibles primarily include trade names. The excess cost over fair value of net assets acquired is classified as goodwill. Indefinite-lived intangibles are not subject to amortization, but are reviewed for impairment at least annually.
The Company tests for possible impairment of definite-lived intangible assets whenever events or circumstances change, such as a current period operating cash flow loss combined with a history of, or projected, operating cash flow losses or a significant adverse change in the manner in which the asset is intended to be used, which may indicate that the carrying amount of the asset may not be recoverable. If indicators exist, the Company compares the estimated undiscounted future cash flows related to the asset to the carrying value of the asset. If the carrying value is greater than the estimated undiscounted future cash flow amount, an impairment charge is recorded based on the difference between the fair value and the carrying value. Any such impairment charge is recorded in depreciation and amortization expense in the statement of operations.
The Company tests for possible impairment of indefinite-lived intangible assets at least annually. Depending on facts and circumstances, qualitative factors may first be assessed to determine whether the existence of events and circumstances indicate that it is more likely than not that an indefinite-lived intangible asset is impaired. If it is concluded that it is more likely than not impaired, then the Company performs a quantitative impairment test by comparing the fair value with the carrying amount. If the qualitative assessment is not performed first, the Company performs only this quantitative test. When specific assets are determined to be impaired, the cost basis of the asset is reduced to reflect the current fair value. Any such impairment charge is recorded in depreciation and amortization in the statement of operations.
The impairment loss calculations require management to apply judgment in estimating future cash flows and the discount rates that reflect the risk inherent in future cash flows.
The Company reviews goodwill for impairment at least annually, as of October 1, using a three-step process. The first step is a qualitative evaluation as to whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of any of the Company’s reporting units is less than its carrying value using an assessment of relevant events and circumstances. Examples of such events and circumstances include financial performance, industry and market conditions, macroeconomic conditions, reporting unit-specific events, historical results of goodwill impairment testing and the timing of the last performance of a quantitative assessment. If any reporting units are concluded to be more likely than not impaired, a second step is performed for that reporting unit. This second step, used to quantitatively screen for potential impairment, compares the fair value of the reporting unit’s goodwill with its carrying amount, including goodwill. The third step, employed for any reporting unit that fails the second step, is used to measure the amount of any potential impairment and compares the implied fair value of the reporting unit with the carrying amount of goodwill. If a reporting unit’s carrying value is negative, the Company does not follow this three-step process. In this case, a qualitative evaluation is performed to determine whether it is more likely than not that the reporting unit’s goodwill is impaired. If it is, the third step discussed above is performed to measure the amount of any potential impairment.
The second and third steps that the Company uses to evaluate goodwill for impairment involve the determination of the fair value of the Company’s reporting units. Inherent in such fair value determinations are certain judgments and estimates relating to future cash flows, including the Company’s interpretation of current economic indicators and market valuations, and assumptions about the Company’s strategic plans with regard to its operations. Due to the uncertainties associated with such estimates, actual results could differ from such estimates.
In developing fair values for its reporting units, the Company may employ a market multiple or a discounted cash flow methodology, or a combination thereof. The market multiple methodology compares the Company to similar companies on the basis of risk characteristics to determine its risk profile relative to the comparable companies as a group. This analysis generally focuses on quantitative considerations, which include financial performance and other quantifiable data, and qualitative considerations, which include any factors which are expected to impact future financial performance. The most significant assumptions affecting the market multiple methodology are the market multiples used and control premium. A control premium represents the value an investor would pay above noncontrolling interest transaction prices in order to obtain a controlling interest in the respective company.
The discounted cash flow methodology establishes fair value by estimating the present value of the projected future cash flows to be generated from the reporting unit. The discount rate applied to the projected future cash flows to arrive at the present value is intended to reflect all risks of ownership and the associated risks of realizing the stream of projected future cash flows. The discounted cash flow methodology uses the Company’s projections of financial performance. The most significant assumptions used in the discounted cash flow methodology are the discount rate, attrition rate and expected future revenue and operating margins, which vary among reporting units.
The Company also tests goodwill for impairment in interim periods if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount or when the Company changes its operating segments or reporting units.
In general, nonconsolidated investments in which the Company owns more than 20% of the common stock or otherwise exercises significant influence over the affiliate are accounted for under the equity method. The Company recognizes gains or losses upon the issuance of securities by any of its equity method investees. The Company reviews the value of equity method investments and records impairment charges in the statement of operations for any decline in value that is determined to be other-than-temporary.
Accounts Payable, Client Accounts
Accounts payable, client accounts consists of contractual amounts due to ticketing clients which includes the face value of tickets sold and the clients’ share of convenience and order processing charges.
The Company accounts for income taxes using the liability method in accordance with the FASB guidance for income taxes. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on differences between financial reporting bases and tax bases of assets and liabilities and are measured using the enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the periods in which the deferred tax asset or liability is expected to be realized or settled. Deferred tax assets are reduced by valuation allowances if the Company believes it is more likely than not that some portion of or the entire asset will not be realized. As all earnings from the Company’s continuing foreign operations are permanently reinvested and not distributed, the Company’s income tax provision does not include additional United States taxes on those foreign operations. It is not practical to determine the amount of federal and state income taxes, if any, that might become due in the event that the earnings were distributed.
The FASB guidance for income taxes prescribes a recognition threshold and a measurement attribute for the financial statement recognition and measurement of tax positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. For those benefits to be recognized, a tax position must be more likely than not to be sustained upon examination by taxing authorities. The amount recognized is measured as the largest amount of benefit that is more likely than not to be realized upon ultimate settlement.
The Company has established a policy of including interest related to tax loss contingencies in income tax expense (benefit).
Revenue from the promotion and production of an event in the Concerts segment is recognized after the show occurs. Revenue related to larger global tours is recognized after the show occurs; however, any profits related to these tours, primarily related to music tour production and tour management services, is recognized after minimum revenue guarantee thresholds, if any, have been achieved. Revenue collected in advance of the event is recorded as deferred revenue until the event occurs. Revenue collected from sponsorships and other revenue, which is not related to any single event, is classified as deferred revenue and generally amortized over the operating season or the term of the contract.
Revenue from the Company’s ticketing operations primarily consists of convenience charges and order processing fees charged at the time a ticket for an event is sold. For tickets sold for events at the Company’s owned or operated venues in the United States, and where the Company controls the tickets internationally, this revenue is recognized after the show occurs. Revenue for the associated ticket service charges collected in advance of the event is recorded as deferred revenue until the event occurs. These service charges are shared between the Company’s Ticketing segment and the Concerts segment. For tickets sold for events at third-party venues, the revenue is recognized at the time of the sale and is recorded by the Company’s Ticketing segment.
The Company accounts for taxes that are externally imposed on revenue producing transactions on a net basis, as a reduction of revenue.
Gross versus Net Revenue Recognition
The Company reports revenue on a gross or net basis based on management’s assessment of whether the Company acts as a principal or agent in the transaction. To the extent the Company acts as the principal, revenue is reported on a gross basis. The determination of whether the Company acts as a principal or an agent in a transaction is based on an evaluation of whether the Company has the substantial risks and rewards of ownership under the terms of an arrangement. The Ticketing segment’s revenue, which primarily consists of convenience charges and order processing fees from its ticketing operations, is recorded net of the face value of the ticket as the Company generally acts as an agent in these transactions.
Results of operations for foreign subsidiaries and foreign equity investees are translated into United States dollars using the average exchange rates during the year. The assets and liabilities of those subsidiaries and investees are translated into United States dollars using the exchange rates at the balance sheet date. The related translation adjustments are recorded in a separate component of stockholders’ equity in AOCI. Cumulative translation adjustments included in AOCI were $(1.7) million and $(9.7) million as of December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Foreign currency transaction gains and losses are included in the statements of operations. For the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2011, the Company recorded net foreign currency transaction losses of $2.8 million and $5.1 million, respectively. For the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company recorded net foreign currency transaction gains of $1.4 million. The Company does not have operations in highly inflationary countries.
The Company records advertising expense in the year that it is incurred. Throughout the year, general advertising expenses are recognized as they are incurred but event-related advertising for concerts is recognized once the show occurs. However, all advertising costs incurred during the year and not previously recognized are expensed at the end of the year. Advertising expenses of $224.0 million, $208.0 million and $200.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively, were recorded as a component of direct operating expenses. Advertising expenses of $27.8 million, $21.6 million and $18.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively, were recorded as a component of selling, general and administrative expenses.
Direct Operating Expenses
Direct operating expenses include artist fees, show related marketing and advertising expenses, royalties paid to clients for a share of convenience and order processing fees, rent expense for events in third-party venues, credit card fees, telecommunications and data communication costs associated with the Company’s call centers, commissions paid on tickets distributed through independent sales outlets away from the box office, and salaries and wages related to seasonal employees at the Company’s venues along with other costs, including ticket stock and shipping. These costs are primarily variable in nature.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Selling, general and administrative expenses include salaries and other compensation costs related to full-time employees, fixed rent, legal expenses and consulting along with other costs.
Depreciation and Amortization
The Company’s depreciation and amortization is presented as a separate line item in the statements of operations. There is no depreciation or amortization included in direct operating expenses, selling, general and administrative expenses or corporate expenses.
Non-cash and Stock-based Compensation
The Company follows the fair value recognition provisions in the FASB guidance for stock compensation. Stock-based compensation expense recognized includes compensation expense for all share-based payments using the estimated grant date fair value net of expected forfeitures. Judgment is required in estimating the amount of stock-based awards expected to be forfeited prior to vesting. If actual forfeitures differ from these estimates, non-cash compensation expense could vary.
The fair value for options in Live Nation stock is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. The fair value of the options is amortized to expense on a straight-line basis over the options’ vesting period. The Company uses an expected volatility based on an even weighting of its own traded options and historical volatility. The Company uses the simplified method for estimating the expected life within the valuation model which is the period of time that options granted are expected to be outstanding. The Company uses the simplified method as it does not believe its historical experience provides a reasonable basis with which to estimate the expected term due to the impact of a number of divestitures after the Separation, the varying vesting terms of awards issued since the Separation and the impact from the type and amount of awards converted pursuant to the Merger. The risk-free rate for periods within the expected life of the option is based on the United States Treasury note rate.
The fair value of restricted stock and restricted stock units, which is generally the stock price on the date of issuance, is amortized to expense, net of expected forfeitures, on a straight-line basis over the vesting period.
Acquisition Transaction Expenses
Acquisition transaction expenses consist of direct costs related to business combinations, such as legal and accounting transaction charges related to reviewing and closing an acquisition and also other legal costs directly tied to the transaction. These expenses also reflect changes in the fair value of accrued acquisition-related contingent consideration arrangements. The Company records transaction costs incurred in connection with the purchase or sale of a noncontrolling interest in a subsidiary, when control is maintained, as a deduction from equity in additional paid-in capital.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates, judgments, and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes including, but not limited to, legal, tax and insurance accruals, acquisition accounting and impairments. The Company bases its estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Recently Adopted Pronouncements
In February 2013, the FASB issued guidance which requires companies to disclose additional information about reclassifications out of AOCI, including changes in AOCI balances by component and significant items reclassified out of AOCI. The new disclosure requirements are applied prospectively and are effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2012. The Company adopted this guidance on January 1, 2013.
In July 2013, the FASB issued guidance that requires a liability related to an unrecognized tax benefit to be offset against a deferred tax asset for a net operating loss carryforward, a similar tax loss or a tax credit carryforward if certain criteria are met. The guidance is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2013 and are applied prospectively to unrecognized tax benefits that exist at the effective date. Early adoption and retrospective application of the new guidance are permitted. This guidance is consistent with the Company’s present practice and will not have a material impact on its financial position.
The entire disclosure for the general note to the financial statements for the reporting entity which may include, descriptions of the basis of presentation, business description, significant accounting policies, consolidations, reclassifications, new pronouncements not yet adopted and changes in accounting principles.
No definition available.