Ticketmaster is one of the largest ticket sales and distribution companies in the world. The company sells tickets for concerts, sporting events, theater shows, and more. With operations in over 30 countries, Ticketmaster sells hundreds of millions of tickets per year. Given its size and success, Ticketmaster executives likely earn substantial salaries. Here is an overview of how much Ticketmaster executives typically make.
Ticketmaster’s Executive Team
Ticketmaster’s executive leadership team includes the following roles:
- President and Chief Executive Officer
- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
- Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer
- Executive Vice President and General Counsel
- Executive Vice President of Technology
- Senior Vice President of Global Business Development
- Senior Vice President of Global Strategy
These executives oversee major areas like finance, legal, product development, technology, and business deals and partnerships. As the leaders guiding the company’s overall business strategy and operations, they likely earn salaries and bonuses commensurate with their significant responsibilities.
As President and CEO, Michael Rapino heads Ticketmaster’s executive team. Public records of executive compensation provide insights into how much he earns:
As the table shows, Rapino earned around $22 million in 2021. The majority of his compensation comes from stock awards and option awards, not just base salary. Over the past three years, his total compensation has ranged from $19-22 million.
Joe Berchtold serves as Ticketmaster’s Chief Financial Officer. Here are the details on his recent compensation:
Like the CEO, Berchtold earns most of his compensation through stock awards. His total pay has ranged from $12-14 million in recent years.
Compared to Other Entertainment Executives
How do Ticketmaster executives’ salaries compare to leaders at other entertainment and live events companies?
Live Nation Entertainment
Ticketmaster is owned by Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest live entertainment company. Here are the 2021 compensation figures for some Live Nation executives:
|President and CEO
|Chief Financial Officer
|Chief Accounting Officer
Live Nation’s top executives like Rapino and Berchtold earn the highest compensation packages. But even executives like the General Counsel and Chief Accounting Officer make around $5-8 million per year.
AEG is Ticketmaster’s main competitor, also owning venues and promoting live events. Here are some of AEG’s executive compensation figures:
|President and CEO
|Chief Operating Officer
|Chief Financial Officer
AEG’s executives earn substantially less than their counterparts at Live Nation and Ticketmaster. The CEO makes around $8-10 million compared to over $20 million for Ticketmaster’s CEO.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment
Madison Square Garden Entertainment operates major entertainment venues and sports teams. Here is the compensation data for some of its executives:
|Executive Chairman and CEO
|Executive Vice President
|Chief Financial Officer
The CEO at Madison Square Garden earns over $20 million, similar to Ticketmaster’s CEO compensation. Other executives earn $5-10 million annually.
Vivid Seats is a large online ticket marketplace. Here are some compensation figures for its executives:
As a newer and smaller company than Ticketmaster, Vivid Seats pays its executives substantially less, with its CEO earning around $2-4 million compared to over $20 million at Ticketmaster.
Factors Influencing Executive Compensation
What factors account for the significant compensation packages at Ticketmaster and other entertainment companies? A few key factors play a role:
- Company size – Large entertainment companies generate billions in revenue, allowing them to pay executives more.
- Industry profit margins – Entertainment and live events have high profit margins, giving companies more room for executive compensation.
- Talent recruitment – Lucrative pay helps attract and retain top executive talent from a small pool of qualified candidates.
- Performance pay – Much compensation comes from bonuses and stock awards tied to financial and business performance.
Additionally, executive compensation has risen rapidly across industries in recent decades. Entertainment executive pay has followed this general trend of rapid growth.
Controversy Over Executive Pay
High executive compensation at Ticketmaster and other companies has generated some controversy over the years. Critics argue:
- Excessive pay is not justified by executives’ contributions to the business.
- High CEO-to-worker pay ratios are unfair to average employees.
- Performance-based pay incentivizes short-term decisions that improve bonuses over long-term company health.
However, Ticketmaster and entertainment executives counter that their pay is warranted based on the skills required, large organization size, and performance expectations placed on them by shareholders.
CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratios
One metric scrutinized is the ratio between CEO compensation and average worker pay at a company. Ticketmaster’s CEO-to-worker pay ratio is estimated to be:
|Estimated CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratio
That means in 2021, Ticketmaster’s CEO earned about 613 times as much as the median employee. Comparatively, the average CEO-to-worker pay ratio at large companies is about 299:1.
Shareholder Votes on Executive Pay
Shareholders have occasionally voiced disapproval over Ticketmaster executive pay. In 2020, only 68% of shareholder votes approved the company’s executive compensation policies. The 30% against was unusually high compared to most companies.
However, shareholders have not gone so far as to reject the executive pay packages entirely. They recognize the executives’ financial oversight and strategic leadership contributes greatly to the company’s success and stock performance, which benefits shareholders.
In conclusion, Ticketmaster executives earn substantial compensation packages, with the CEO making over $20 million and other executives earning around $5-14 million annually. This level of executive pay is in line with other major entertainment corporations like Live Nation, Madison Square Garden, and AEG. Factors like company size, profit margins, talent recruitment, and performance incentives support Ticketmaster’s lucrative executive pay practices. However, high CEO-to-worker pay ratios have also drawn criticism from some as excessive and unfair. Overall, Ticketmaster follows wider entertainment industry trends of compensating top executives very generously to attract talent, reward performance, and incentivize leadership that will support continued business success.