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PLUS The Innovators Secondary Sector Reaches Maturity Tech Giants Join the Ticketing Gold Rush


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DEAR READER Welcome to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2016. Last year’s inaugural edition was very well received, so this year we have augmented the information we provide with the addition of key market data, where available. We’ve used research from the Global Entertainment and Media Outlook, produced by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), to provide estimated market values for the years 2015-2020, in more than 30 of the territories featured in this edition. For anyone interested in reading more about growth trends, we highly recommend the Outlook ( entertainment-media/outlook). For the few markets where such data was not available, we’ve provided insight into the typical demographics for live entertainment events. We hope that the estimates prompt live music trade bodies around the world to provide accurate data on their market values. But for the record, PwC’s 20 biggest live music markets for 2016 are illustrated in the chart on the right. The chances are that if you are reading this publication, you are a member of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), or a subscriber to IQ Magazine. However, there’s also a chance that you’ve picked up a copy at one of our partner events, which this year include Eurosonic Noorderslag, Reeperbahn Festival, Ticket Summit, INTIX and the Ticketing Professionals Conference. I’d personally like to thank the organisers of those events for their support, along with the various contributors around the world who helped to compile and write this year’s ITY. But special thanks go to our executive editor, Tim Chambers, whose guidance has once again proved invaluable. With more than 40 countries profiled, we hope you find ITY 2016 useful. Of course, there are new ticketing start-ups launching around the world on an almost daily basis, so work on next year’s publication will get under way in early 2017. We’d therefore welcome submissions from operators, old and new, so that we can deliver what we hope will become the go-to annual for anyone interested in international live event ticketing.





























































[Source: PwC]

Gordon Masson, Editor




ILMC & Suspicious Marketing

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here is perhaps no aspect of the international live music business that evokes such passion and apathy in equal measures as that of secondary ticketing. It would be no exaggeration to say that the growth in online ticket resale is one of the biggest stories of the past ten years in our industry. Almost everyone has an opinion on the economics and ethics of the secondary market (running the gamut from that of honest businesses providing a necessary service, to devils incarnate ripping off hard-working fans,


with most falling somewhere between the two). And yet, for many, it’s an issue that’s been done to death. Whatever your take, one thing that can’t be ignored is that ticket resale is big business – and getting bigger.

A DREAM TICKET? Every major secondary ticket outlet for which there is publicly available financial data posted positive results in 2015, not least overall market leader Ticketmaster, which had a recordbreaking year. The Live Nation-owned behemoth shifted over 530 million

tickets worldwide, with much of the growth coming from its secondary platforms – such as TicketsNow and TicketsExchange in North America, the UK’s Get Me In! and Seatwave in Europe – which collectively experienced an increase of 34% in gross transaction value (GTV) to $1.2billion (€1.1bn). The trend has continued throughout 2016 so far: Ticketmaster’s first-quarter (Q1) 2016 results reported an incredible 43% jump in GTV from resold tickets in the three months from 1 January to 31 March, contributing to

its biggest month ever in February, while secondary was once again one of the highlights of Live Nation’s Q2 results, with growth of over 20% for the ninth consecutive quarter to over $300million (€271m). StubHub, meanwhile – the largest secondary ticketer in North America – is eBay’s fastest-growing business, generating its parent company $725m (€654m) in revenue in 2015 amid flat growth for eBay’s classic internet auction platform. According to eBay-watching blog TameBay, StubHub was “one of the high points of an otherwise largely unimpressive set of Q4 2015 and year-end 2015 results for eBay Inc.”, posting a 33% increase in Q4 revenue to $232m (€209m). More recently, StubHub revenues increased by 40% to $225m (€203m) in Q2 2016, vastly outperforming eBay Inc. as a whole. While the secondary boom is, of course, good news for the companies involved, increased turnover has spawned increased scrutiny, and sites such as Seatwave, StubHub and Viagogo (which is pre-eminent outside North America) are increasingly finding themselves the target of criticism from fans, promoters and industry associations, who accuse the companies involved of preventing ‘real fans’ from being able to see their favourite artists. While the debate isn’t always exactly level-headed and objective – misleading tabloid-style headlines such as ‘Finding it hard to get a ticket for Adele? There’s one on sale for £24,000’ ( The Guardian, 27 February 2016) frequently fail to differentiate between speculative listings and what customers are actually paying – the authorities are nevertheless making life more difficult than ever before for resellers, with the past 12 months seeing a raft of new regulations designed to clampdown on the shadier aspects of touting, or even resale for profit altogether.

marketplaces in Belgium, Britain, the US, Switzerland and Spain have all come under increased pressure from governments, judiciaries and industry associations since last year’s report. Madrid-headquartered Ticketbis, the market leader in Spain, southern Europe and Latin America, has been embroiled in a legal dispute with Doctor Music, which it is suing for libel following what it calls a “smear campaign” in which the Spanish promoter lodged official complaints against a number of secondary ticketing sites. In March, Doctor Music complained to Spanish regulatory authorities that the “flood of resale tickets” for its 2016 Bruce Springsteen and Adele gigs in Spain had “outraged fans, artists and music promoters” and called Ticketbis, along with Seatwave, Tengoentradas. com, Viagogo, Entradas 365, TicketNetwork, Ticket Liquidator and Worldticketshop “harmful to the world of music.” At press time, the case had gone quiet, but eBay's susequent acquisition of Ticketbis may well have drawn a line under legal proceedings. In the US, two pieces of proposed regulatory legislation – the Boss Act (Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing) and Bots (Better Online Ticket Sales) Act – are currently making their way through the machinery of

government. If passed, the former would among other things, require that secondary outlets verify that a reseller is in possession of a ticket, or has entered into a binding contract to purchase a ticket, before offering it for sale, while the latter would ban the use of ticket-buying software or bots, on a federal level. “The ticket industry is full of opaque practices that game the consumer, the casual fan,” said the bills’ architect, New Jersey representative Bill Pascrell, after they received a positive reception from the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee. “That’s why the Boss Act is necessary. It would bring transparency and a set of parameters to a multibillion-dollar industry running amok.” Bot-using touts have also found themselves a powerful enemy in the form of New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman, who in April collectively fined online brokers TicketToad, A2Z, Just in Time, Flying Falco Entertainment and All Events Utah a total of $2.7m (€2.4m) for using the software to bulk-buy tickets in violation of New York law. In Belgium, meanwhile, three secondary outlets – Topticketshop, and Tickets België – have found themselves blocked by Belgian ISPs by the order of a judge after touts allegedly used the sites to

UNWANTED ATTENTION Although only a handful of countries, such as Italy and Poland, have criminalised ticket resale – and their numbers haven’t increased since the publication of ITY 2015 – secondary

New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, goes on the offensive against unscrupulous ticketing operators


sell €400k worth of fraudulent tickets. In the UK, the Consumer Rights Act (CRA), which came into force on 1 October 2015, devoted an entire chapter to secondary ticketing and mandated, among other things, that certain details be provided to customers by resellers, including the face value of the ticket, the seating area and any restrictions that apply. The CRA has, however, been criticised as ineffectual, and multiple investigations, including two by consumer watchdog Which?, found that the legislation is being widely ignored. In response, the British government commissioned an independent review of the sector, led by economist Professor Michael Waterson, which recommended stricter enforcement of the CRA, harsher penalties for those violating it and the creation of a self-regulatory body by ticketing companies. The response was mixed: While a coalition of 35 British artist managers, agents, promoters and industry figures issued a joint statement welcoming Prof Waterson’s “pragmatic recommendations,” Kilimanjaro Live CEO Stuart Galbraith, who supports banning for-profit resale, said he was “bitterly disappointed that [Waterson] has come to the conclusion that the consumer doesn’t need protection in the form of [further] legislation.” The Ticket Factory managing director Stuart Cain, meanwhile, called the report “another wet squib and a kick in the teeth for artists and true music fans” and questioned how the recommendations could work “when one of the world’s biggest primary ticket agents [Ticketmaster] owns one of the world’s biggest secondary sites [Seatwave].” In July, the managers of PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys, One Direction and Mumford & Sons launched a new anti-touting campaign – the FanFair Alliance – at a press conference at

The FanFair Alliance launched its campaign against ticket touts in July 2016

Somerset House in London. Arctic Monkeys’ manager, Ian McAndrew of Wildlife Entertainment, highlighted that “the legislation” – the CRA and, with regards to ticket bots, the Computer Misuse Act – “is already there,” but isn’t being properly enforced. Mumford & Sons manager Adam Tudhope of Everybody’s Management added that he hopes to see that change post-Waterson, saying he was “buoyed” by the report and felt Prof. Waterson “listened to us [the industry]”. FanFair is urging the British government to take “four pragmatic steps” it says would ensure tickets end up in the hands of fans rather than touts: Proper enforcement of the CRA;

Bill Pascrell, US Congressman


Rodrigo Alvarez, EntradaFan

transparency about who customers are buying from; corporate responsibility on the part of secondary ticketers; and, following the lead of New York, criminalising the use of ticket bots. The idea is catchy. In late August 2016, four industry associations, 116 artists and 24 festivals and events in Japan lent their support to #ResaleNO – a FanFair Alliance-style campaign aimed at ending ticket touting. In a joint statement, the Japanese Federation of Music Producers, Japanese Association of Music Enterprises (JAME), All-Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters’ Conference and Computer Ticketing Council said ordinary music fans are

Estanis Martin de Nicolás, StubHub

Gary Adler, NATB

Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB), is arguing for just the opposite to FanFair and SMPA: An “open and competitive [resale] market” in which “ticket owners and resellers have the right to purchase, sell, and transfer their tickets […] free of unfair restrictions.” “We believe the best interest of fans and their access to an open resale market where they can buy and sell freely, should absolutely come first,” says NATB executive director Gary Adler. “Unfortunately, because of what’s going on with some teams, ticket issuers, venues and others” – he gives ticket bots, fraudulent resellers, booking fees, under-supply and ticket holds by venues and promoters as examples – “that’s not always the case.”


being robbed of the chance to see live music by the resale of concert tickets, and expressed their concerns over the “huge profits” being made by largescale touts. Hidenori Nakai, executive director of JAME, says: “Tickets should be available at their regular price. If they become expensive due to malicious resale, [the profit] is not at all utilised for the creation of new content. We are deeply concerned about such a situation, and want to continue our efforts towards the eradication [of touting].” However, not every industry association is on the same page. Protect Ticket Rights, a campaign launched in August by the National

Kris Peters, Belgian minister

Rainer Appel, CTS Eventim

One country where secondary sellers do seem to be safe, at least for the time being, is the Netherlands, where legislation designed to regulate the market has continually stalled in the Dutch Senate. In mid-June, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) announced that it had dropped its investigation into the country’s secondary ticketing sector, rejecting claims that primary and secondary outlets – specifically Live Nation/ Ticketmaster and Seatwave – had colluded to gouge prices on resale sites. The investigation was launched at the request of the Belgian consumer affairs minister, Kris Peters – the man responsible for the block in Belgium – amid accusations of fraud after tickets for Adele’s sold-out shows in Amsterdam on 1 and 3 June appeared almost instantly on resale sites for close to €5,000. The Swiss Music Promoters’ Association, which represents 35 of Switzerland’s concert promoters and festivals, has also struggled to gain much traction with its efforts to clampdown on resellers in the Alpine

Stuart Cain, The Ticket Factory

Stuart Galbraith, Kilimanjaro Live

country. It argues that the only way to remedy the “excessive prices, forgeries, irritation and disappointment” that characterise the country’s secondary market is the criminalisation of aboveface-value ticket resale or mandatory resale licences for secondary sellers. However, the group faces stiff opposition from the Swiss state: there are currently no restrictions on ticket resale, and the governing Federal Council has previously stated that to “restrict the resale of legally acquired property would violate the principles of free competition, economic freedom and the guarantee of ownership.”

WHEN IN ROME… But what about the resale sites themselves? The majority of ticketing marketplaces surveyed by ITY were, unsurprisingly, in favour of a free secondary market, although most differentiated between ‘genuine’ fan-to-fan sales and those bought by touts by illicit means or purely to sell at a huge mark-up. “All fans are not alike, [and] a free and open ticket market is the best way to serve them all,” comments Estanis Martín de Nicolás, StubHub’s Madridbased international general manager. “StubHub believes fans have the right to decide how – and for how much – resale tickets will be bought and sold. He says, however, that the company “strongly denounce[s] market manipulation activities, such as the use of bots, that make it harder for fans to get into the events they love” and believes that “consumers should be protected from unfair and deceptive practices that make it harder for fans to buy and use event tickets in an open market. We are strongly committed to partnering with industry, public policy and other leaders to achieve this goal.” Irene Recio of Ticketbis, which was bought by eBay/StubHub for an undisclosed sum in May 2016, describes legitimate resale websites as the “solution” for a “phenomenon [that] dates back to the games put on during the Roman Empire, and [which] has always been associated with scalpers and touts, without rules or protection for sellers or buyers.” “When the demand for tickets greatly outweighs supply there will always be a resale market,” Recio says,


adding that Ticketbis “has transformed the secondary ticketing market into one that is transparent and safe.” Similarly, Rainer Appel, senior vice-president of legal and business development at CTS Eventim, says its resale platform, fanSALE, offers a “fair, secure and transparent marketplace for genuine fan-to-fan transactions.” He adds that sky-high secondary-market prices aren’t good for anyone: “If inventory is scooped away from the primary market before the fans can even purchase it and then put on secondary platforms at a huge mark-up, that is certainly neither in the interest of the fan nor the promoter or artist.”

NEXT STEPS It seems likely that the future of the secondary sector, as elsewhere in the live music industry, lies in increased consolidation and diversification, with the bigger players expanding their reach and the blurring of distinctions between the primary and secondary markets. This trend towards amalgamation is perhaps best exemplified by StubHub – the resale market leader in North America. While primary-market companies acquiring, launching or partnering with secondary ticket platforms is fairly common – Seatwave has been under the control of Live Nation/Ticketmaster since November 2014 (joining prior acquisitions Get Me In! and TicketsNow), while dance music promoter SFX Entertainment in June 2014 signed a five-year, $75m (€68m) sponsorship agreement with Viagogo – it had long been a one-way street. That all changed in February when StubHub announced it would be going head-to-head with Ticketmaster by launching its own primary ticketing service. The new-look StubHub marketplace – whose first partner is basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers – will show all available tickets on a single seating map, with no indication as to which are being offered by resellers. Buyers will be able to purchase tickets from multiple sellers in one transaction. In August, SeatGeek followed StubHub into the primary market via a strategic partnership with ticketing software developer TopTix. The New York-based company, which began life as a ticket aggregator/search engine


but recently also launched a ticket marketplace of its own (partially under pressure from StubHub, which in 2014 pulled its inventory from the site), will use TopTix’s SRO4 software to provide the back-end functionality for its new primary platform. Its first partnership is with Major League Soccer (MLS) – the highest-level football league in the US – which will allow for a team’s primary tickets to be sold on any site or mobile application of their choosing using SeatGeek/TopTix technology. How long until the likes of Viagogo follows suit? The embrace of new technology will also, as always, be an area to watch, with secondary ticketers finding ever more high-tech ways to reach potential customers – and keep the authorities off their backs. According to DigitalGov, Americans using mobile devices spend 87% of their time in apps versus just 13% in browsers (browsing, for example, the Ticketmaster or Eventbrite website), so it’s obvious why Ticketmaster wants a piece of what will be for many their most-used mobile app. It is still not yet clear whether the partnership – under the terms of which Ticketmaster will pay Facebook an affiliate fee for each ticket it sells – will eventually extend to the former’s secondary platforms, but don’t bet against it. Looking further ahead, Snapchat – a mobile video-sharing platform with over 150 million active users, including an estimated 60% of 13- to 34-year-old Americans – could well be the next big

ticketing battleground. Though, at the time of writing, no one is selling concert tickets on its app, Comcast/Time Warner-owned Fandango has used Snapchat to shift film tickets – notably for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men: Apocalypse – and both ‘big two’ promoters Live Nation and AEG Live (whose ticketing operation, AXS, has a secondary partnership with StubHub) have partnered recently with the service to create Live Stories, or video compilations, from a number of festivals. Elsewhere, Argentine site EntradaFan is, to ITY’s knowledge, the only resale platform offering customers the opportunity to pay for their tickets using a cryptocurrency. “We are always thinking about technological innovation,” explains EntradaFan’s Rodrigo Alvarez. “Last year, we introduced payment with bitcoin. So far it has been a very satisfying experience.” More than 100,000 merchants worldwide now accept the Bitcoin digital currency, which utilises an encrypted peer-to-peer system of payment independent of a central bank. And as awareness of (and anger about) ticket bots continues to grow, expect to see anti-bot technology come on in leaps and bounds in the next 12 months. (Bye-bye, captchas!) Whatever the future holds for the secondary market, one thing remains certain: this divisive, but increasingly lucrative part of the international live entertainment industry, is going to keep everyone debating its pros and cons for years to come.

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or decades, ticketing has been a fairly conservative business. Box offices producing their own concert passes have evolved into specialist companies developing the technology to take over those operations and have established exclusivity, wherever possible, at venues. In recent years, as the barriers to entry have been lowered, dozens of start-ups have launched, promising smart solutions to ticketing dilemmas. But now, as the power of the Internet and social media pave the way to potentially millions of new customers, e-commerce conglomerates are turning their attention to ticketing as another potential revenue stream to keep shareholders happy. Having seen its platform used to resell tickets for a number of years, eBay capitalised on that position of strength in 2007 when it purchased secondary-ticketing market leader StubHub for a reported $310million (€274m), and in the years since, it has steadily migrated ticket sales through eBay to StubHub’s web-based inventory process. At the same time, StubHub has gone to great efforts to shed its image as an online tout, and to include event discovery and primary ticketing among its services, while the company has also signed a slew of deals with sports franchises and, notably, is a partner of AEG’s primary AXS ticketing business.


StubHub has not published historical financial results, but earlier this year, parent company eBay said the subsidiary took in revenues of $725m (€642m) in 2015 alone, accounting for roughly 9% of eBay’s total revenues, while analysts estimate its impact on overall profits is even more significant. StubHub revenues increased by 40% in Q2 of 2016, earning its parent company $225m (€199m). With such obvious returns boosting the bottom line, eBay is delving ever deeper into the ticketing business: it recently acquired Ticket Utils, an independent software provider that purports to help large ticket sellers manage inventory and distribution. With the acquisition, ticket sellers on StubHub who have a large number of tickets can now access tools and features to more easily manage their ticket inventory, pricing and distribution. And in a clear sign that eBay sees value through consolidation, in May 2016 it acquired Spanish-based secondary marketplace, TicketBis, which operates in 47 countries, and which it intends to roll into the StubHub business. But eBay is not alone. Other online behemoths are taking a punt on ticketing, safe in the knowledge that the relatively low cost of entry will not have repercussions on the mainstay of their business. “They’re not interested in terms of operations and mechanics,” comments ticketing industry consultant (and

International Ticketing Yearbook executive editor), Tim Chambers. “What the online companies do want is to get closer to that emotional content: consumers define themselves by their emotional connections to Beyoncé or Chelsea Football Club or WWF or whatever. People aggregate around artists and bands – and that’s what piques the interest of those in the business of attracting consumer loyalty.”

DEEP POCKETS It’s not just e-commerce corporates looking to muscle in on the game. Telecoms companies have been exploiting the link with live music for years through venue and event sponsorship and subscriber ticketing offers. More recently global broadcast corporation Sky started its own ticketing company in the UK to tap into exclusive sports events, which it ties in with broadcasting rights. And quite what Twitter’s long-term ambitions are in the ticketing sphere are unclear, but the fact that they hired former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard as head of global media and commerce suggests that ticketing was, at least, a consideration. Hubbard’s departure in May this year may well mean that’s no longer the case, however. Elsewhere, Amazon, which until recently was the world’s biggest online retailer, last year launched its own ticketing division, using the UK and Ireland as its testing ground.

“Music is a big part of what we do: people listen to music and buy music through Amazon,” explains Amazon Tickets general manager, Geraldine Wilson. “We started selling tickets for the theatre and that resonated well with our customers so we expanded that into live music as well.” Wilson continues, “We wanted to do the ticketing business properly, so it’s been made into a separate division. Last December, we went live with the Amazon Tickets website. At the moment, it’s UK only – we started in the UK because we’d already been involved in ticketing here and the expansion was logical.” London-based Wilson won’t comment on the systems that Amazon uses to process ticket sales. But she confirms that the Amazon system connects with the numerous box offices in the capital’s theatre- and venue-packed West End, as well as the major show producers, agencies, tour companies, etc, to keep tabs on show and event inventory. “It’s quite a dynamic market,” she continues, “we have our steady shows, such as The Lion King, but there are also lots of marketing initiatives going on for others that we have to be aware of and build relationships around. We’re very excited by ticketing – it’s a great fit with Amazon’s music business, selling music merchandise and now tickets, which is appealing to artists as well as music companies.”

TICKET TO THE LIMIT Chambers notes that Amazon’s unique selling point for promoters and artists is the data it can collate on consumer behaviour. “The beauty of Amazon is that it can tell the promoters how many people in a certain city or even a certain postcode, bought Beyoncé merchandise. And they can use that data to make a case for Amazon supporting a pre-sale or leading an on-sale,” says Chambers. “But Amazon’s huge customer base also makes it a very good channel for discretely selling distressed inventory.” Another US-owned, online giant that is getting involved in ticketing is Facebook, which has started allowing select partners to sell tickets from its pages – a facility that must be appealing given its 1.65 billion active users. However, the company is coy about its ticketing activities. “Facebook is not involved in ticketing,” says a spokesman. “We allow third-party ticketing vendors to advertise across our platform and we also give open access to our API, which allows them to use things like Facebook login – Ticketmaster, for example, uses the feature to show you which of your friends are going to an event.” Facebook vets the ticketing vendors, including Eventbrite and others that it provides such services for, but it would not divulge what criteria it relies upon to approve those partners nor any financial arrangements that

such deals might involve. In April 2016, Ticketmaster confirmed its alliance with Facebook when it announced it would start selling concert tickets directly through the platform. This has been made possible by the world’s most-visited social network adding a ‘buy tickets’ button on certain event pages so customers can do just that without ever leaving the site. “By putting the ability to buy tickets directly within Facebook, we hope that we’re going to provide a more seamless purchase experience and sell more tickets,” explains Dan Armstrong, vicepresident and general manager of distributed commerce at Ticketmaster. Another titan that is expanding its ticketing services is China’s Alibaba. The company previously had an existing ticketing platform for cinema tickets, but in early 2016, executives decided to launch into other areas of live entertainment. More forthcoming than Facebook about its plans, the Chinese company nonetheless insisted on responding to ITY in the capacity of a “company official” from Alibaba Pictures Group Limited. The company was formerly China Vision Media, of which Alibaba Group bought a majority stake in late 2014, before renaming it as its film division. In the second half of 2015, Alibaba Pictures acquired Taobao Movie, an online movie-ticketing platform, which it then rebranded as Tao Piao Piao,


earlier this year. “Tao Piao Piao has become one of the leading online movie-ticketing platforms in China. It offers online ticketing and seat selection services in more than 5,000 theatres nationwide, covering 95% of the country’s total box office,” says a spokesman for the company. Detailing its transition into the larger ticketing world, he further explains, “Tao Piao Piao has become an integral part of the company’s online promotion and distribution business, as well as a key consumer platform for film entertainment." But Alibaba’s ambitions are bigger than just TV and film, as Tao Piao Piao recently announced a strategic partnership with, China’s largest entertainment-ticketing service provider. “Tao Piao Piao and will make their ticketing service platforms interoperable for users to purchase tickets on directly via Alipay and the latest Tao Piao Piao mobile applications,” notes the company official. As a market leader in China, Damai. cn boasts operations in 301 cities worldwide, offering ticketing for over 290,000 popular shows and major sports events, and over 5,000 venues and performers. “Looking ahead, Tao Piao Piao and will also collaborate on the marketing of quality film and TV entertainment projects,” continues the company’s spokesman. “Tao Piao Piao will continue to work with different partners to connect to new channels, so as to cover the largest group of fans and create joint marketing opportunities for merchants.” Such activity will not have gone unnoticed by China’s other Internet powerhouses, such as Baidu, Tencent and Dalian Wanda, and with huge financial arsenals to tap into, it would not be too surprising if those companies found a bit of loose change to make some strategic acquisitions, particularly in the United States, where Alibaba is listed on the New York stock exchange. The company’s corporate compatriots are reportedly already harbouring similar listing ambitions.

ORIENT EXPRESS Chambers is impressed. “The likes of Alibaba and Dalian Wanda don’t mess


Now in its 17th year in London's West End, The Lion King continues to deliver sales success to a myriad of ticketing operations

around – they’re busy buying into film studios, cinema chains, theme parks and even Korean concert promoters. They are building different kinds of vertical businesses compared to a company like Live Nation,” he observes. “With the new tech giants, you cannot assume that the current business structures are fixed. The market evolves and these corporations are very quick to evolve with them – or to drive that evolution. “If you look at Live Nation Entertainment, for example, it was born by aggregation as SFX, which was then acquired by Clear Channel – so it was effectively part of a company that owned radio stations and advertising billboards. Live Nation was then spun off and it then sold off its motor sports business to Feld, and its performing arts division to Key Brands and ATG. Then it merged with Ticketmaster, so it’s a very young company that’s evolving and finding its corporate shape. And who knows, maybe the next step is a merger with another media or tech-oriented business?!” Those business verticals are what separate the online powerhouses from the pure ticketing enterprises that they are beginning to devour. “Ticketing is

not sexy – it’s a thankless task – but it underpins the whole live music experience,” states Chambers. “Facebook, for example, is not (yet) interested in its own ticketing operation, but it does want to be involved in people getting ready for their night out, chatting about their clothes, inviting friends, and taking selfies, right through to being at the event and the aftermath. That ‘ journey from anticipation to participation’ is hugely enticing to companies like Facebook.” But are such devastatingly wealthy global operations seen as a threat to the ticketing business? “New tech companies are, currently at best, good event partners or owners. And they have deep enough pockets to sponsor tours, venues or promoters,” Chambers continues. “Apple, with its foreign cash reserves, could buy Live Nation, UMG, William Morris, IMG – the whole lot, and still hardly make a dent into their finances. But arguably, Apple wants to be all about access to the experience not necessarily responsible for the organisation and hard grunt work that goes into staging, power, PA, lighting, security, toilets, trakway, and licensing. Online tech companies are typically more about the sizzle.”

So although he believes other online entities could start vacuuming up ticketing operations internationally, those that will expect a healthy financial return from selling tickets alone could be few and far between. “What impresses Google is the mass audience, not the stars,” says Chambers. “So they might pay for access to the stars, but that’s because they want that relationship with the audience rather than the artist.” One exception to that rule may well be Amazon – although sceptics suggest that its expansion into ticketing may just be another way o retain customer loyalty.

CUSTOMER LOYALTY Certainly, the head of Amazon Tickets isn’t shy about putting the ticket buyer at the centre of the company’s philosophy (perhaps something that traditional ticketing operations could learn from). “We help customers discover live entertainment events. Media_NeverEmpty_AAFF.pdf



There’s that statistic that 40% of all tickets go unsold and we feel we can do something to improve that and not just because we know what people are listening to or who bought what CD,” says Wilson. “Our attention is very much focussed around the customer and their experience. Our pricing of West End theatre is focussed on matching the box office, unlike others who charge large booking fees. Transparency around pricing is important and the customer experience, from start to finish, is crucial, so that’s why we had box office facilities at British Summer Time (BST) this year.” The contract for the 8-10 July BST event surprised some in the UK industry given that promoter AEG has its own AXS ticketing system. But Wilson hints at one reason why thousands of Londoners trusted the start-up to purchase their tickets. “It can be a difficult experience for people buying tickets to live events

– I’ve had that experience myself, so we put a strong emphasis on the customer,” says Wilson. “Everything is backed by Amazon customer service, so people know they can rely on us,” she says. And that trust consumers have in their social networks and e-commerce could ultimately be a catalyst for more online entities participating in the ticketing marketplace. “Relationships are incredibly important, so we’re heavily focussed on that and building the Amazon Tickets business with the industry. The future? Watch this space.” Chambers believes that such optimism is not misplaced. “From an artist or sports franchise point of view, any channel that will allow them direct access to the end consumer is powerful and attractive,” he says. “That’s what the social networks and online retail giants can bring to the party. Certainly, if Amazon gets behind it, they will play to win,” he concludes.










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Revolutionary Ticketing Solutions 17



n last year’s International Ticketing Yearbook, we highlighted a dozen companies that were making it their mission to bring new features to the global ticketing business. But we barely scratched the surface. For the 2016 edition, we’re highlighting 20 Innovators that are thinking outside of the box (office) to enhance ticketing systems and services. From selling advertising space on the backs of tickets to cover service fees, to allowing event organisers to easily create interactive seating plans, to providing 3D viewing capability for


each seat prior to purchase, our 2016 Innovators are developing systems that should make the ticketing landscape an infinitely more userfriendly experience, as well as helping promoters achieve the dream scenario of increasing inventory yield.

TICKETEA Founded in Spain in 2009, Ticketea is a DIY platform that allows promoters to create an event and start selling tickets in less than two minutes. The firm ended last year with more than four million tickets issued, up 55% year-on-

year, across events in 31 countries. As a technology company, innovation has been a cornerstone of Ticketea’s development. Its apps, which are all developed in-house, include Checkpoint, an access control solution for event organisers and venues that use the iPhone or iPod Touch camera to scan QR codes displayed on tickets; Box Office to help manage ticket sales; and the Ticketea app for ticket buyers. Under development at the moment is its own RFID system for music festivals and big events, and a ticket selling plug-in for WordPress was

recently released. Future expansion will focus on Southern Europe and Latin America, as well as making more inroads into the theatre market. Javier Andrés, founder and CEO, says: “Our experience with theatres, theatre festivals and musicals in Spain and London, when we worked with London Theatre Direct, has been really positive so we want to expand our company in that area. We would also like to maintain the constant growth that we got last year in Portugal, Germany, Italy and the UK.”

OXYNADE Oxynade provides both a primary ticketing offering and a ticketing platform to other companies. The firm’s cloud-based ticketing solution serves the biggest arenas in Belgium, swimming pools, expos, fairs and

Bruno Natal WeDemand!

theme parks. Innovation can be seen in the newest version of its platform, focusing on flexibility, user experience, marketing automation and performance. Oxynade has also introduced a marketing automation solution, enabling event organisers to use data relating to customer behaviour. CEO Hans Nissens explains: “With this solution we can deliver huge added-value to our partners by enabling them to sell more tickets, sell higher rated tickets (by up-selling, for example) and know everything about their customers. In this approach, Oxynade is not just a ticket-selling enabler, but a ticket-selling booster.” New features in the works include a waiting room where every interested ticket buyer fills in a form detailing the amount of tickets they want to buy, as well as personal details and credit card information. It enables the organisers to make changes in capacity, seat plan and pricing zones pre-sale. Secondly, social group purchasing allows ticket buyers to send invites to friends and mark seats as reserved for a period of time. Finally, gift vouchers will soon be available to purchase (complete with luxury packaging), applicable for one or multiple events, and limited to specific categories and price ranges.

TICKETSCRIPT Back in 2006, Frans Jonker and Ruben van den Heuvel designed a self-service, white-label-ticketing platform that allows event organisers to sell tickets directly to their audience. E-ticketing wasn’t popular at the time and Jonker and Heuvel’s platform was one of the first to introduce the concept in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Today the company also operates in the UK and Spain, with around 10,000 accounts signed up to its service. Ticketscript was also one of the first companies to turn Facebook event/fan pages into direct ticket sales channels

Andrew Dreskin Ticketfly

Ben Sebborn Skiddle!

in late 2009, and in 2010, acquired UK business Trinity Mobile to deliver tickets to mobile phones. Over the last few years, innovation has centered around data, with Ticketscript providing clients with insight into sales trends, reports, performance, traffic, conversion and user data. They are currently working on providing cashless technology for spending onsite. “Event organising is not just about gut feeling or copying what has been done in the past,” says Jonker. “It’s also about using the data you collect to predict the future and to make better decisions, improve events and ticket sales. That is absolutely key in the coming years.”

TICKET FAIRY Ticket Fairy provides marketing, analytics and e-commerce technology to large events like festivals, conferences and conventions. Its purpose is to increase attendance and revenue, and lower financial risk through the use of technology. The goal is to make sure all clients’ events sell-out by offering discounts to attendees for bringing friends; mining customer data online to deliver audience intelligence reports; finding out where online traffic is being driven from so promoters can capitalise on successful referrals; and running ad management. The company was founded in Australia in late 2011 by Ritesh and Jigar Patel so they could grow the audience for the events they were running. It now works with events in the UK, US, New Zealand and parts of mainland Europe, with music counting for 80% of business. Discussing the inspiration behind his company, Jigar says: “Most events companies are currently not leveraging technology as much as they could be, relying on guesswork and outdated marketing techniques – innovation is key to giving them the resources and

Ben Verbeken

Bill Crane TLS Boca Systems


tools they need to be able to market smarter, without necessarily needing to be technical themselves.” Future innovation at Ticket Fairy will likely be in the areas of artificial intelligence and virtual reality and there’s a wealth of other updates and developments in the works, says Jigar. “We roll out new features every week and the product roadmap for the next two-three years is a lot to be getting on with. We’d love to see ourselves as an events company’s central technology resource for everything they do, from day-to-day operations to modeling complex business workflows, as well as the most important thing – getting more people through the door and making more money!”

Pandora subsidiary, Ticketfly, counts Hollywood’s Troubadour venue as one of its partners

TLS BOCA SYSTEMS For over 20 years, TLS Boca Systems has provided tickets and ticketing printers to the entertainment industry. The firm produces paper tickets and wristbands, and in recent years has expanded its offering to include the reselling of scanners and kiosks. Despite the surge in mobile use over the last decade, Bill Crane, general manager, UK & Ireland, says the demand for paper tickets is still high. Tickets that also serve as a souvenir are where he sees growth in the future. “Having a special ticket marks the event for people to remember it,” he says. “It’s designed more creatively, like the view on a ticket changing if you look at it from a different angle. “Do I think that everybody will be using mobile tickets within the next five years? Definitely not. People like the memory of the event and from an access perspective, sometimes paper is easier. “If it’s hurling it down with rain, and your mobile phone is going to get wet and the scanner can’t read the barcode, mobile access is not always going to work and it’s driven as much

Eli Dagan TopTix


by the operations people as it is by the customer. Sometimes the operations people don’t give the customer a choice.”

TICKETPLAN Since 1999, TicketPlan has been providing customers with a way to ensure they’ll get a refund for tickets to events they can’t attend. The company provides a refund and administration process and has over 30 ticket seller clients in the UK across a range of different types of events, with music playing a major role. New projects include a recent tie-up with a major rail-ticketing organisation, offering cancellation protection alongside advance nonrefundable tickets, providing a mid-way point between cheaper non-refundable fares and the more expensive flexible alternative. Graham Berg, MD, explains: “Most passengers do not actually need total flexibility – more a need for protection against specific unforeseen events that might

Francis Casado Mobile Media Content

Frans Jonker Ticketscript

prevent them from travelling.” In future, the firm is looking at blending ticket insurance with other complementary insurance and protection products. Expansion is set for the US, as well as in the UK. Berg adds: “Over the next five years, we aim to expand both in the UK and overseas, developing our products in-line with the evolving needs of the markets within which we operate. We will continue to listen carefully to the needs of our ticket seller clients and work to our constant maxim of ‘alignment of brands.’ In terms of new developments and features, watch this space!”

TOPTIX TopTix is an enterprise-level ticketing platform that allows organisations to manage ticketing; marketing activities; memberships and loyalty; merchandise sales; group sales and scheduling; fundraising; and access control. Its client base of over 500 institutions in 10 countries includes theatres, festivals, sports organisations,

Graham Berg TicketPlan

Hans Nissens Oxynade




we call it magic.




Social Marketing


Campaign Management


Business Tools


visitor attractions, ticket agencies and large venues. With TopTix, CEO Eli Dagan aims to deliver the same shopping experience a customer would have at a box office on a mobile phone. “It’s a challenging, but rewarding task,” he explains. “Customers can complete the full shopping experience on their phone, from buying the ticket, to having it delivered, to getting it scanned at entry.” Areas for investment in the near future include further mobile capabilities, ChatBot and a distributed sales engine, to make cooperation between sellers and inventory owners easy and fast. New features in the works are an improved ticket forward and resale process. For TopTix’ non-profit clients, it’s also developing greater fundraising capabilities with one central database for members and donors, plus an inventory management component so clients can better manage gift shops and concession stands.

AUDIENCEVIEW Founded in Canada, AudienceView has live entertainment clients worldwide that make use of its software-based e-commerce solution. Theatres, arenas, stadiums and football associations put the inventory of their events into AudienceView’s platform, where tickets are sold as well as extras like merchandise and parking. Customer data is collected and can then be used by clients for marketing purposes in the future. Michael Bryce, chief operating officer, explains: “The company was founded on a notion that the ticket really shouldn’t be at the centre of the solution or the business process. The customer or consumer should be.” Today, AudienceView services events in almost 600 venues in 15 countries. Events are social activities based on passions people might have, says Bryce, who sees AudienceView’s

James Cobb Crowd Connected


future growth using technology to help communities unlock that passion and monetise it. AudienceView Version 7, that’s currently under development, has a number of features that aim to do just that, including loyalty and membership programmes for consumers, and analytics tools. Bryce adds: “How people are interacting in other areas of e-commerce has set the bar high and folks that are attending events have different expectations than they did before. The providers in this space are going to need to be creative and innovative to meet those expectations and we are happy to lead the charge.”

CROWD CONNECTED Crowd Connected’s patent-pending platform, Colocator, provides promoters with real-time data gleaned from the mobile phones of customers. The information helps them schedule staff for events, predict demand and target and service customers more effectively. The firm was founded by James Cobb in 2013. After managing festivals and festival sites, he grew frustrated with the lack of visibility on how the

site worked, and how customers behaved. “Simple questions like the flow rates of arriving vehicles and pedestrians, the popularity of different stages and artists, transport mode split and queuing times at facilities were all very difficult to quantify,” he explains. “Without that information, managing a festival can quickly become an exercise in fire-fighting.” Crowd Connected’s first major client was Wireless Festival in London. It has since worked with events including Coachella in California, Governors Ball in New York and Reading Festival in the UK. Recently announced developments include a staff-tracking feature that can also track assets (like golf carts) using a credit-card sized tag. A new messaging system allows push notifications to be sent to festivalgoers by visually selecting them on a heat-map interface. Cobb and his team are also working on using data to power digital engagement for fans, details of which will be revealed soon.

MOBILE MEDIA CONTENT Mobile Media Content generates 3D

Maryland Science Center is a client of TopTix

Javier Andrés Ticketea

Jigar Patel Ticket Fairy

Jody Mulkey Ticketmaster

Joel Crouch Eventbrite


to strengthen their own positions. In spite of this, we remain profitable and competitive with a loyal client base. “As a company we are independent, well-established and looking forward to celebrating our 10th birthday in 2017. The business has grown organically and now carries the third largest inventory of music tickets available in the primary sector in the UK.” allows promoters and venues to create event floor plans


virtual representation of global sporting events. That virtual view can help venues with their design, refurbishments, security operations, access control and CRM integration. Customers, meanwhile, can see their seat view, the layout of the venue, and food and drink options while buying their ticket, with sponsors enjoying brand exposure and product placement pre-event. Discussing the inspiration behind the technology, which launched in Barcelona in 2012, Francis Casado, managing partner and head of international development, says: “MMC created the ticketing 3D tool to deliver a visual interactive venue experience for fans, and a tool for managers to improve their understanding of their venue, take better decisions, and generate new commercial strategies or reduce the cost of operations. It’s also provided a new income source as a sponsorship activation channel.” In future, MMC will provide a real-time web configurator for indoor spaces, allowing clients to customise the hospitality and VIP lounges, combining the experience with virtual reality and augmented reality with Oculus Rift, cardboards and similar technologies. Casado is also looking to integrate dynamic content – aspects of a website that change based on the

Mark Gasson Gigantic

interests or past behaviour of the viewer – within MMC’s ticketing feature.

GIGANTIC Gigantic is an independent primary ticketing agency based in Nottingham, UK, selling face value tickets for events organised by worldwide firms like Live Nation and AEG, as well as festival organisers and small venues. Its in-house system offers white-label responsive platforms, bespoke ticketing options and full access control. Launched in 2007, the company was founded on a desire to “do things a little differently.” Founder Mark Gasson explains: “You won’t find us hiding behind premium rate numbers, holding companies and PO box numbers. We treat our customers how we would like to be treated.” Innovation has centered around providing organisers with the information they need to stay on top of their events via mobile. Gigantic’s next update is a reworked self-service dashboard giving clients vital information on the move. In January this year, they launched their fully responsive website.  Adds Gasson: “Ticketing is a competitive market, in which some of the larger agencies will happily offer cash-based deals to entice promoters

Matan Ganani Never Empty

Michael Bryce AudienceView

In 2015, Ticketfly joined forces with Pandora and the ticketing side of the business launched custom stations and custom marketing campaigns to help its venue and promoter clients build their brands and sell more tickets. In July, the company launched automated, personalised concert notifications for Ticketfly shows on Pandora. As a result, Pandora listeners receive alerts for just-announced shows and on-sales via feed alerts in the Pandora app, push notifications on mobile devices, and personalised live event email digests. “This is the first time hyper-targeted, real-time notifications have been implemented at scale, and a perfect example of why we decided to join forces with Pandora,” says Ticketfly CEO and co-founder Andrew Dreskin. “Event discovery is a challenge that has plagued the live events industry since the beginning of time. These personalised notifications will help to fix that problem, ensuring that fans miss fewer shows and that they are near the front of the line when tickets go on sale. This is not only the first automated link between the platforms, but also the first major step toward transforming the way fans discover events and artists and promoters sell tickets.” By time-spent, Pandora claims to be the most-used app in the world – on average, listeners spend more than 24 hours on Pandora every month, logging around 1.83 billion monthly listening hours. Exploiting that loyalty, Ticketfly

Phil Hutcheon DICE

Mike Müller Ticketfrog


clients are being given access to a huge audience of music fans in America.

TICKETMASTER Innovation has been an incredibly important part of Ticketmaster’s growth strategy over the last 40 years, according to US CTO Jody Mulkey, who says the firm has doubled down on time spent figuring out where to invest and innovate. Recent initiatives include opening up its platform for developers, with over 1,500 applications built on Ticketmaster APIs since January 2016. “For us it’s about having the developer community coming up with really interesting and innovative solutions to fan problems. Examples include discovery applications focused around travel, Apple TV applications, and a bunch of travel companies creating packages for our events,” says Mulkey. Ticketmaster has also invested in its data science team to personalise one-to-one marketing, and has been working on providing customers with a range of choices from both the primary and secondary ticketing markets while they are on the way to get tickets. Next on the agenda is using new technology to combat bots – a feature that will roll-out later this year. Mulkey explains: “We want to make sure that verified fans get tickets at fan-friendly prices.” Also on the horizon is improving the in-venue experience by providing information on things like where the closest toilets or bars are, via an app, as well as advanced ordering and delivery from/to seat. A fanengagement platform, meanwhile, would gamify the event experience with competitions, and help venues sell tickets to their next event.

WEDEMAND! The rate of growth and introduction of new tech has seen WeDemand! gain a lot of attention internationally, notably with editorial column inches in the likes of Forbes and Smashd. The operation is based on the simple idea of empowering fans who are desperate to see their heroes perform live, to ‘demand a show.’ “In 2015, we improved our platform’s ability to analyse this crowdsourced demand,” explains WeDemand! founder Bruno Natal. “We can now


WeDemand! has enjoyed touring success with the likes of YouTube stars Jack & Jack

connect artists and promoters so they can plan events efficiently and sell tickets directly to fans who demanded the show.” Indeed, such has been the success of that initiative that US pop act Jack & Jack were recently able to embark on a fan-sourced transcontinental tour of Latin America. “We have continued to build from that tour and [financial year] 2016 is already off to a better start,” adds Natal. In terms of metrics, WeDemand! now has more than 1.2m registered users, with 475,000 new users since December 2015. By comparison, during 2015 the platform only attracted 270,000 new users. That massive growth spike saw WeDemand’s half-year 2016 gross ticket sales reach $1.5m (€1.4m), compared to just $125k (€113k) for the whole of 2015. Among the company’s latest developments are meet-and-greet ticket sales, which it rolled-out for its first US tour with the Dolan Twins and its first global tour (across 35 cities in nine countries) with YouTube stars Kian ‘n’ JC.

DICE DICE is continually building technology to address three big issues – touting, awareness and maximising attendances. Firstly, by being fully mobile, DICE claims to be immune to bots. A DICE ticket cannot be resold, which helps build trust with fans. Secondly, the company has invested in event discovery, using machine learning and employing a ‘world-class’ editorial team to recommend the most

relevant shows to fans. This helped increase sales by over 50% in the third quarter of 2016 alone. Thirdly, with its Waiting List option, DICE is moving to solve the problem of people who can’t make a show, while also helping to gauge the true demand for a concert. DICE believes that doing the right thing with fans generates substantially more revenue to invest back into the industry. “There are 40 people at DICE, 20 of those are developers,” says founder Phil Hutcheon. “We’re thinking five years ahead on what the perfect experience is for fans to discover and buy tickets. We’re inspired by advances in commerce, machine learning and social. We’re building a future that does the right thing for the music industry and music fans.”

TICKETFROG With its disruptive business model, Ticketfrog is aiming to “fundamentally change the way of buying and selling tickets online.” Thanks to advertisers that place vouchers on the tickets, the Switzerland-based startup eliminates any kind of fees encountered during the process of buying or selling tickets on similar platforms. In other words: the price paid for the ticket is exactly the amount the promoter gets. Ticketfrog’s co-founder and CTO, Mike Müller, explains that the company earns its money through offering six voucher spaces on each ticket. “Small venues are finally able to provide their customers with a professional platform to buy their tickets. Sponsors benefit

from a highly targeted placement of their vouchers. In addition to the eliminated fees, ticket-buyers benefit from vouchers on the tickets. It is a win-win-win situation,” says Müller. “There are unlimited ways of using the ad space. For example, a nearby restaurant owner might place a voucher that can be redeemed prior to the event. Or food companies inside the venue might boost their sales with a voucher for a 2-for-1 promotion,” Müller suggests. Among the developments currently being tackled by Ticketfrog’s developers are tools whereby promoters will soon be able to involve their own advertisers and will even be remunerated in return.

EVENTBRITE With a presence that now extends across 16 countries and five continents, Eventbrite has enjoyed phenomenal growth since its foundation in 2006. The company highlights three recent innovations that it has developed to help its organisers sell more tickets more easily: The company is currently piloting an integration with Facebook in the US that allows fans to buy and receive tickets without ever leaving Facebook. This, according to Eventbrite, is a step up from “ just” publishing events on Facebook with a link to a ticketing page. Bringing the shop to the fan reduces the number of steps and therefore lowers friction in the ticket booking process, which should result in higher ticket sales for organisers. Facebook is Eventbrite’s first partner of what it says will grow into a distributed commerce platform for its eventorganising clients. The company is continuing to roll-out its in-house developed RFID solution and has recently enabled cashless payments via the same RFID wristbands that allow entry at large events. The company says that a three-day festival with well over 100,000 fans in the US used this system this summer and the results were exciting enough to encourage Eventbrite management to expedite the technology roll-out in Europe. The company recently acquired Queue, a suite of industry-leading products, designed specifically with venue and festival promoters in mind


Ticket Fairy provided services for Grillstock Festival 2016

and this is currently being integrated into Eventbrite products. “Eventbrite is evolving into an event technology platform that simplifies events before, while and after they take place,” comments Joel Crouch, general manager for the UK and Ireland. “We have noticed strong demand from large festivals and venues like Womad, Ministry of Sound or Boomtown, who value our technological and e-commerce capabilities to help them efficiently grow their events.”

SKIDDLE Having been a primary ticket agent for a decade now, Skiddle has delivered a number of changes within 2016 that see its status as an innovator cemented within the industry. The two pivotal ones are both new features. Firstly, Re:Sell enables customers to sell their tickets back to other music fans, negating the need for touts and providing a fair way for people to get access to sold-out shows, and those who can no longer attend events to move on tickets readily. Skiddle says that the Re:Sell system was trialled with great success at Belladrum Festival in the Scottish highlands – an event that consistently sells out its five-figure capacity. The second change is Cool:Off and goes even further. Taking inspiration from the retail sector where generous return policies have been shown to statistically increase sales, event promoters are entitled to offer their customers a 72-hour grace period to return the tickets after purchase. It encourages impulse buys and means customers don’t wait to guarantee their plans, running the risk of missing out. “This year, we’ve undertaken a long process of looking at where we stand


in the industry, as well as a detailed analysis of how ticketing works. We’ve discovered quite a few ways how both can be better, and Re:Sell and Cool:Off is just the start of us shifting the paradigms in ticketing,” comments Skiddle founder, Ben Sebborn.

SEATS.IO is a reserved seating plug-in for online ticketing. Its intuitive online seating chart designer gives nontechnical people the ability to draw floor plans of any size and type, and to seamlessly integrate them within any online registration form. After the onsale, ticket buyers can simply select the seats they want – from any device – or let the system choose the best available seats at that time. Research shows that reserved seating makes people buy more tickets sooner. Ben Verbeken, CEO at, explains: “Selling seats creates a sense of urgency for attendees: they can see where the best seats for your event are, and they can also see that other people are buying seats. This effect is amplified when a lot of tickets are sold soon after the onsale: because those seats are going out fast, it will make customers want to decide to buy now.” So event organisers have everything to win by offering reserved seating on their online registration tool. Verbeken notes, “It’s what our numbers show. Over 350k seats get booked through on a monthly basis now, and one of our users, a ticketing technology provider with a 100% growth rate, even told us that all of their growth is from reserved seating. “We listen very carefully to what our users tell us, it’s how we evolve our product. As an example: we noticed that some of our users were struggling

with selling season tickets next to regular tickets. Allowing a ticket buyer to select a seat for a series of events – instead of just for a single event – proved to be a real technical challenge. And so we dramatically simplified that by adding out-of-the-box support for season tickets.” For the near future, plans to release a number of much-asked-for features such as view-from-your-seat and a superfast way of labeling large quantities of seats.

NEVER EMPTY Live events have a bilateral inefficiency: unsold tickets in low demand events, and a huge upside in high demand events, which the venues and event promoters never see. When pricing strategies do not match the actual demand and market value of the ticket, the results are weak revenues at low demand events, and revenue lost to black market agents and resellers at high demand events. An innovative solution is the one offered by Never Empty and currently used by leading Spanish football clubs. This ticketing startup provides venues and event promoters a white-label platform, which allows them to open up sales phases on their websites (and other sales channels), during which fans input the amount they are willing to pay for the tickets. This platform is fully integrated into venues’ existing ticketing infrastructure, allowing promoters to play around with the threshold for accepted bids, according to real-time availability of tickets. While traditional dynamic pricing algorithms can increase flight and hotel utilisation rates tremendously, Never Empty’s system goes a step further, always ensuring an exact match between the real market value of the ticket, and the price received for it by the venue or promoter. “With Never Empty, we’ve created the most economically efficient method of selling and buying tickets, ensuring maximum satisfaction for both the event-goers and promoters/venues,” says Never Empty founder and CEO, Matan Ganani. “Poorly devised pricing strategies are enabling black market agents to retain millions in potential revenue which should belong to the event promoters and venues.”

Self-managed, transparent simple and

ticketing for your event.

We connect events with the digital world. Swisscom Event & Media Solutions


ARGENTINA Language: Spanish | Population (millions): 43.4 Currency: Peso | GDP/Capita (US$): 22,600 Internet Users (millions): 25 | Active Smartphones (millions): 19.9 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 35 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 56


here the economy goes, the live market inevitably follows, and in the case of Argentina’s concert industry, that means tickets are a harder sell than they have been in a while. Argentina isn’t in such economic difficulties as Brazil or Venezuela, but times aren’t good. Inflation was running at 4.2% a month in May, and growth has all but stalled, prompting yet another recession. So if gig schedules are lately a little on the thin side for a country that still comes out for big shows in droves when the conditions are right – as three nights of the Rolling Stones at Estadio Único Ciudad de La Plata proved in March – then there’s your reason. The good news, as Lionel Messi retires from international football and former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is pursued on corruption charges, is that new president Mauricio Macri appears to have a confident and transparent plan. He has already lifted currency controls, meaning that those promoters with the nerve to stage a show can at least move money out of the country again. And the economic troubles haven’t brought the gig scene to a halt, with a glut of festivals and a procession of international names. PRIMARY TICKETING Ticketek remains Argentina’s leading ticket platform after 20 years in the business, though the market refuses to consolidate, with numerous platforms, including some run by promoters. Venues lead the way where ticketing is concerned, appointing their own preferred vendors. Where there are no rights in place, promoters sell through their own portals, chalking ticketing up as an additional piece of the business. Tickets for Lollapalooza Argentina – one of a wave of international festival brands to arrive in recent years, including Ultra, Creamfields and Sónar – go through All Access, the portal of promoter DF Entertainment. More often, however, the venue dictates the ticketing platform. On the B2B side, Buenos Aires’ ageing arena Luna Park, for instance, uses VisionOne Argentina’s TicketPortal service, while Teatro Vorterix has a deal with Ticketek. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Ticket sales are moving online and, more gradually, onto mobile, though other options remain available, including call centres and sales points in cities. VALUE OF MARKET Major Latin American promoter Time4Fun estimates that Argentina saw an 8% increase in spending on entertainment between 2005 and 2012, to $326 (€296) per capita, though the precise spend on live event tickets isn’t recorded.


Jack Ü closed day one of Lollapalooza Argentina in March 2016

SECONDARY TICKETING EntradaFan launched in May 2015 as the first peer-to-peer ticket marketplace in Argentina, and still operates. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Due to economic pressures, the majority of visiting acts currently come from within Latin America. However, Englishlanguage acts get a warm reception in Argentina. Shows by artists from Tom Jones and Megadeth to Television and Lisa Stansfield were all on the schedules at press time, to say nothing of the heavily international headline line-up (Iggy Pop, Wilco, Pet Shop Boys, Libertines) at the inaugural edition of the BUE festival, new in October from Argentinian promoting legend Daniel Grinbank. In April, however, the dance community was shaken when five people died at the Time Warp Festival, which in turn led to a moratorium on electronic music events. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Argentina, along with Chile and Brazil, is widely reckoned to be one of the three key stops on the most compact version of the South American circuit. Indeed, relative to its 44m-strong population (barely a fifth of Brazil’s 200m), Argentina has recently been considered the strongest ticket-seller on the continent. TAXES AND CHARGES Argentina dropped its 21% VAT on concert tickets in 2006, helping to drive the country’s then depressed live music scene to several years of solid success.

AUSTRALIA Language: English | Population (millions): 22.7 Currency: Dollar | GDP/Capita (US$): 65,400 Internet Users (millions): 19.2 | Active Smartphones (millions): 16.8 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 491 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 501


he concerts and festivals business in Australia has cooled from the super-heated frenzy of recent years, though demand for quality shows remains strong. A succession of big tours headed down under in 2015 including stadium runs for Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and AC/DC, which was arguably the biggest (and loudest), shifting tickets across nine stadium dates in seven cities (five in Australia, two in New Zealand). Thanks in part to currency exchange rate fluctuations, the action has slowed noticeably in 2016, and the festivals space has been hard hit with the Stereosonic and Soundwave brands – events that could shift upwards of 200,000 tickets for each tour – among the recent casualties. PRIMARY TICKETING Australasia’s ticketing industry is dominated by the “big two,” Ticketek and Ticketmaster, with both companies having changed hands in recent years, wiith the former having strengthened its position in the Australian market, in July 2016, when it acquired promoting powerhouse Dainty Group. There are also a handful of significant independent companies along with scores of small-scale and DIY outfits, perhaps a hundred or more, all competing for a crumb from the table that is Australia’s billion dollar-plus live entertainment and sports market. State government is a powerful ticketer in certain states. Australia’s economy has remained buoyant throughout the global financial crisis and its 23m consumers are relatively affluent and tech savvy meaning paperless ticketing has been widely welcomed. Though entertainment ticket sales across the board reached record levels in recent years, the volume of international tours is well down in 2016. The touring market is the softest it’s been in five years, promoters say. A laundry list of factors are at play: a succession of major festivals have struck out, Australia’s dollar has slumped, the touring space in the northern hemisphere and other markets are booming (and contributing to artists staying where the business is), and the unsteady international financial climate has contributed to price sensitivity. The household budget is a hot-button topic in what is a federal election year. SECONDARY TICKETING Australia also has complicated state-by-state laws governing resales, and each state and territory is responsible for administering its own laws. In Queensland, parliament recently passed legislation making scalping an offence under certain conditions. The Australian market has seen a steady arrival of secondary ticketing companies in recent years. The biggest players in the space include Showbiz, Viagogo, StubHub and Seatwave. StubHub's parent company, eBay, commissioned a report in which it estimated that the value of the secondary market in 2014

was around AU$100m (€68m). Scalping in Australia is far from a pressing election issue, though many in the live business are frustrated. “I’m very unhappy with the resale stuff going on,” says Michael Chugg of Chugg Entertainment. “We’re telling the kids if they want to resell the tickets, come to us and sell them back for what they cost.” Live Performance Australia has published a Ticketing Code of Practice, in which the trade body discourages all consumers from buying from ticket scalpers, and supports the right of its members to cancel tickets bought from touts, without providing a refund. CULTURAL ANALYSIS In a quirk of the market, a high proportion of medium- to large-sized venues opt for the exclusive ticketing rights model. The ticketing rights for large venues are sold to the highest bidder or, sources say, to the one with the most influential corporate relationships. Not only does that limit ticket buyers’ choice but promoters and independent ticket agencies argue that a lack of competition doesn’t help motivation when the hard work of shifting tickets is a factor. Mushroom Group chairman Michael Gudinski has called the exclusive arrangements “a weird system,” and fellow promoter Chugg bemoans the fees charged by the big two as “daylight robbery.” The highest bidders are typically Ticketek and Ticketmaster, which jointly account for an estimated 80-90% of Australia’s entertainment ticketing market and dominate the stadium, arena and commercial theatre space. Neither company is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and are therefore not obliged to disclose their financial information. According to Ticketek, it processes 23 million tickets (that’s one for every Australian) for more than 20,000 events every year. It owns Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena (formerly Allphones Arena) and provides ticketing services to such venues as Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Suncorp Stadium (also in Brisbane), Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Perth Arena and Newcastle Entertainment Centre. In New Zealand, Ticketek works with a raft of venues, including Horncastle Arena, AMI Stadium and TSB Bank Arena. The agency is part of TEG, as Nine Live rebranded itself in September 2015 following its sale by Nine Entertainment to the private equity firm Affinity for AU$640m (€433m) in April of that year. Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation (LN’s business in these parts is helmed by its Australasian president Michael Coppel), says it sells tickets for more than 10,000 events every year in Australia. It has the exclusive ticketing rights for Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, Sydney’s State Theatre and Brisbane’s Riverstage. The behind-the-scenes business of ticketing was thrust into the spotlight when AJ Maddah’s Soundwave festival fell apart in


© Daniel Boud

Beach House perform on the Mistletone stage at Melbourne's Laneway Festival 2016

December 2015. Maddah, an avid user of Twitter, kept his followers engaged every step along the way as he shared his exchanges with Eventopia, a sister company of Ticketek. An ugly back-and-forth played out on social media with Maddah claiming the ticketing company was “fully aware” the cash advance they gave him had been used for artist deposits. Eventopia issued its own statement, which stated “financial mismanagement on the part of the promoter… has led to this outcome.” Soundwave’s parent collapsed with debts reportedly in the region of AU$26m (€18m). Eventopia announced in late December it would issue refunds to people who bought festival tickets, priced at AU$185 (€125). For some days prior to that announcement, tens of thousands of Australian music fans were in the dark about whether they’d get their money back. “We’ve seen in the last 12 months a number of very highprofile events that have gone under and then seen confusion about who’s holding the money, and punters struggling to get their money back,” notes Harley Evans, owner and managing director of Moshtix and The Ticket Group. “This is terrible for consumer trust and sentiment in our industry, and just discourages people from pre-purchasing, particularly if it’s not clear who’s holding their money.” Legislation seems unlikely in the short-term. “Unfortunately,” adds Evans, “we’re going to see more issues in the future of funds disappearing if inexperienced promoters continue to be encouraged to trade by having access to the money before the event.” The ticketing space down under continues to evolve to suit the needs of clients and consumers. “In terms of changes in marketing, there’s been a continued move away from ‘traditional’ print and TV advertising, to social platforms,” notes Evans, a former Ticketek exec who bought Moshtix from Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd in 2013. “The other shift is towards event organisers wanting to have a direct conversation with their customers, rather than this being the exclusive domain of the ticketing company. We’re also seeing a significant shift towards mobile traffic and, in particular, conversions. This is all about ease of use and trust in the mobile platform. The next generation of this will be in the smart-watch space.”


DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Technology is facilitating an increasing number of transactions down under, and, as is the experience in many other territories, smartphones and tablets are the dominant platforms for all e-commerce, including ticketing, while traditional retail continues to fade away. Independent ticketers tell ITY roughly 90% of their tickets are sold online (split 50/50 between personal computers and mobile devices). The remainder of sales are facilitated by outlets (5-6%), phone calls (3%) and walk-ups (1-2%). “The vast majority of Ticketmaster sales are via online, with mobile rapidly growing,” Maria O’Connor, Ticketmaster’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, tells ITY. “Ticketmaster will continue to invest in these channels to drive more advance sales and reduce walk-ups.” Sources have hinted that Ticketmaster is also planning to invest in the rollout of its TicketWeb service down under, presumably to take on Moshtix head on. VALUE OF MARKET Live Performance Australia’s most recent Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey declared that the market’s live industry “remains strong,” contributing AU$1.51bn (€1bn) to the Australian economy in 2014, up 2% on 2013, with 18.5m tickets issued that year. The volume of concert tickets sold should dip in 2016 due to the number of festivals cancelled and the slowdown in major international touring acts. The trend on ticket sales down under “generally skews towards a high-impact on-sale, followed by last-minute sales just prior to the event,” notes Ticketmaster’s O’Connor. TAXES AND CHARGES The major players can’t shake their image problems. In December 2011, the Federal Court imposed a penalty of AU$2.5m (€1.7m) on Ticketek, finding that on four separate occasions the agency had engaged in conduct with the anticompetitive purpose of deterring or preventing Sydney-based Last Tix from supplying its services. The following year, consumer rights watchdog, Choice, handed down a so-called Shonky Award for overcharging to both Ticketek and Ticketmaster for their additional service, transaction, delivery and credit-card fees. There is often a 1-3% credit card surcharge attached to the price of a ticket. In May 2016, the Reserve Bank of Australia said it would cap the so-called “interchange fees” (or card payments) banks received from credit-card companies when transactions occurred. Those fees will be capped at 0.8% of the purchase price from July next year. The two ticketing giants are closely observed by consumer rights advocates. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched a ‘drip-pricing’ investigation into the big two after identifying instances where they “failed to state single minimum total prices.” The ACCC declared in late 2014, that Ticketek and Ticketmaster had agreed to improve their online pricing practices and would now include unavoidable fees earlier in the online booking process. The ACCC has since pledged to get tough on all ticketing companies applying discrete fees. In November 2015, the consumer watchdog said it had swept a range of websites and mobile apps, including entertainment ticket services, for conduct as part of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN)’s annual initiative.

AUSTRIA Languages: German, Hungarian, Croatian | Population (millions): 8.7 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 47,300 Internet Users (millions): 7.3 | Active Smartphones (millions): 4.7 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 324 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 350


t the beginning of this year, three of Austria’s biggest promoters joined forces. Skalar, Red Snapper and NuCoast Entertainment will operate as Barracuda Music going forward. Events under the new Barracuda Music umbrella sell around one million tickets per year, combined. PRIMARY TICKETING Eventim dominates the German-speaking markets, and Austria is no exception. Estimates of its market share vary between 60% and 70% in the live music business. Wien Tickets (the in-house solution at the Wien Stadhalle) comes in second with around 20%, while several other players, including Ticketmaster, make up the rest. Ink Music, alongside Bistem Software, is also behind Ntry, which was developed in 2011 as an open ticketing system for promoters. The company chose an ideological approach and caters to small- and medium-sized events in particular. Ntry takes on PayPal or credit card fees itself, and does not pass on any costs to the consumer. The price named by the promoter is what ticket buyers will pay. Given Eventim’s dominance, there’s space for another player in the market, Richard Hörmann, CEO of Barracuda Music, observes, before adding that unless the new arrival had deep pockets, they might as well spare the effort (Barricuda has an exclusive deal with Eventim in Austria). Nonetheless, Ink Music’s Hannes Tschürtz notes, “The lower-priced segment in particular has a lot of potential.” There’s a new cashless/RFID company aggressively expanding in Austria. It’s called get (global event technologies) and supplied Electric Love in 2015. This year, Nova Rock and Frequency worked with the company. Intellitix is also active in Austria, providing technology to Snowbombing. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Hörmann says Barricuda company sells around 75% of the tickets for its shows online, while the rest is purchased at the box office. Paper tickets are by far the most popular form of ticket – only around 5% are print-at-home. Ticketmaster’s managing director for Austria and Germany, Klaus Zemke, reports: “our sales channels differ greatly by genre, with paper tickets along with print-at-home tickets the most common ticket types.” In terms of genre, music is the most popular sales driver for the Live Nation company, followed by arts, sports and family. VALUE OF MARKET Without any data from the Austrian promoters’ trade association, promoters have been forced to extrapolate. Hörmann estimates the average ticket price at €35, and the

Austria’s Frequency Festival had another stellar year at its 16th edition in August 2016

overall market value at €1bn. Thanks to the merged operations of Barracuda Music, his company now sells around a million tickets per year, 200,000 of which are for festivals, the rest for rock/pop and alternative concerts. According to Ticketmaster’s Zemke, “the market is estimated at approximately 9m tickets (excluding cinema, attractions and museum tickets).” The company names the Federal Stastical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) as the main data source in the market. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Schlager and Volksmusik make up a significant part of the Austrian music scene, although promoters like Barracuda report that international repertoire accounts for about 90% of their annual ticket sales. What’s more, like in Germany, domestic content enjoys increasing popularity. Zemke confirms that “national content dominates international at this point in time.” According to Ink Music’s Tschürtz, the growing confidence of the local scene and its actual importance are converging. Still, tickets for Austrian acts are much cheaper than those of international artists. TAXES AND CHARGES Usually, a ticket in Austria will cost consumers around 16% to 20% more than its face value. Since 1 May, promoters have been paying 13% VAT to the Austrian government on each ticket sold. That’s a significant rise on the 10% VAT rate prior to 2016. Delivery costs range from €2-5 per order.


THE BALTICS Languages: Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian Currency: Euro Internet Users (millions): 1.1 (EE), 1.6 (LV), 2.1 (LT) Population % aged 15-24: 9.7 (EE), 10.5 (LV), 12.0 (LT)

Tallinn’s Song Festival Grounds welcomed Queen + Adam Lambert in June 2016

| Population (millions): 1.3 (EE), 2.0 (LV), 2.9 (LT) | GDP/Capita (US$): 28,600 (EE), 24,700 (LV), 28,400 (LT) | Active Smartphones (millions): no data | Population % aged 25-54: 41.8 (EE), 42.2 (LV), 40.7 (LT)

across the board, with online increasingly edging out box office in all three countries, but mobile is rising fast where it is on offer. “Most of our tickets are print-at-home, but mobile tickets are growing so fast,” says Tiketa general manager Andrius Žiauberis. “The increase in 2016 compared to 2015 is 700%,” he adds. VALUE OF MARKET According to estimates, the market for commercial live events in the Baltics is worth up to €70m a year, with Lithuania accounting for €25-30m and Estonia and Latvia around €20m each.


he strength of Poland and other Central European markets has boosted the small but significant trio of Baltic countries to the north that form a bridge from Central Europe to the Nordic region, or, political tensions permitting, a stop on the way to or from St Petersburg. Lithuania, with its population of 3m, is the largest of the three, followed by Latvia (2m) and Estonia (1.4m), whose capital Tallinn is Live Nation’s hub in the region since its acquisition of leading independent BDG Music in 2013. These days, international acts often stop in two of the three capitals or in Lithuania’s second city of Kaunas, where the Žalgiris Arena is the largest in the Baltic States. PRIMARY TICKETING In Estonia, Piletilevi rules the ticketing market, maintaining its own consumer-facing platform and embedding its technology in the websites of most of the country’s leading venues and cultural institutions. As part of Baltic Ticket Holdings (BTH), owned by Russian ticketing giant Kassir since 2013, Piletilevi is a sister company to Latvian market-leader Biļešu Serviss and Lithuanian third-place company Bilietu Pasaulis. In Latvia, the main rival to BTH is Biļešu Paradīze, which took around 40% of the market to Biļešu Serviss’s 60% at last count. In Lithuania, the most competitive of the three Baltic markets, the market leader is Tiketa, which by its own reckoning claims about 38% of the entertainment market, followed by Bilietai (32%), Bilietu Pasaulis (25%) and Ticketmarket (5%). Tiketa recently launched a new content-rich site,, as well as another,, that offers cheap tickets to different events. Another scheme, I Move With Tiketa, offers discounts on tickets to customers who affix promotional stickers to their cars. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES As in many other parts of the world, the Baltics are moving inevitably through the delivery methods with an increasingly digital theme. Print-at-home tickets are the most popular method


SECONDARY TICKETING Secondary ticketing is not yet an issue in the developing markets of the Baltics. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Domestic artists hold their own across the Baltics, though precise splits are disputed. On the whole, domestic acts are reckoned to have the edge, and while there is a healthy interest in international live acts, there seems little prospect of western music bulldozing local repertoire. Venues such as Vilnius’s Siemens Arena, Arena Riga and the new Tallinn Arena have all attracted larger international acts and given domestic acts scope for career-building. Since around 2013 in Lithuania, local artists have been found regularly headlining the 12,500-capacity Siemens Arena, with Marijonas Mikutavičius, Andrius Mamontovas and Stasys Povilaitis among those stepping up. The Žalgiris Arena welcomed chart-topping Lithuanian group Sel in December, and Iron Maiden, Mariah Carey and Muse are all stopping by this year. CULTURAL ANALYSIS The Baltics have strong local and regional promoters, including Central European independent Makroconcert, which maintains a Latvian office. Live Nation Baltics keeps a steady stream of international tours coming through. Formerly attached to Ticketpro, BDG/Live Nation now works with Piletilevi in Estonia, Bilietu Pasaulis in Lithuania and Biļešu Serviss in Latvia. TAXES AND CHARGES Lithuania levies 21% VAT as well as a 6% tariff for Lithuania’s performing rights society, LATGA-A. Ticketing companies charge an administration fee of roughly 10%. In Estonia, VAT of 20% is charged on every ticket sold as well as a fee of 5% for Estonian authors’ society EAU. Booking and admin fees amount to about 10%, while there’s an additional fee of €0.60 per ticket for tickets bought at the box office. In Latvia, VAT of 21% was applied to concert tickets in January, after years of exemption and amid protests from the creative community.

BELGIUM Languages: Flemish, French, German | Population (millions): 11.3 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 43,600 Internet Users (millions): 9.6 | Active Smartphones (millions): 7.1 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 315 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 338


icketmaster’s launch into Belgium, through the acquisition of incumbent independent operations Ticketnet and in 2014, has radically changed the ticketing landscape in the country. However, like many other European countries, it’s the venues that dictate the ticketing deals – a system that doesn’t please everyone. “My opinion is that promoters should have the choice which ticketing system he wants to use, it shouldn’t be imposed by venues,” notes Pascal Van De Velde of Greenhouse Talent. PRIMARY TICKETING Ticketmaster, Tele Ticket Service (TTS) and Fnac are the main ticketing companies, while Brussels venue Ancienne Belgique is also a significant player through its in-house ticketing system. The venue’s marketing manager, Kevin McMullan, says, “We use the Ticketmatic platform, which is a very fast-growing company in Belgium with many clients, especially smaller music venues. Ticketmatic CEO, Erik Lesire, is looking at expanding into the United States.” Unsurprisingly, Live Nation has switched its allegiance from TTS to Ticketmaster. However, Live Nation retains a relationship with telecom operator Proximus, whose Proximus Go For Music division uses a TTS platform. TTS also has an expanding deal with white-label ticketer Oxynade which runs the TTS Tele Ticket Easy business, catering for smaller promoters, events and venues. Paylogic, which in 2013 SFX paid a reported $16m (€14m) for a 75% stake in, continues to grow, despite the financial troubles of its majority shareholder. The company now has operations in Berlin, Antwerp, Groningen and Amsterdam and a client portfolio containing the likes of ID&T (Netherlands), André Rieu (worldwide), Amsterdam RAI (Netherlands), Tomorrowland (Belgium), Four Artists (Germany), Sensation (worldwide), I Love Techno (Belgium), KNSB (the Netherlands), Holi Festivals (Germany), Dour Festival (Belgium), Brainpool (Germany) and over 2,000 others. Among the other emerging ticketers in Belgium is white-label B2B provider TicketScript. Although Belgium’s ticketing market is led by venueexclusivity deals, the country’s music festivals are free from such restrictions. Tomorrowland has a deal with Paylogic; Rock Werchter, as part of the Live Nation group, works with Ticketmaster; while Pukkelpop has its own in-house system. SECONDARY TICKETING The resale of tickets is regulated by Belgian law, but that doesn’t prevent secondary operators from participating in Belgian gigs and events. Ancienne Belgique’s McMullan notes, “Some Dutch sites have been blocked, but many are still very active and often operating from abroad – the UK for instance. They’re still a major pain.”


Florence and the Machine performed at Belgium’s popular Rock Werchter Festival in 2016

DISTRIBUTION OF SALES The vast majority of tickets are sold online and most of those are print-at-home. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Belgium is effectively split into two: the Flemish speaking Flanders region and the French-speaking Wallonia. Indeed, only the capital, Brussels, is able to regularly attract audiences from both regions – the different languages often mean that an act is capable of selling out arenas in one part of the country but will struggle to fill a club in the other part. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES The majority of acts (about 75%) touring Belgium are from other countries. Unsurprisingly, French and Dutch acts have a strong fan-base in the different regions of the country, while a significant ex-patriot Italian population means that Italian artists can also enjoy healthy sales. TAXES AND CHARGES There is a 6% VAT tax applied on ticket sales, while booking and admin fees are typically between 5-10%. Some Belgian venues also charge a €1 mobility fee.

20 – 23 SEPT. 2017 HAMBuRG/GERMANy

4 DAYS · 70 LOCATIONS · 700 PROGRAMMES Join us for concerts of international newcomers · Music related art programmes · An inspiring conference with sessions for the music and digital creative industries · International showcases · Networking events · Award shows · And meetings · 4,400 delegates and media representatives from 40 nations · Register early to get a discount!

REEPERBAHNFESTIVAL.COM Organiser: Reeperbahn Festival GbR & Inferno Events GmbH & Co. KG

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BRAZIL Language: Portuguese | Population (millions): 204.3 Currency: Real | GDP/Capita (US$): 15,600 Internet Users (millions): 120.7 | Active Smartphones (millions): 62.4 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 155 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 211


he past two years have brought a perfect storm to Brazil, with the country’s deepest recession in a century, an epidemic of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and a recently suspended president – all on top of the 2016 summer Olympics. Large events have been hard hit by the economic crisis, with big concerts anecdotally expected to fall by about 7% in volume. But Brazil remains a huge, music-mad market – the second biggest in Latin America after Mexico – with a youthful population and a highly competitive ticketing sector. PRIMARY TICKETING The big news in Brazilian ticketing in recent months has been around CTS Eventim’s entry into the market in a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment. Eventim is already handling ticketing for the Olympics, and its new operation promises to bring “a new standard for music and event fans to purchase their tickets with maximum transparency, comfort and safety,” in the words of Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg. The plan is certainly an ambitious one – to establish Brazil’s leading ticketing brand and then roll it out across Latin America. Players in the Brazilian market who may have a view of their own include Time4Fun’s Tickets4Fun, Livepass, Ingresso Rápido, Ingresso, SemHora, Ticket360, Ticketmaster, and Eventbrite. Typically, the ticketing function for an Olympic Games does not survive, but with Eventim opting for a joint venture with Sony, the operation may well continue beyond 2016. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Brazilian ticketing is a market that is certainly ripe for disruption. The majority of tickets are still bought from ticketing booths, and online ticketing has lagged, with credit-card fraud and poor logistics generally taking the blame. Ticketing companies have been criticised for being slow to react to the possibilities of technology. “We are still the only product-focused company in ticketing in Brazil,” says Gabriel Benarros of social-ticketing company “Many others have made investments to create apps and new features following our lead. That has been positive for the market as a whole, but the improvements are very gradual because most companies are run by non-technical teams.” Shifts in the market suggest further modernisation is inevitable. As well as the Eventim arrival, mobile entertainment company Movile is said to be weighing up a number of ticketing purchases, while last September NBCUniversal’s movie info and ticketing division Fandango pounced on Brazilian cinema ticketing market leader Ingresso. VALUE OF MARKET The figure of US$5.5bn (€4.9bn) has been attached to the


Brazilian live market, which seems remarkably high in a country where the average salary is $2,000 (€1,805) a month and 21% of the 200m population – more than 40m people – live below the poverty line. That said, in the long-term, as the Brazilian middleclass grows, the only way for Brazilian live revenues is up. SECONDARY TICKETING Viagogo was symbolically blocked in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup to prevent reselling, but the reality is that the black market lives on in the hands of established operators and unofficial Facebook groups dedicated to buying and selling. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Local content is incredibly important in Brazil, accounting for 70-80% of digital music consumption, and is also highly regionalised. The country has a rich culture of live music with strong regional differences, from axé in Salvador to baile funk in Rio, and a vibrant culture of carnivals and clubs. International acts never stop coming to Brazil these days, though the volume in any given year depends on local purchasing power and international exchange rates, which have frequently been unfavourable to imports. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Brazil has bigger problems than its live music business, but that doesn’t mean its live music business doesn’t have one or two problems of its own, beginning with bureaucratic ticket delivery and credit-card fraud. Brazil has a controversial scheme (hated by promoters) whereby students can purchase half-price tickets to events. Conversely, crowdfunded promoter WeDemand! taps into the desires of young music fans to entice artists and bands to visit Brazil, through consumers actively pledging support up front for their favourite acts. TAXES AND CHARGES The online convenience fees charged by ticketing companies have gradually fallen. A 2012 law in Rio states that events with more than 1,000 people can bear a maximum 10% convenience fee, but the rules vary from state to state, and fees can be as high as 30%.

Move Concerts brought Lionel Richie to São Paulo in March 2016

BULGARIA Language: Bulgarian | Population (millions): 7.2 Currency: Lev | GDP/Capita (US$): 19,100 Internet Users (millions): 4.1 | Active Smartphones (millions): 5.8 Population % aged 15-24: 9.9 | Population % aged 25-54: 43.3


ulgarians love paper tickets. “The tickets have an extra sentimental value for them, as most often they serve as autograph collection slips and something for folks to put on their cork boards,” according to promoter Boyan Boiadjiev. PRIMARY TICKETING It’s no secret that Eventim dominates much of the European market and therefore its leadership in Bulgaria does not come as a surprise. The company itself estimates its market share at approximately 60-65%. Ticketpro and Ticketportal come in second and third, also based on estimates. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES The majority of tickets in Bulgaria are still sold at ticket outlets and retail networks, though the percentage varies depending on whom you ask. In the experience of Boiadjiev, around 85% of tickets are sold at ticket outlets and the box office, and only 10% online.

In Eventim’s experience, however, the Internet already plays a much more important role, accounting for 35-40% of tickets sold, according to Miroslav Emanoilov, CEO of Eventim Bulgaria. He adds, “the percentage of online ticket sales is increasing steadily every year.” It should be noted that Eventim tend to deal with major international tours rather than domestic repertoire. Boiadjiev puts the average ticket price at €15-25. Based on his own research, the promoter found that 65% of his sample audience would be willing to pay double what they currently pay to see their favourite acts. While Bulgaria’s National Statistical Institute lists the 2015 ticket sales in some segments, cinema (5.3m), museum & exhibition (4.7m), theatre (2.1m), sports and concert tickets don’t show up. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES According to Emanoilov, more than 50% of sales are made in live entertainment. The rest is made up in almost equal shares by classical music and sports. “There are some years,” says the CEO, “when sports tickets play a very important role and may exceed 30% [of overall sales].” SECONDARY TICKETING “From time to time you have events that sell out fast,” Emanoilov says. In those rare instances, people will try to resell their tickets, “using websites for selling second-hand goods. The secondary market does not have a future in Bulgaria, at least not in the next couple of years.”

CANADA Languages: English, French | Population (millions): 35.1 Currency: Dollar | GDP/Capita (US$): 45,600 Internet Users (millions): 31.1 | Active Smartphones (millions): 20.6 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 692 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 819


espite concerns that a lower Canadian dollar would have a major impact on the country’s live music business, the situation isn’t anywhere near as dire as some might have expected. “The live music market in Canada is very vibrant and diverse and definitely growing,” says Erin Benjamin, executive director of Music Canada Live, which was created in the autumn of 2014 to advance and promote the concert industry’s many economic, social and cultural benefits. “The ticket-buying dollar can only be split so many ways, but it seems that Canadians are prepared to invest in these weekend experiences,” states Benjamin. “It’s going to be an incredible summer in this country for live music, and the best yet. Clearly, the festival business in this country has made smart decisions and is producing incredible line-ups. It affected the live business in that we all got smarter.” VALUE OF MARKET Though no national study has yet been done on the live music industry, an economic impact analysis of the business in Ontario - Canada’s most populous province and home to the music hub of Toronto – illustrated how important it is. The Live Music Measures Up study showed that the industry was responsible for 20,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2013, and that spending by live music companies and the tourism activity generated by music festivals in Ontario in 2013 together contributed just under $1.2bn (€824m) to Ontario’s gross domestic product and generated just over $430 (€285m) in combined tax revenue for all levels of government.

The crowd enjoyed another sun baked year at Montreal’s Osheaga Festival

Ticketfly has been particularly active and had a recordbreaking 2015 in which it processed 1.4million tickets in Canada, generating more than CAD$65m (€45m) in gross sales and representing annual growth in excess of 60%. Via its acquisition of Canadian ticketing service Ticketbreak in January, Ticketfly added 48 new venues and promoters to its Canadian roster, joining more than 120 pre-existing partners that include Union Events, Collective Concerts, Inertia Entertainment and Atomique Productions. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Ontario and British Columbia have recently established funds to inject millions of dollars into their respective music industries. The live music stream of the Ontario Music Fund is intended to increase the number and quality of live music experiences enjoyed by residents of and visitors to Ontario at events, festivals and concerts featuring Canadian artists.

INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Three-quarters of music companies generated more than half of their ticket sales from shows featuring Canadian artists, according to the study. Most Canadian concert promoters are local and primarily serve their immediate area, though some foreign companies have seen opportunities and made inroads in partnership with Canadian promoters. The Live Music Measures Up study also demonstrated that there’s still room for growth since venues rarely operate at capacity and 72% of the tickets sold by venues, festivals and promoters are sold locally. That being said, 83% of companies in the live music sector expected at least some increase in revenue.

SECONDARY TICKETING The Ontario government has also made changes to the Ticket Speculation Act that will help reduce fraud and give consumers greater confidence in the tickets they’re purchasing, particularly in the secondary market, where much of the commerce has happened off the books and its size has probably been underestimated. Other provinces may follow Ontario’s lead in creating an exemption in its act to: enable official ticket sellers to authenticate tickets that are being resold; permit tickets to be resold above face value in circumstances where tickets are authenticated or have a money-back guarantee; and allow tickets to be resold at a price that includes any service fees paid when the ticket was first purchased.

PRIMARY TICKETING While ticketing companies won’t release market shares, it’s acknowledged that Ticketmaster is by far the biggest player. But smaller companies have come on the scene in recent years – including Ticketfly, Ticketpro, and Eventbrite – to try and chip away at Ticketmaster’s dominance and introduce more choice to consumers.

TAXES AND CHARGES Ticketmaster charges a convenience charge and, for customers who order online or by phone, an order processing fee. Anecdotally, the accumulation of these fees can be as much as 40-50% of the face value of the ticket, leaving the door open for operations such as Ticketfly and Eventbrite to undercut the incumbent market leader and build their own market share.


CHINA (PRC) Languages: Mandarin, Cantonese | Population (millions): 1,367.5 Currency: Yuan Renminbi | GDP/Capita (US$): 14,100 Internet Users (millions): 687.8 | Active Smartphones (millions): 878.1 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 215 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 304


ore than 977m people in China (72% of the population) listen to music every week according to a new survey of the country’s listening habits. And 66% of them use a streaming service. 57% of fans that attend concerts spend an average of CNY914 (€123) on music every year, while the poorer consumers spend CNY118 (€16). China’s music industry grossed US$170m (€23m) with digital music revenues climbing 63.8% in 2015. China’s live music industry was worth CNY3.9bn (€0.5bn) in 2014 with audiences of 13.7m; according to the 2015 China Live Music Report published by Dao Strategy in a market report released in June 2015. PRIMARY TICKETING With a large population and many events, there are hundreds of ticketing choices, ranging from local to national. While all venues also sell tickets via their own box offices, which include online sales, there are several major players in online ticketing websites that are used by the vast majority of concertgoers:,,,,, and Paper tickets with holographic seals or barcodes are most often used for bigger events to allow for quick scan and entry. There is a move towards the use of just electronic tickets at larger and newer venues. Festivals, multi-day events and exhibitions still prefer to use wristbands. Alibaba will be launching a new ticketing service for live events in 2016 (see page 14). They currently offer ticketing services for over 5,000 movie theatres where you can print from home. It is unclear at this time the direction of the live ticketing service. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES China has six cities with a population of over 10m (Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Tianjin, Chengdu and Guangzhou) and another 12 cities with a population of over six million. These are the most ideal markets for touring international artists. In most cases major promoters choose to hold shows just in Beijing in Shanghai markets. For smaller venues, the strategy revolves around relying only on their own box office sales, especially for ticket prices that don’t exceed CNY300. VALUE OF MARKET There is no official body that collects data for ticketing in China. However, an assumption for ticket sales can be made on the basis of music sales, which consists of approximately 80% Chinese artists, 10% J-Pop or K-Pop artists, and 10% international artists. The overall live music market is already worth an estimated CNY3.9bn (€0.5bn), according to the 2015 China Live Music Report. Add to this

sporting events, festivals, visual arts and other outdoor events and it is evident that the value of the market is increasing exponentially. SECONDARY TICKETING Ticket scalping is a time-honoured tradition that has been with the Chinese for ages. In any city, scalpers can be found with good inventory to all kinds of events that require a ticket. Before live events, the scalpers used to sell movie tickets so it is standard practice to buy tickets from scalpers for convenience or better seats. Today, scalpers operate online and for a fee, they will also deliver your ticket to your home/office. The scalpers work with venues to buy up blocks of tickets, giving promoters a way to sell large quantities quickly, reducing their risk. On show day, it is entirely normal to see people standing outside each venue with good tickets. Scalpers will also accept trade-ins to help people who want better tickets to upgrade their seating. LIVE EVENT GENRES China’s middle-class has been developing very well and their purchasing power continues to grow. There is an increasing demand for international cultural events (not just music). More and more new promoters are entering the live event market , presenting everything from film, arts and music festivals to dance, theatre and classical concerts. CULTURAL ANALYSIS There are three interesting observations about the Chinese market. Firstly, the live streaming of events is starting to catch on across the entire market for all kinds of live events. For a small fee, you can access a concert you just attended for the next 48 hours on a mobile device. The movement towards a subscription model is looking more and more likely, given the growing number of events. Secondly, children are spoiled (six doting parents/grandparents) and will get whatever they want. With teenagers being the most connected market that drives the vast majority of live and music purchases, most will spend large sums on music and related purchases. Thirdly, large blocks of tickets are removed from the pool for officials responsible for helping with the realisation of any event. In many instances, these will be the best seats in the house. It is a standard time-honoured tradition that most accept will not be going away anytime soon. TAXES AND CHARGES Withholding tax for visiting artists is 20%. VAT is 17% and an additional entertainment tax of 5-20% is also applied, depending on the type of event and price of tickets. Large ticketing companies charge 20-30% as commission for ticket sales, while smaller ones charge 5-20%.


CZECH REPUBLIC Language: Czech | Population (millions): 10.6 Currency: Koruna | GDP/Capita (US$): 31,600 Internet Users (millions): 8.6 | Active Smartphones (millions): 7.6 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 36 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 37

Live Nation used the O2 Arena in Prague to host Slipknot in January 2016


s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, the Czech Republic’s capital city, Prague, punches above its weight when it comes to attracting big-name acts, aided by the state-of-the-art O2 Arena. Fans from Germany, in particular, often pour across the border to see A-list tours, making the local market a fierce battleground for those in the ticketing business. PRIMARY TICKETING Since 2014, Ticketportal has been the largest ticketing service in the Czech Republic, thanks largely to its exclusive deal with the O2 Arena in Prague. Ticketportal managing director, Lucia Bočánková, notes, “We also strengthened our position in the sports sector, year-on-year, as we are exclusively selling Davis Cup and Federation Cup tickets, ice hockey league, football, basketball, volleyball, speedway grand prix, ice figure skating, domestic athletic races, etc.” Other primary ticketing participants include Ticketpro, Ticketstream and TicketArt, the latter of which is a promoter of its own musicals and other shows (although not exclusively, as Ticketportal also helps shift TicketArt event inventory). Also,, from neighbouring Slovakia, has a local operation (Př selling tickets for cultural, sporting and music events. Recently, Internet ticketing brokerage outfit, Six Dots, purchased a 60% stake in Ticketstream. Local promoters say the company is not a significant outfit in the live music sector, but Six Dots itself has lofty ambitions and has stated that alongside its existing Ticketon and Bohemia Ticket businesses, it wants to make


Ticketstream the dominant player in the Czech market by 2019. Eventim has been present in the Czech Republic since 2008, but remains small, offering more events in Germany and Austria than it does in the domestic Czech market. Ticketmaster has no involvement at present, but sources believe the renewal on the O2 Arena deal in a couple of years’ time could involve Ticketmaster and Eventim also bidding for the contract. SECONDARY TICKETING Bočánková reveals that the landscape has shifted in the past 12 months. “[Secondary] became a real issue as we have to face all the troubles with Viagogo, Onlineticketshop, etc, where consumers blame Ticketportal when they are disillusioned about how much they paid for their ticket and the fact their seats are different to what they ordered.” The visit of Justin Bieber in November 2016 appears to have been a catalyst for the resale operators to target the Czech Republic. For his part, Live Nation CEO Robert Porkert agrees that resale outlets are now emerging when there are big events. “We’ve also recently seen a Dutch-based company selling tickets for shows that don’t even exist and that is creating real problems,” he says. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Cash remains king, meaning physical outlets are vital. While some events at the O2 Arena sell around 50% of tickets online, this is perhaps because of the number of foreign visitors. Elsewhere, Bočánková says the online sales figure is more in the 30-40% bracket. “It very much depends on the region, where Prague is the leader in online purchase,” says Bočánková. “Paper tickets still rule,” she continues, “and mobile ticketing is still very new – Czech fans are quite conservative, for example around 10% of the tickets Ticketportal sells online are still picked up at our physical outlets.” Interestingly, Bočánková says the growing popularity of online purchasing is creating competition in the Czech market. “As online sales grow, more promoters try to sell through their own websites, which is a big challenge for us, but we love a challenge if it is fair play.” VALUE OF MARKET Live Nation’s Porkert estimates the Czech live music industry has remained fairly static in the past 12 months and is worth in the region of €40m a year. TAXES AND CHARGES Ticketing companies typically apply 10% in service charges, while the Czech government collects 15% VAT on cultural events. In Prague there is an additional 5% cultural charge that used to only affect shows of 3,000-capacity and above, but from 2016 is applied to everything 1,000-cap and upwards.

DENMARK Language: Danish | Population (millions): 5.6 Currency: Krone | GDP/Capita (US$): 45,700 Internet Users (millions): 5.4 | Active Smartphones (millions): 5.9 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 253 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 242


he southernmost and smallest of the Nordic countries, Denmark boasts a healthy live scene, including a busy but lately slightly fractious festival season. FKP Scorpio’s new Tinderbox festival last year provoked angry responses from rivals including big-hitter Roskilde, ostensibly due to the presence of agents among its promoters. However, there is a new arena on the way in Copenhagen – the 15,000-cap Royal Arena – designed specifically to elevate the Danish capital to the level of cities such as London, Berlin, Stockholm and Hamburg in its musical pulling power.

remainder going to comedy, arts, sport and family entertainment. Lukas Graham has rapidly become Denmark’s biggest musical name since Aqua, but there are plenty of other credible and varied local choices, including Iceage, Under Byen, Manus Nigra and rapper Felix De Luca. “Danish artists are very active on the live scene thanks to an audience that craves live performances,” says Lund. “Conversely, the Danish music scene is very popular among international touring artists due to audience demand and devoted local venues and promoters.”

PRIMARY TICKETING Billetnet, recently rebranded Ticketmaster Denmark, is one of the two key operators on the Danish ticketing scene, taking somewhere north of a third of the market. Venuepoint’s Billetlugen claims roughly the same – some suggest slightly more – with the rest going to Billetten and other smaller players, including Ticketline offshoot Billetlugen has CTS Eventim as a corporate parent under Eventim’s joint venture with Venuepoint owner Nordisk Film. Venuepoint has its HQ in Copenhagen, as well as offices in Göteborg and Stockholm and Oslo. “Denmark is the market where we have the largest market share, but we have grown significantly in Sweden and Norway over the last year and are expecting to sell more tickets in Sweden than Denmark this year,” says Venuepoint CEO Christoffer Feilberg.

CULTURAL ANALYSIS Last year was a vintage one for festivals, in spite of a middling opening for the controversial Tinderbox, big gigs generally did the business. But small- to mid-sized shows have suffered from saturation and promoters hold Copenhagen’s venue selection to be inadequate in the 1,500 to 5,000 range. Ticket prices are high in Denmark, as they are across all of Scandinavia, and niche genres and rising acts are hard to sell outside the main cities.

DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Ticketmaster Denmark managing director Jakob Lund estimates that 80% of tickets are sold online, with the rest sold via call centre and box office. “Mobile and print-at-home tickets together account for about 75% of sales,” he adds. “The remainder is made up of hard tickets, including the increasingly popular Collector Ticket.”

TAXES AND CHARGES On the majority of Danish retail products, including most tickets, there is a 25% VAT charge, which, added to a 5.5% levy by collection society KODA, takes more than 30% of the face value of every ticket. Usually, ticketing companies charge a ticket fee somewhere between €3 and €5, with a varying fee on credit card transactions.

VALUE OF MARKET In 2015, live accounted for the largest share of the country’s overall music revenues, turning over DKK3.9bn (€520m), of which DKK1.46bn (€200m) went on tickets, with other large chunks on music tourism, music export and general audience turnover [source: Dansk Musikomsætning 2015]. SECONDARY TICKETING Promoters report that there is little or no market for secondary ticketing in Denmark at present. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES If Ticketmaster’s sales are a guide, music – concerts, festivals and club shows – account for around half of ticket sales, with the

Copenhagen’s new arena should bring many more acts to the capital when it opens in late 2016


FINLAND Language: Finnish | Population (millions): 5.5 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 41,100 Internet Users (millions): 5.1 | Active Smartphones (millions): 5.7 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 105 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 92

PRIMARY TICKETING Lippupiste (CTS Eventim), Ticketmaster (Lippupalvelu) and Tiketti are the main ticketing companies in Finland, in that order, according to 2014 Finnish Trade Register figures. “In the light of 2014 numbers we control the market with 52% market share, while Ticketmaster is a good second with about 38% of the market share,” says Mari Hatakka, Lippupiste sales director, live entertainment and culture. “The remaining 10% would go to various smaller players. The market is highly competitive – the race between us and Ticketmaster is hard.” However, it should be noted that the market leading Hartwall Arena in Helsinki changes from Lippupiste to Lippupavelu for its ticketing in early 2017 and observers suggest that will propel the Ticketmaster affiliate to being Finland’s number one ticketer. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Finland is in the same transitional phase as most developed nations, with paper gradually giving ground to digital and mobile on the up. At Ticketmaster Finland, says managing director Ari Kuokkanen, “online sales lead box office sales, though not by much, with social media sales making up a very small percentage at around 5%.” He adds that mobile and print-at-home together make up half of sales, with paper tickets and paperless accounting for the other half. At Lippupiste, online sales stand at 80%, though again, the paper ticket still has reasons to live. “The most popular method of delivery is a PDF ticket one can print or show from the smartphone at the entrance,” says Hatakka. “However, about 15% of tickets bought in the web shop are ordered via mail as fancy looking Fan Tickets.” Hatakka explains that the role of mobile has only relatively recently begun to shift heavily towards commerce. “So far, it has been more of an information browsing channel, but since this spring the actual sales have also started to show,” she says. “This is naturally due to people’s behaviour patterns but also thanks to a mobile application and mobile-optimised web shop that actually work.


One of Finland’s most successful exports, Nightwish, headlined Provinssi festival in 2016

© Pasi Ahola


inland may be the third most sparsely populated country in Europe, but it has a notably strong home-grown music business, with plenty of crowd-pulling local talent, a festival-packed summer, a solid infrastructure and a highly competitive ticketing business. Its ability to attract international tours partly tends to depend on western relations with its neighbour Russia (if nearby St Petersburg is off the circuit, Finland becomes a tougher call), but local acts also know how to fill arenas, from rockers HIM and Nightwish to rappers Cheek and Elastinen and pop acts Haloo Helsinki! and Kaija Koo.

VALUE OF MARKET Live music is the biggest sector in the Finnish music industry, accounting for €431.9m, or 50% of total revenues [source: Music Finland]. Anecdotally, roughly 20m tickets are sold each year, with half upfront and half on the door. SECONDARY TICKETING Finland does not represent a significant market for secondary ticketing and doesn’t muster any domestic players, though international operators such as Viagogo have a presence and list tickets for most major shows. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Finland has a particularly strong domestic market, as well as a healthy appetite for larger international shows. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Justin Bieber have recently sold strongly, but so have local acts such as Cheek, who sold-out 15 arena dates earlier this year. Meanwhile, large, old festivals such as Provinssi, Ilosaarirock and Ruisrock remain strong, and though FKP Scorpio recently took a two-thirds share in Provinssi, many events remain independently run. Rock, hip-hop and pop are long-standing popular genres. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Finland is a rare market in which a major label has successfully moved into promoting. Warner Music has promoted over 20 local arena shows in the past four years in Finland and has done much to grow the domestic performance of local artists. TAXES AND CHARGES 10% VAT applies on ticket sales, and service fees vary between €1.50 and €4.50, plus delivery fees, where applicable, and a 1% charge for paying by credit card.



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Miala’s Platja Electronic Festival attracts thousands of fans to the beach at Argelès-sur-Mer

FRANCE Language: French | Population (millions): 66.6 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 41,200 Internet Users (millions): 56.4 | Active Smartphones (millions): 50.4 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 1,021 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 1,061


rance suffered an unprecedented catastrophe last November when gunmen killed 89 people at an Eagles of Death Metal concert at Paris’s Bataclan theatre, as part of a wave of coordinated attacks that took another 40 lives across the French capital and injured 368 more. It wouldn’t be the last terrorist atrocity the country would suffer between then and now, and as well as appalling the world, the massacre dealt a heavy blow to the confidence of concert-goers. The week after the attacks, ticket sales in Paris were down 80% year-on-year, and 50% down a fortnight later. And though audiences for high-profile shows subsequently quickly rebounded – U2 shows in the capital on 8 and 9 December, for instance, saw only 3,000 tickets refunded from 34,000 sold, and all of them were immediately resold – France remains in a nervous and fragile state. It would be wrong to suggest that the main legacy of the attacks was the damage they dealt to the live music business. But as a basic barometer of a country’s general state of mind, its ongoing appetite for entertainment isn’t a bad one. And in that regard, things still are decidedly mixed. “It’s weird, it’s a lot of stop and go,” says Arnaud Meersseman, promoter of the Bataclan show, who was injured in the attack. “Business will pick up for a little bit and then incomprehensibly it


will stop again. We have still got the big acts who are going to drop and sell-out immediately – that hasn’t changed. But all the others, it’s very staccato. It’s very murky. “I haven’t looked at how cinemas or restaurants are impacted, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same. It’s like some epoch or civilisation is coming to an end and no one knows what is going to happen next.” At the same time, this year has been one of the best ever for festivals in France, with many major events increasing their attendance from the year before, in what has been held up as a ‘cultural resistance’ movement. So while the threat of danger appears to lurk in previously safe public places, it appears there is some degree of comfort in numbers. PRIMARY TICKETING The powerhouse trio of ticketing companies in France comprises market-leader Fnac/France Billet, Ticketmaster France (formerly Ticketnet) and Vivendi’s Digitick, though current market-share figures are elusive. Also in operation are players including BilletRéduc, Vente-privee and Ticketac. Each of the leading three has its distinctive strengths: Fnac is the generalist and has historically been the first point of call for concert-goers, with both an online offering and the national Fnac

chain of music stores; Digitick is strong in alternative shows, such as electronic and hip hop; Ticketmaster is the choice of the mainstream consumer, selling tickets for big French acts and musicals through a network that includes supermarket chains Auchan and Carrefour (both original shareholders in Tiecketnet). The three were embroiled in a bitter competition dispute for a number of years. Fnac and Ticketnet – now Ticketmaster France – were found by the French competition authorities to have fixed prices between 2004 and 2008, and to have attempted to block Digitick’s arrival in the market between 2007 and 2008. The pair were hit with a €9.3m fine on the two counts in December 2012. Other big players inhabit the French ticketing business, in various niches and at various levels. E-commerce fashion brand Vente-privee, a pioneer of online flash sales, last year took a stake in ticketing and cashless start-up Weezevent, having branched out into ticketing for attractions and holidays. Meanwhile, newly assembled music group Fimalac, owner of promoting and venue interests, dipped into ticketing with the acquisition of 50% of France Billet’s Kyro arm, which owns sports ticketing specialist Datasport, rebranding the operation as TICK&LIVE. And as elsewhere, US big-hitter Eventbrite is somewhere in the mix. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Online takes the largest share of sales nowadays, though outlet sales remain significant, and paper tickets are still the most popular type. “Excluding cinema tickets, we estimate there are 50m tickets available for distribution each year across cultural, sport and leisure events,” says Ticketmaster France’s managing director François Thominet. Digital methods have not taken off quite as fast in France as they have elsewhere – though Fnac has been developing a white-label service for promoters to sell direct to fans. Meanwhile, disruptive, high-tech start-ups are distinctly few. “That’s a slow market in France,” says Meersseman, formerly of Nous Productions, who now operates as managing director of

The striking AccorHotels Arena is at the centre of the live music business in Paris

Fimalac-owned promoters, Miala. “The entry barriers are so high into this business that it is very hard for anybody to break through, even with technological advances.” One prominent ticketing start-up, however, is Weezevent, which offers white-label ticketing to promoters, either to be embedded in a website or operated through a microsite. It also leads the market in cashless systems, which have proven popular in France and are now standard at many French festivals. VALUE OF MARKET Before the Bataclan attack, the live music industry in France generated somewhere between €1.3bn and €1.9bn in 2014, with attendances of 25m and €746m in ticket sales [source: Prodiss]. Paris alone accounted for 43% of total paying audiences, 38% of ticket revenues and 31% of total attendance that year [source: CNV]. SECONDARY TICKETING Secondary ticketing is expressly forbidden in France by a law that prevents anyone reselling a ticket except by the authorisation of the event’s organiser. That hasn’t stopped Viagogo from launching in France, where it continues to offer tickets, in spite of legal action by promoters and UEFA, which filed a criminal complaint against the ticketing website for illegal ticket sales at Euro 2016. During the tournament, French police raided a hotel from which Viagogo staff were operating, and the site attracted condemnation for potentially undermining the tournament’s security efforts. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES France is perfectly capable of creating its own entertainment, from musicals to platinum-selling pop stars, and the domestic share of ticket sales is estimated at around 70%. CULTURAL ANALYSIS France hosted 1,887 music festivals in 2015 [source: CNV], and the bigger events include Les Vieilles Charrues in Carhaix, Rock en Seine, Les Francofolies de La Rochelle, Les Eurockénnes de Belfort and Trans Musicales de Rennes. Not all of the 1,887 – in fact, slightly under half – were entirely paying events, and 20% were free. France has historically been a country with highly generous cultural subsidies, although in tough economic times, amid a political shift to the right, those are being reined in. But the government is not the only patron of the arts. As part of its French CSR programme, mass media giant Vivendi, the parent company of Digitick/See Tickets and Universal Music Group, sponsored and lent no-strings-attached marketing support to ten French music festivals this summer, including the 250,000-strong Les Vieilles Charrues, Hellfest near Nantes and Main Square in Arras. TAXES AND CHARGES Booking charges stand at around 10% for music events, and around 2.5% for white-label platforms. Sacem, the local performing rights society, makes a levy of 8.34% on each ticket sold. In June, in response to the post-Bataclan downturn in smalland medium-sized shows, minister of culture and communication Audrey Azoulay announced an emergency fund of €7m, distributed to the performing arts industries through Sacem and other channels, to add to €5.6m already distributed.


© Robin Schmiedebach

Rammstein lit up the night sky with their spectacular pyrotechnics at Highfield Festival in August 2016

GERMANY Language: German | Population (millions): 80.8 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 46,900 Internet Users (millions): 70.8 | Active Smartphones (millions): 58.6 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 2,090 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 2,240


ore concerts and tours than ever are taking place in Germany, that’s the latest statement from the Federal German Association for the Concert and Promoters Business (BDV). At our press time, BDV had not released any figures for 2015, so we can only guess that revenues from music events by now exceed the €2.7bn reported for 2014. Therefore, Germany is still by far the most valuable live music market in Europe. The German market is dominated by CTS Eventim. HannsWolfgang Trippe, of ticketing consultancy Trippe Beratung, calls the company “Germany’s event calendar,” since most Germans don’t Google events but ‘Eventim’ them. Estimates of Eventim’s market share in Germany vary between 60 -80%. Eventim’s Rainer Appel confirms this: “Given that there are no complete and reliable numbers on either the German ticketing or live entertainment market, market shares cannot be accurately determined. However, Eventim is the leading ticketing player in Germany by far, and has the broadest offering of events in all categories and particularly in live music.” PRIMARY TICKETING Other important players are AD-Ticket/Reservix (primarily a B2B platform), Ticketmaster, Bilettix and JetTicket (also a B2B platform for the arts). White-label solution providers SAP and white label eCommerce allow promoters to use their technology, but brand the entire thing – call centre, presale, web shops and


even secondary ticketing – according to their own corporate identity. Starwatch, the promotion arm of media giant ProSiebenSat.1 Group, for example, is using white label eCommerce to power its own ticket shop, Tickethall. Elsewhere, local web shops München Ticket (Munich) and Wien Ticket (Vienna) use SAP’s technology. DEAG’s was founded in November 2014 and licences white label eCommerce’s systems. plans on becoming one of the leading digital ticketing offerings within the next two to three years. exclusively sells tickets online. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Most promoters ITY spoke to confirm that, generally, online is the most important point of sale, depending on the genre. In Starwatch’s experience, around 60% of all tickets sold online are purchased on mobile devices. Events that cater to a young audience, such as festivals or ‘fun sports’ are sold almost exclusively online. Musicals and certain show concepts may still sell most of their ticket inventory through the box office. Paper tickets are still the German favourite, but that’s changing. Eventim’s Appel says that “mobile has been growing strongly in recent years and will continue to do so.” Others observe that mobile is only slowly picking up. At whatever rate growth happens, “the future belongs to online and mobile ticketing,” according to DEAG’s Kai Ricke. One important factor why print-at-home ticketing has been

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MOBILE HAS BEEN GROWING STRONGLY IN RECENT YEARS AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. slow to pick up is that not all venues – especially stadiums – are equipped with up-to-date readers. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, hosted by Germany, changed the country’s ticketing landscape. It was the year that access control technology finally took hold. This technology, however, is now outdated as some scanners are unable to read print-at-home tickets. Once the readers have been upgraded, print-at-home and mobile solutions such as passbook or pass wallet should spread throughout the country. The big multifunctional arenas are likely to boast more modern technology than the stadiums, so the problem will be less prevalent in other live entertainment sectors, outside of sports. Promoters such as Karsten Jahnke have developed their own in-house ticketing solutions, while the likes of Eventim-controlled FKP Scorpio also has a ticketing division, but for its festival portfolio only. As far as selling tickets on social media is concerned, Germany’s ticketing market is still in its infancy. One reason for this is that promoters like to keep customer data. “If you’re selling tickets via Facebook or other platforms, the social media companies might want to keep all the data, which can lead to a conflict of interests,” says Carsten Wohlrath of SAP, whose company has developed a method of selling via social media without handing over customer data. VALUE OF MARKET According to BDV, there are no updated numbers regarding the overall value of the live-entertainment market, excluding sport events. So the €3.8bn of 2013, of which €2.7bn was attributable to music events, are still the best numbers available. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Rock/pop is still the most important genre. Rap, German rap, to be specific, has kept up its momentum over the past years, and it’ll be interesting to see BDV’s new figures, because this genre is also at the forefront of pushing German-speaking music internationally, alongside Schlager. Concerts by international and national acts pretty much balance each other out. Appel comments, “In terms of ticket sales, German artists like Helene Fischer, Herbert Grönemeyer, Udo Lindenberg or Rammstein are easily at eye level with the biggest international artists.” TAXES AND CHARGES Additional fees stated to consumers include a 10% presale fee and shipping fees that are usually €4-8. Beyond that, booking fees, fees for public transport or the usage of a given venue, as well as fees for refunds are simply included in the ticket price without being designated. If a company uses a white-label service, which will take a flat fee on any ticket sold (between 20 and 50 cents), that’s not obvious to the customer either. Whether the promoter of an event has to pay 7% or 19% VAT depends on the type of event. If it’s a concert, with a performing artist making a creative effort, the discounted VAT rate of 7% is due. If it’s an event that isn’t characterised by a creative performance, it’ll cost the promoter 19% VAT.


Promoters SSC use Tonhalle Düsseldorf for the New Fall Festival

CULTURAL ANALYSIS Germany is a very physical market. Germans love their paper tickets, hard cash and CDs. It therefore doesn’t come as much of a surprise that RFID and cashless at music festivals has found limited success to date. Hörstmann Unternehmensgruppe works with Playpass on its Lollapalooza Berlin, Melt! and splash! brands. Intellitix entered the market just this year. SECONDARY TICKETING Viagogo launched in Germany three years ago and allowed tickets to be traded without a price cap, meaning even a regular Bundesliga football ticket could sell for over €600, which is not how business is done in Germany amongst a typically frugal population. It caused a backlash, including protests by fan clubs, which forced the Bundesliga to terminate the contracts it had with Viagogo. Hence, the market is somewhat damaged at the moment, in the eyes of consumers, at least. StubHub seems to be finding more traction – talking to promoters, and clients to make sure the uplift on prices doesn’t become too excessive. DFL, the German football association, has a fair-play agreement, which states that tickets for the Bundesliga cannot be sold for exorbitant prices. To Trippe, the secondary market is more than a controversial, digital black market. “I’m assuming that the promoters are going to equip this market increasingly going forward,” he notes, referring to offers like Eventim’s Fan Sale. SAP has a secondary platform too, where clients can decide for themselves how to price tickets and fees. “It’s the chance for promoters to make the most out of every single ticket,” Trippe says. As with other markets, problems occurs, however, when the primary and secondary market go on sale at the same time. Some platforms put tickets that aren’t even available yet up for sale. Still others suggest to resellers at which price to sell, and are therefore engaging in pricing. There are different efforts being discussed to curb this market. Some promoters like ICS and Wizard tried out personalised tickets. Individuals were only allowed to purchase a limited number of tickets and their names were attached to the tickets they bought. Others feel regulating the market through the introduction of laws would be a much more effective method.

GREECE Language: Greek | Population (millions): 10.7 | Currency: Euro GDP/Capita (US$): 26,400 | Internet Users (millions): 7.2 Active Smartphones (millions): 7.0 | Live music market 2015 (US$m): 126 Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 123


reece is barely on its way to recovery after the European financial crisis, which hit the country hardest in 2015, when more than 70% of the big concerts had to be cancelled, moved or postponed. For many years, electronic tickets were not permitted by the Greek tax authorities, but that is now changing, allowing operators in the country to offer mainstream ticketing services and technologies. That sea change was no doubt a key factor in Ticketmaster acquiring Tickethour in July 2016. TAXES AND CHARGES One of the most severe changes since 2015 has been the increase in VAT from 13 to 23%, which was imposed shortly after last year’s ITY went to print. The tax has been further increased to 24% on 1 July 2016. Fees remain constant: the collecting society (7%), box office (3%) and administration (2-3%). A city tax of 5% still exists but may be

scrapped soon, according to Giannis Paltoglou of Detox Events. PRIMARY TICKETING In July 2016, Ticketmaster acquired Tickethour for an undisclosed fee and noted that the company distributes 8.5m tickets per year. While Viva and Tickethour are still the main players in the market, Tickethouse, Ticketarena and Ticketservices are also active. Spain’s Ticketea has spent the last few years expanding its European business and has begun negotiating with local promoters. Paltoglou is currently planning his own ticketing shop, although whether that will be a stand-alone offer or in cooperation with a big player remains to be seen. The launch is supposed to take place in the first quarter of 2017, at the very latest. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Roughly 85% of tickets in Greece are now sold online, with the rest on the door, although the ratio shifts towards the box office for other entertainment formats outside of music. Mobile tickets are becoming a thing too, but according to Alexia Vazoura of Viva, paper tickets are most popular, followed by print-athome. “There is a significant number of people that come to an event without a ticket at all, just with their order ID,” she tells ITY. Most shows, about 80-85%, are by domestic artists, while international stars make up the rest. Contemporary music is by far the most popular genre. There is still no company known to track overall sales in Greece, but given last year’s economic developments, it’s safe to say that there was probably a dip.


HONG KONG Languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, English | Population (millions): 7.1 Currency: HK Dollar | GDP/Capita (US$): 56,700 Internet Users (millions): 6.1 | Active Smartphones (millions): no data Live music market 2015 (US$m): 98 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 127


ong Kong’s live music and ticketing scene continues to develop, despite its relatively small size, with a regular club circuit that has been bolstered by a growing festival scene attracting an increasing number of international acts. There has also been a recent surge in international arts and sports events such as Udderbelly and Arnold Classic.

© Chris Lusher

PRIMARY TICKETING Hong Kong’s ticketing landscape has traditionally been dominated by HK Ticketing, URBTIX and Cityline, all widely known for enjoying venue exclusivity deals whilst not offering the most modern services to ticket buyers or fans. This trio still occupies the list of ‘approved vendors’ for many of the city’s larger venues, but the restrictive nature of the status quo is changing, and fast. Newly established local competition laws can result in a criminal conviction, so venues such as the MacPherson Stadium have recently elected not to renew an exclusivity deal with Cityline, and similarly other venues such as

Clockenflap Festival has become a popular Hong Kong mainstay since it launched in 2008


the Hong Kong Arts Centre and KITEC are reassessing their exclusivity agreements with HK Ticketing. The LCSD (the Hong Kong Government’s Leisure & Cultural Services Department, which operates government venues) has also recently confirmed that promoters are no longer obliged to use URBTIX when booking their venues. According to Martin Haigh, CEO of Ticketflap, “This is wonderful news for the health of the industry as it will give promoters more power in deciding which ticketing company suits them best and should ultimately improve ticket sales.”  Alongside Ticketflap, which is the newest entrant to the city’s big four ticketing companies, smaller local platforms are in operation such as ArtMate, HK Clubbing and Pelago, whilst larger international platforms such as Eventbrite are present, though occupy a limited market share.     SECONDARY TICKETING Viagogo and Ticketbis are both trying to become more active in the space, though the secondary market is limited. Viagogo has established a deal with the Hong Kong Rugby Union’s iconic Rugby Sevens tournament although penetration there also remains limited.   DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Physical and phone sales are quickly diminishing, with online and mobile sales becoming more prevalent.    INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Domestic music, followed by regional (especially K- and J-pop) remain the most popular forms of music, though a slew of sell-out, international, mid-range-sized shows in 2016 (including Death Cab for Cutie, Bon Iver, Tame Impala, Buena Vista Social Club and Damien Rice) suggest a growing appetite for international repertoire. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Festival ticket pricing remains relatively low compared to stand-alone headline tickets for international acts. Whilst festival culture is still in its infancy, ticketing linked with RFID/access control is becoming more a norm for larger-scale events.   TAXES AND CHARGES There are no government sales taxes in Hong Kong. Ticketing agents typically charge a per-ticket fee, along with payment processing (which are high versus the US and Europe) and service fees to the consumer. Tariffs range from HK$7.00 (€0.80) to HK$11.00 (€1.27) per ticket, but for physical tickets the costs of registered post (to receive tickets) can amount to HK$20 (€2.28) for local deliveries to a mind boggling HK$200 (€22.80) for an international delivery.

INDIA Languages: Hindi, English | Population (millions): 1,251.7 Currency: Rupee | GDP/Capita (US$): 6,200 Internet Users (millions): 325.4 | Active Smartphones (millions): 109.4 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 74 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 138


he live music business in India grows steadily, but with 510m people, or around 41% of its population, below the age of 20, its potential is massive. A boom in EDM in recent years may be just slightly dissipating, but the rise of music festivals such as Goa’s Sunburn and VH1 Supersonic hints at the opportunity, even if India is still a market in its developing stages. PRIMARY TICKETING The largest ticketing platform in India is BigTree Entertainment’s BookMyShow, an online-only vendor that effectively introduced the Indian online ticket market when it launched as a cinema service nine years ago. Even now, its share of the entertainment ticketing market stands at 85-90%. Present in 350 towns and cities across the nation – as well as Bangladesh, New Zealand, UAE and Indonesia – it still leans towards movies, which account for 60% of its sales, but also deals in sport, comedy, music and event services. BookMyShow’s revenue from ticket sales rose by 94% in the last financial year, from INR460m (€6m) to INR880m (€12m). The company was named best omni-channel customer experience brand at the QuestCX customer experience awards in New Delhi for its in-house contact centre, which offers live-chat services, 24-7 social media support, e-mail, an Android forum and in-app chat. Thanks to a recent deal with Uber, when customers book cinema tickets, they can book a ride at the same time. BookMyShow’s rivals include music group Only Much Louder (OML)’s Insider platform, Kyazoonga and Ticketgenie, though none approach its scale. However, Kyazoonga is fundraising and thanks to its work in the sport of cricket (India’s national obsession), the company also has a presence in the Caribbean, as well as a growing niche in the United States. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Tickets for events are mostly bought online through mobile apps and mobile sites, with Ajay Nair, COO of OML, putting Insider’s own digital figure at 85-90%, up from around 50% in 2010. “Sometimes it’s as high as 95%,” he says. Mobile business is in turn edging up above half of all ticket sales, and is spreading out steadily from India’s metropolitan areas. Near-field communications and smart cards are likewise increasingly common at large-scale events. VALUE OF MARKET According to a 2015 report by KPMG and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), India’s music industry in total will almost double in value to INR18.9bn (€252m) by 2019. Last year, the live entertainment sector (music, comedy and sport) was estimated by OML to be worth INR6bn (€86m).

OML’s NH7 Weekender will visit eight cities before the end of 2016

SECONDARY TICKETING With music in India only beginning to flourish and very few shows selling out, secondary ticketing has no traction. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES India’s biggest music stars are the playback singers who voice the songs for Bollywood musicals, but EDM has recently made major inroads, with a steady stream of international DJs. Nair believes EDM may have plateaued, but adds that Hindi and English comedy is on the rise, partly as comedy shows are more easily staged than music events. CULTURAL ANALYSIS The growth of live music in India depends on investment in venues, which are virtually non-existent above club level and need to be constructed outdoors on a show-by-show basis. Artist fees, which can easily amount to half of an event’s total costs, also inhibit the embryonic business. A maze of bureaucracy at central, state and local-authority level, meanwhile, further complicates matters. TAXES AND CHARGES India’s entertainment tax on tickets varies from 10-25%, depending on the state. Last year, an additional service tax was added, of around 14%, setting the tax burden on ticket prices at between 24-39%. Ticketing companies charge promoters between 4-8% of the face value of the ticket, while an additional 2% charge is also demanded of the consumer.


IRELAND Languages: English, Gaelic | Population (millions): 4.9 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 55,500 Internet Users (millions): 3.9 | Active Smartphones (millions): 3.0 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 146 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 197


fter a tough few years, Ireland has latterly been returning gradually to health, with a mild increase in disposable income from the dark days of 2008-2013, and if Brexit and a possible UK recession aren’t exactly great news, things are undoubtedly looking better than they were in 2009, when the biggest crowd by far in Dublin was the 120,000 people living on the street.

English. “Paper tickets account for the majority, with print-athome around one in five.” The channel of preference depends on the age group and the strength of ticket demand. There remains a significant call for paper tickets in Ireland, which is serviced by a solid network of physical outlets, though in-demand tickets are as likely to sell fast online as in any other market.

PRIMARY TICKETING Ticketmaster,,, Ticketsolve and Eventbrite are the main companies in Ireland, where Ticketmaster takes the box seat, handling sales for both Live Nation/MCD and Ireland’s other leading promoter, Aiken Promotions.

SECONDARY TICKETING Viagogo is present in Ireland, though it only comes into play where tickets are particularly in demand.

VALUE OF MARKET The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), calculates that the gross value added (GVA) of pop music performances, including medium- and large-scale concerts and festivals, was €46.1m in 2012. Added to that was a further €35.5m generated by performances in pubs, clubs and smaller venues. The numbers can be expected to have risen as the country moved out of recession. Even as it was biting, Irish festivals mushroomed from around 60 in 2007 to more than 100 by 2012. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES “Tickets are sold via outlets, box office, call centre, Internet and mobile,” says Ticketmaster Ireland managing director Keith

The Longitude Festival is just one of many events that Ticketmaster services in Ireland


INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Ireland gets most of the big international shows that come to the UK, either in Dublin, Belfast or both, and the two countries also produce more than their own fair share of bankable talent. The Coronas and Kodaline continue in a tradition of domestically popular home-grown stars, to say nothing of major international exports such as U2, Damien Rice and The Script. TAXES AND CHARGES There is a VAT exemption in Ireland for sporting and cultural events, but a rate of 9% for concerts and festivals and 23% for exhibitions and late-night DJ-style events. Booking fees are added to the face value of the ticket, along with a service charge that varies depending on the channel.

Chris Cornell, Buddy Guy and Morrissey have all played at the ancient Caesarea Amphitheatre in 2016, courtesy of promoter Shuki Weiss

ISRAEL Languages: Hebrew, Arabic | Population (millions): 8.0 Currency: Shekel | GDP/Capita (US$): 33,700 Internet Users (millions): 6.4 | Active Smartphones (millions): no data Live music market 2015 (US$m): 33 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 37


srael’s live business centres largely on Tel Aviv, and though the market has had its problems with boycott threats and occasional fly-by-night promoters, it remains the most mature in the Middle East. In fact, this year’s bookings are as healthy as any since the glory days of 2012-14, when the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Cirque du Soleil were among the big names that come to town. Simply Red, Alice Cooper, Wiz Khalifa, Tame Impala, Avicii, Santana and Sia were all scheduled for this summer at the time of writing. Despite the relatively small size of the country (and a live entertainment scene that is regularly hit by cancellations, postponements and boycotts), Israel has become a hot spot for technological development in recent years, with the ticketing business being one of the chief beneficiaries. PRIMARY TICKETING CTS Eventim, active in Israel for the past five years, leads the ticketing market for international rock and pop shows, and has done much to modernise the Israeli industry. The Zappa group, which operates clubs in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Herzliya as well as the Live Park in Rishon LeZion, has its own platform, which is particularly strong on the local scene. Rumours of a local launch by Ticketmaster, possibly in its Turkish Biletix guise, have circulated for some time, but nothing has yet come to fruition. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Tickets are mostly sold online and either printed at home, fulfilled through Will Call at venues or collected from post offices – the postal service itself is held in low regard by locals.

VALUE OF MARKET There are no reliable valuations of the live music market in Israel. SECONDARY TICKETING Ticket scalping by ‘unlicensed persons’ is illegal. Nor is Israel a major target for secondary ticketing platforms, though tickets for forthcoming shows are available on Viagogo. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES The vast majority of shows in Israel are local, though the biggest sellers are invariably international visitors. “In terms of tickets, the biggest acts here are going to play amphitheatres and do 6,000 or 7,000 – nothing gets much bigger than that,” says Oren Arnon, promoter at local market leader Shuki Weiss Promotion and Production. “The only stadium-level stuff is what’s coming in from the outside. Elton John [who played at Yarkon Park in May] is pretty much the only show at that level this year – 30,000, 40,000 tickets – but there’s a lot of mid-level, 5,000 to 15,000-capacity.” CULTURAL ANALYSIS Israel remains a major destination in the region for worldclass international shows, though heavy violence in Gaza – most recently 2014’s Israel-Gaza conflict – always has the potential to peg the market back for periods of time. TAXES AND CHARGES The face-value ticket price in Israel is inclusive of ticket surcharges and VAT by law. VAT stands at 18%, while other charges are typically around 12-15%.


ITALY Language: Italian | Population (millions): 61.8 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 35,700 Internet Users (millions): 40.6 | Active Smartphones (millions): 50.6 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 578 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 555


he year 2015 proved to be stellar for the ticketing industry in Italy, showing a general increase in ticket sales in every sector – from live music to the film industry, theatres and sport. This is essentially the only significant difference from last year’s International Ticketing Yearbook profile, but there are rumblings of change. Market leader, TicketOne, owned by CTS Eventim, has a deal with Live Nation that expires in 2017, and there have been rumours about Ticketmaster entering the Italian market. Live Nation declined to comment, but TicketOne’s deputy general manager, Andrea Grancini, says the relationship between Live Nation and TicketOne is strong and that he is confident that they will keep on collaborating, regardless of any possible change in the market. PRIMARY TICKETING The main ticketing companies active in Italy are TicketOne and Vivaticket, owned by Best Union, while other operators such as Box Office and Bookingshow are present in the country, with minor market shares. According to Grancini, 2015 was TicketOne’s best year ever: the live music sector was 20% up in terms of tickets sold, while the film sector showed an outstanding growth of 25%. VALUE OF MARKET Data released by SIAE, Italy’s main collections society, reveals that the offer of general shows (including live music,

TicketOne processed the ticketing for WiSH Outdoor in Florence

cinema and theatre) was 0.67% up in 2015, with an 11.46% increase in total revenues – although no actual figure was disclosed. Despite the strict security laws imposed by the government such as named tickets and other control measures, especially for football, sport is still strong in terms of tickets sold. There have been no significant changes in laws and policies regarding the ticketing industry since last year’s report. Professionals still lament the strict financial policies imposed by SIAE and by the Italian Revenue Agency, which don’t allow flexible marketing strategies and limit dynamic pricing policies in the country. SECONDARY TICKETING In recent months, there has been a lot of talk about secondary ticketing. In fact, although it is illegal in Italy, some complain that not enough measures are used to prevent people from acting like “brokers” for live show tickets (especially in the music sector). TicketOne’s Grancini doesn’t believe this to be such a huge issue and explains that TicketOne has been adopting several solutions to tackle the problem, such as limiting the number of tickets that can be bought by one single online account and introducing a more rigorous control on the accounts registered on the company’s website. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES There are no big differences between music genres in terms of tickets sold. The main gap is between international and domestic acts, as explained by Grancini: “In the past four or five years, Italian acts have been dominating the market, with almost 70% of total sales. We must pay attention, though: we have to consider that Italian acts carry on tours that cover the country extensively, with several shows in the same arena for a period of time that can cover even a year or more. International artists, of course, have to fit their Italian shows in European or world tours, so they do less shows.” In 2015, the World Exhibition expo took place in Milan with Best Union processing millions of tickets. Even though there’s controversy over the total revenue of the event, SIAE, at ITY’s press time, had not published any data. TicketOne, an official retailer, says its expectations were exceeded, especially for the collateral events which took place during the exhibition. TAXES AND CHARGES Typical ticketing fees in Italy run from 7-15%, although there can also be an inside commission on occasions. However, hopes are high that if Ticketmaster does target the market, as rumoured, a price war may force those charges lower. VAT is 10%. Delivery costs range from €9.99 in Italy to €19.49 in Europe, €29.99 for USA, Switzerland and Canada, and €49.99 for all other countries.


JAPAN Language: Japanese | Population (millions): 126.9 Currency: Yen | GDP/Capita (US$): 38,100 Internet Users (millions): 118.5 | Active Smartphones (millions): 122.4 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 1,092 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 1,315

than-average rate, with 2016 seeing the 20th anniversary of the Fuji Rock Festival, which brought in one of its highest attendance rates of recent years.

Baby Metal played at Osaka’s Summer Sonic Festival in August 2016


he live entertainment market in Japan is experiencing strong growth. The Kanto area – which includes the country’s two largest cities: Tokyo and Yokohama – accounts for around 40% of all performances, with the Kansai area around Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe accounting for a further 20%. PRIMARY TICKETING The ticketing market retains a close association with the nation’s vast networks of convenience stores, which provide ticket agencies’ most visible presence through in-store machines linked to the agencies’ online platforms. The three main companies are Ticket Pia, e+ and Lawson HMV Entertainment. Of these, Pia is the oldest and largest, operating deals with convenience store chains 7-Eleven and Circle K/Sunkus. Currently 50% owned by Sony Music Entertainment Japan, e+ entered an exclusive partnership with FamilyMart convenience store chain in 2009. The deal incorporated online ticket sales and FamiPort in-store multimedia portals. Lawson HMV Entertainment was formed after a 2011 merger that rolled convenience store chain Lawson’s own ticketing business into a new company along with the revived HMV brand. Self-service platform Peatix is one of a handful of start-ups that is growing its minority market share. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Small, locally promoted events in venues with a capacity of 200 or under rarely employ ticket agencies, tending to sell tickets on the door or via direct reservations. As the profile and marketing of events increase, the involvement of ticket agencies grows accordingly. The live entertainment market continues to grow, but while traditional live venues such as arenas and clubs have generally held steady, much of the growth in the market has been in unconventional venues such as galleries, cafés and various rented spaces. Outdoor events have also increased at a faster-

VALUE OF MARKET Growth in live entertainment since the mid-2000s has been particularly rapid in numbers of performances, audience figures and revenue. Figures for 2015 indicate total ticket sales in Japan reached almost ¥320bn (€2.8bn) – more than three times the figure for 2005. SECONDARY TICKETING There are a number of secondary-ticketing outlets, with the most established including TicketStreet, Ticket Ryutsu Center and Ticket Camp. Internet auction sites such as Yahoo Auction, Rakuten Auction and others have also established themselves as popular secondary markets. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Live entertainment in Japan is strongly dominated by domestic acts, with overseas acts declining in both market share and raw attendances. The leading source of overseas artists remains South Korea thanks to the continuing popularity of K-Pop. The United States and Europe remain some way behind, while Asia and Oceania are in the ascendant, albeit from a relatively low starting point. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Rock festivals such as Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic still seek out big name overseas artists such as Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers as headliners, but elsewhere are expanding their domestic content. This reflects a long-running decline in the commercial influence of foreign music in Japan, as audiences increasingly identify with domestically produced, Japaneselanguage artists. One area of particular growth in the market has been in the area of talk and meet-and-greet events, which reflects the personality-led nature of much entertainment in Japan. In particular, the “idol groups” that dominate the pop music scene are marketed just as much on their accessibility through such meet-and-greet events as they are on their music. TAXES AND CHARGES Convenience store ticket machines include a selling commission of ¥216 (€1.91), a system fee of ¥210 (€1.85) and a ticketing fee of ¥105 (€0.90) per ticket including VAT (total ¥525/€4.64). A typical breakdown of administration fees includes an agency commission of 8%, plus a paper cost of ¥10.5 (€0.09) per ticket.


LUXEMBOURG Languages: Luxembourgish, French, German Population (millions): 0.6 | Currency: Euro GDP/Capita (US$): 99,000 | Internet Users (millions): 0.6 Active Smartphones (millions): no data Population % aged 15-24: 12.3 | Population % aged 25-54: 44.3


t may be one of Europe’s smallest countries with a population of just 562,000, but Luxembourg punches way above its weight in terms of the acts that visit. That success, in part, is down to the existence of the 6,500-capacity Rockhal arena, sister venue, Rockhal Box (1,100-cap) and the den Atelier club (1,200). The country’s easy accessibility from across the borders in Belgium, France and Germany is also key to the health of the local live entertainment sector. PRIMARY TICKETING Unlike other European territories, there is no dominant ticketing provider in Luxembourg, as both Rockhal and den Atelier operate their own ticket platforms. Promoters also use ticketing agents in neighbouring countries to shift inventory.

SECONDARY TICKETING Luxembourg has no secondary-ticketing sites of its own. Rockhal’s Thomas Roscheck says resales are not a major issue but for bigger shows they are becoming more prevalent. “We recently had a Red Hot Chili Peppers show that sold out in 19 minutes, so the secondary market definitely got involved after that,” he reports. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Rockhal sells around 60% of its tickets through its own Etix-driven system, and Roscheck says online/mobile sales are still rising – accounting for about 85% of total sales now. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Boasting one of the most prosperous populations in the world is not enough for Luxembourg’s live industry to ensure healthy ticket sales, and shows are therefore marketed in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and even the UK. “It depends on a few aspects – the artist, of course, but also the tour routing,” explains Roscheck. “For example, if a big tour only has one French date, in Paris, then that gives us enormous potential for ticket sales in France.” TAXES AND CHARGES The local tax on tickets is 3%, while service charges, etc, vary. Rockhal, for instance, charges a 10% fee up to a maximum of €5 per ticket, but that includes credit-card costs and all other related fees.

London, 8-10 March 2017

MEXICO Language: Spanish | Population (millions): 21.7 Currency: Peso | GDP/Capita (US$): 17,500 Internet Users (millions): 69.9 | Active Smartphones (millions): 33.4 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 215 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 276

Madonna took her Rebel Heart tour to the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City in January 2016


exico’s regional narco-wars may make up a disproportionate share of its international headlines, but with a population of 110m, there is a lot more to the country than drugs and violence. Its economy is the second-largest in Latin America, and Mexico City is the largest city in the Americas. PRIMARY TICKETING The word ‘monopoly’ comes up a lot in discussions regarding the Mexican live business, where CIE’s Ocesa has ruled the market since 1991 and, as a promoter, still outsells its nearest rival by almost two to one. Ocesa shows sold 3.19m tickets in 2015, according to Pollstar – a little way down on 2014’s 3.34m, but still some way ahead of Zignia Live’s 1.63m. Both Ocesa and Zignia have ticketing and venues in the family. CIE operates Ocesa and Ticketmaster Mexico, as well as venues including Foro Sol and Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City. Zignia Live, which controls the Arena Monterrey and the four-year-old Mexico City Arena, is the live music wing of Mexican conglomerate Avalanz, which also owns ticketing runner-up Superboletos. Venues assign the ticketing contract in Mexico, so promoters do of course sell through unrelated ticketing companies, but in numerous cases a single corporate owner might promote the show, own the venue and sell the tickets. In May, COFECE, Mexico’s federal competition commission, announced an investigation into the live entertainment business, with the aim of sniffing out abuses of power, exclusives, boycotts, predatory pricing and other shady practices. The commission has invited affected parties to get in touch, though it stressed it is investigating with an open mind, and with no one company specifically in its sights. SECONDARY TICKETING The line between primary and secondary ticketing is

blurring internationally, and a potential hybrid represents possibly the biggest threat to the status quo in Mexico. StubHub launched in Mexico in May, just as parent company eBay acquired Spanish ticket marketplace Ticketbis, the secondary market leader in Latin America and southern Europe, with the aim of strengthening StubHub’s hand outside the US. In Mexico, where Ticketbis has a strong presence, the arrival of its powerful new owner signals another local battle in the international war between Live Nation and StubHub. In the US, the latter recently revealed plans for a primary platform to take the fight to Ticketmaster’s home turf. Viagogo is active in Mexico too, and so are old-fashioned online and offline touts, who operate unimpeded, and even, it is said, help venues to shift discounted tickets for underperforming shows. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Internet use is increasing in Mexico, but it remains low by international standards, with just 53.8% of the population online by last year [source: eMarketer]. But smartphone prices are coming down and e-commerce in general is increasingly popular. Nonetheless, physical tickets from box offices remain easily the most common type for most shows, though festivals and other youth-targeted events are said to sell more strongly online. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Mexico is a rich, fascinating territory, and the indications are that its economy – the engine of any live market – is increasingly sturdy. In the Mexico City Arena, the country also has the fourth busiest venue in the world this year. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Mexico has a wealth of national and regional music stars in styles such as norteño and banda, and though cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey are squarely on the international circuit, Mexico doesn’t need overseas acts to have a good time. The country’s rich musical output was illustrated in a small way by Spotify’s recent addition of 20 Mexican playlists – Mexico City is the streaming giant’s single biggest consumer of local and international artists, and Mexico as a whole its third biggest market. VALUE OF MARKET The Mexican live market isn’t measured, though estimates have put concert revenues at around $250m (€221m) in recent years. TAXES AND CHARGES VAT stands at 16% on tickets, while booking fees can range between 12-20%.


THE NETHERLANDS Language: Dutch | Population (millions): 16.9 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 49,200 Internet Users (millions): 15.8 | Active Smartphones (millions): 15.4 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 612 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 669

PRIMARY TICKETING Eventim and Ticketmaster are battling out the leading position in the field of full-service retailers in the Netherlands, with some insiders claiming the Live Nation company has a slight advantage. Other, small primary players include Ticketpoint and NTK. There’s a raft of self-service companies as well, around 15 in total, with Paylogic and Ticketscript being the largest.

Concert at SEA is the fastest selling festival in the Netherlands, according to promoter Agents After All

© Set Vexy


he Dutch festival market grew by 4.5% in 2015 to a total of 837 festivals taking place across the country. More than 23m people visited those events (more than the entire Dutch population), which marks a new record. Only Amsterdam, the capital, seems to have reached a point of saturation, with one festival less taking place compared to the year before. One of the major developments in the Dutch market this year saw more than 30 festivals join forces under the umbrella of a new association called De Verenigde Podiumkunstenfestivals, whose goal is to lobby government for money and also raise awareness for the cultural importance of live music. Another highlight included the allocation of a bad weather fund by the Performing Arts Fund NL. All festivals subsidised by either the country’s ministry of education, culture and science or the perennial Rijkscultuurfondsen, the country’s culture fund, will have access to €500,000 to make up losses that result from unexpected weather situations, one of them being the losses from shrinking ticket sales.

DISTRIBUTION OF SALES “The Netherlands is a very online-orientated market,” says Henk Schuit, managing director of According to his estimates, around 90 to 95% of tickets are sold online, “with mobile use growing very quickly. Probably around 30-35% of total ticket sales are generated through mobile.” A small amount of people still order via phone (4-8%), and even fewer buy at the box office (1-3%). While mobile is rapidly picking up momentum as a sales channel, it’s still only used as the ticket in 3-8% of cases. Most tickets are still print- at-home (70-75%). Paper tickets make up the rest. While the majority of ticket sales are for international content (65-70%), “local is growing faster than international,” Schuit says. However, no one ITY approached was able to provide a breakdown of their areas of sales.

SECONDARY TICKETING Agents After All’s Arjan de Mooij says that “a very strong secondary market platform called” is now operating in the Dutch market. “Consumers find it reliable and easy to use since you can only mark up to 20% on a ticket, and you get to check out someone’s Facebook profile [to see] if it’s a reliable buyer.” Other measures to curb the market include “more and more festivals using personalised ticketing, for example, our own festival Concert at SEA, and festivals like Tomorrowland or Mysteryland.” Despite the established players operating successfully in the market, according to De Mooij, “new ticketing solutions are still popping up, who all think they are [technologically] better than the existing companies out there. “But,” he continues, “I believe it takes more than just a ticketing solution, such as a good customer service department and reliable people you work with on a daily basis to sell-out festivals with 40,000 visitors a day. Which companies like Paylogic and Ticketmaster have in place.” Other players include the usual suspects, Viagogo and Seatwave, as well as local offers such as Topticketshop and Tickettribune.

TAXES AND CHARGES While there’s been a lot of debate regarding how to tax live entertainment shows, last year’s VAT rate of 6% still holds. Eventim charges an undisclosed “service fee per ticket plus a fee per transaction to cover payment costs.”

RFID/CASHLESS All of our readers in the Netherlands will have worn a Dutchband wristband at some point. That’s because it is the number one player in the country. In terms of RFID, Playpass and Intellitix are also active in the market.





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NORWAY Languages: Norwegian, Sami | Population (millions): 5.2 Currency: Krone | GDP/Capita (US$): 68,400 Internet Users (millions): 5.0 | Active Smartphones (millions): 4.2 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 354 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 385


he second-richest country in Europe by GDP thanks to its gas and oil wealth, Norway is a good spot for live music, particularly in wealthy Oslo and second city Bergen. From a ticketing perspective, it is a Ticketmaster heartland, though CTS Eventim’s Nordic machinations make it a Scandinavian rival to watch. PRIMARY TICKETING Ticketmaster’s Billettservice rules the roost in Norway, much as it has since the early 1970s when it initially distributed its tickets through post offices. Billettportalen, operated by Danish group Venuepoint, provides the competition, and that has hotted up since March, when owner Nordisk Film merged its ticketing operations with those of German giant CTS Eventim. “With the joint venture, we have a strong offering to the market in terms of ticketing technology and marketing services and solutions,” says Venuepoint CEO Christoffer Feilberg. “We see a strong demand in business intelligence and marketing solutions and services, and we have positioned ourselves as a marketing agency, which is very much in line with the approach we have always had – to become a partner with our clients.” Norway is a typical Nordic market where venues, not promoters, contract the ticketing platform, and Billettservice’s relationships with key venues and festivals remain strong. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES In tech-happy Norway, online transaction rates have risen from below half to more than 80% in recent years, with some youth-centric events registering higher still. “Online ticket sales are the most common, followed by box office sales and outlets,” says Ticketmaster Norway managing director Kristian Seljeset. “However, this differs greatly from segment to segment.” In Norway, as across the rest of the region, mobile is a fast-growing channel. Venuepoint’s Billettportalen, for instance, now sees 38% of its transactions via mobile and tablet (compared to 32% in Sweden and 39% in Denmark), with all three countries registering more than half of online views via a mobile device. VALUE OF MARKET Norway’s live music business was worth NOK1.8bn (€190m) in 2014, according to the Ministry of Culture and Arts Council Norway. The live music business accounts for more than half of the country’s overall music revenues. SECONDARY TICKETING Selling tickets at above face value is an offence under Norwegian law so secondary ticketing is not an issue. However, people will list on secondary markets based in other countries to circumvent this.


Norwegian rock act Seigmen at this year’s Slottsfjell festival

INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Norway continues to produce acts of international standing, particularly on the electronic front, with Susanne Sundfør, Röyksöpp and Lindstrøm among the country’s marquee names, along with pop heroes A-ha. A heavy programme of international artists comes through the country and foreign acts underpin major festivals such as Øya and the concert series Bergen Live, but local artists hold their own, live and on record: 26.3% of music sold and streamed in Norway was domestically produced last year, up from a 22% share in 2014. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Norway has a disproportionately high number of festivals for a country of its population, and 1.8m people – or 40% of the total Norwegian population – visited a festival in 2014 [source: Kunnskapsverket]. Ticket prices are high relative to most of Europe, but then so are local incomes, and so are artist fees. TAXES AND CHARGES Music (including classical) and comedy tickets are all exempt from VAT in Norway, though tickets for sporting events are subject to a tax of 10%. Ticketing fees to the promoter are not atypical in Norway as the three main providers agree different rates (sometimes percentage and sometimes flat amount) with each promoter client.

POLAND Language: Polish | Population (millions): 38.6 Currency: Złoty/Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 26,500 Internet Users (millions): 26.2 | Active Smartphones (millions): 24.2 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 190 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 186


oland has recently been enjoying a resurgence of disco polo, a genre that cannot be explained, but has to be experienced (check out YouTube). The genre experienced a boom in the 90s, and seems to be back, attracting up to 60,000 people to a single show. PRIMARY TICKETING The maket leader is eBilet. Marcin Matuszewski claims his company has a 35% market share, which he attributes largely to the fact that eBilet is an independent Polish company that knows the market and its needs inside out. Matuszewski puts Eventim second with around 22%, followed by Ticketpro (17%), Ticketmaster (6%), and “plenty of small companies” including Slovak outfit Ticketportal, which is steadily growing its Polish business. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Online is the most important sales channel in Poland, with mobile becoming an increasingly important point of sale. According to Matuszewski, 40% of eBilet’s traffic already derives from mobile devices. “Box office sales are slowly diminishing by

David Gilmour began the European leg of his 2016 Rattle That Lock tour in Wrocław’s Freedom Square

the year,” he adds. According to Ticketmaster: “[their] online sales make up the bulk, with outlets the majority of the remainder.” Matuszewski reports that a third of the tickets sold through eBilet are print-at-home, and estimates that the overall market value is PLN600m (€138m), PLN500m (€116m) of which is generated online. The promoter cites the average ticket price as €17. Ticketmaster contends that, “paper tickets represent the vast majority, with print-at-home accounting for nearly a third of the tickets we sell.” The company estimates the overall value of the Polish ticket market at “up to 3.5m tickets” based on the information it gets from promoters. Mateusz Cwalina is sales manager for Stodola, a company that operates as a concert promoter, has its own ticketing system and runs a venue by the same name. In the year 2015/2016, of the 110 shows that took place in the Warsaw club, around 75% featured national acts. While Klub Stodola cooperates with the major companies, Eventim, eBilet and Ticketpro, it also uses its own ticket-selling system and box office at the venue. “A large number of tickets sold for concerts in Stodola come from our system. We offer our customers collector tickets so depending on the concert we have 15-25% of tickets sold at the box office, with the remainder sold online,” Cwalina says, adding that mobile tickets are becoming increasingly popular, confirming the overall trend. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Rock/pop is easily the most popular genre in Poland, with classical music bringing up the rear, at least for Ticketmaster, where the genre represents around 10% of sales. The Polish live music market is dominated by local artists, at least in terms of volume of shows. Matuszewski confirms this, stating that his gut feeling tells him that, as far as quantity is concerned, the majority of tickets are sold for Polish acts, but that international acts generate more turnover. This is confirmed by Ticketmaster, which reports that just one quarter of the share is international, with national making up the majority. SECONDARY TICKETING The secondary market is still in early development. “I don’t have sales numbers, but they’re not huge. We do not feel it in any way,” Matuszewski says. The same goes for RFID or cashless offerings that have yet to enter the market. TAXES AND CHARGES VAT is 8% and the authors’ society rate of 7-10% is “the highest in Europe,” according to Matuszewski, who adds: “We sometimes add service charge (1-3 %), everything depends on the deal with the promoter.” According to Ticketmaster, “typically around 5-8%” booking and administration fees are added.


PORTUGAL Language: Portuguese | Population (millions): 10.8 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 27,800 Internet Users (millions): 7.4 | Active Smartphones (millions): no data Live music market 2015 (US$m): 116 Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 109


ortugal has been one of the countries hit hardest by the European economic crisis. Luckily, “the economic situation is recovering slowly and in a sustainable way as the tourism area is one of the strategic areas identified by the government, which is good for entertainment activity,” according to Jorge Vinha da Silva, managing director of Blueticket. PRIMARY TICKETING Two companies dominate: Blueticket and Ticketline. Rita Amado, Ticketline’s e-commerce manager, says the company has a market leader share of around 70%. She also points to a third player called BOL. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Most tickets in Portugal are sold through retail outlets (51%), 22% online, and 27% at the respective venue’s box office. Blueticket

ROMANIA Language: Romanian | Population (millions): 21.7 Currency: Leu | GDP/Capita (US$): 20,800 Internet Users (millions): 12.1 | Active Smartphones (millions): no data Population % aged 15-24: 10.9 | Population % aged 25-54: 45.9


omania’s live business is still recovering from the Colectiv nightclub fire in Bucharest that took place in October 2015. It was one of the main venues for live gigs, and following the fire, similar spaces had to close as well, as they did not meet regulations. “There are only a few venues [remaining] where we can do live shows,” explains BestMusic’s Emil Ionescu, one of the few professionals who could actually be reached during these tough times for the Romanian live sector. PRIMARY TICKETING Eventim controls around half the ticketing market in Romania., which is owned by BestMusic, and each have around a 20% market share, while the rest belongs to smaller players. One of last year’s main players,, is currently struggling to get “back on track,” as one industry source puts it.


puts its online share at 38%. It also says 85% of sales are print-athome or mobile tickets, the remainder being paper tickets, contrary to the general market, which still prefers hard tickets (66%) to print-at-home (34%), according to Amado. Retailer Fnac (powered by Blueticket) is also a popular desitination for ticket buyers. VALUE OF MARKET Ticketline and Blueticket arrive at different numbers regarding the overall market worth. Bluetickets says it’s worth €200m per year, while Ticketline puts the number at €100m. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES 41% of Ticketline’s tickets are sold for live concerts; 35% for theatre, comedy, ballet, opera and musical; 22% for festivals; and 2% for sports. The company mainly deals in domestic shows, and cooperates with Canada’s for international events. Blueticket is stronger in sports (15%), weaker in theatre (20%) and around the same with concerts (45%). It sells the majority of international content (65%). SECONDARY TICKETING There’s no secondary market in Portugal as it is prohibited by law, but the country feels the effects of the secondary market in neighbouring Spain. TAXES AND CHARGES VAT for shows is 13%, whereas sports events are taxed at 23%. Blueticket charges a 6% commission for online sales or €1 at the front end. Ticketline takes a 3% commission.

DISTRIBUTION OF SALES According to Ionescu, 90% of the tickets sells are print-at-home. “That also includes our electronic in-app tickets on iOS and Android devices,” he adds. Only 10% are sold physically. He estimates the overall market value at “roughly around €15m to €20m per year, maybe more.” This estimate is based on the number of shows, the medium number of attendees offset against ticket prices, as well as the turnover reported by ticketing companies. Mainstream pop/rock artists make up around 60% of ticket sales. Classical and comedy acts are responsible for 10% each, while the remainder is made up of other genres. Around 70% is international content, the rest Romanian. TAXES AND CHARGES Ionescu explains that 1% of sales revenues go to the Red Cross, 7% to the artists’ rights organisations, and 2-5% to the local authorities. The latter does not include VAT, which is another 5%. Administration fees charged by ticketing companies are between 6-10%. SECONDARY TICKETING The secondary market is virtually non-existent in Romania. And the same holds true for wristband/RFID suppliers. “We buy them from Hungary. There’s no company here doing this,” Ionescu tells ITY.

RUSSIA Language: Russian, Tatar | Population (millions): 142.4 Currency: Ruble | GDP/Capita (US$): 25,400 Internet Users (millions): 104.6 | Active Smartphones (millions): no data Live music market 2015 (US$m): 553 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 557

Muse played Park Live in Moscow’s Olympijskiy Stadium in June 2016


espite being such a vast country with many significantsized cities, St. Petersburg is the only city that most international touring artists tend to include in their routing outside of the highly developed, dynamic and competitive market of Moscow. Generally, each ticket agency and concert hall (depending on size), has its own proprietary platform. Foreign ticketing players are still a new concept, although CTS Eventim was the official ticketing provider for the Sochi winter Olympics in 2014 and has a growing presence in Russia. However, the country is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2018, which should bring in the international ticketing giants and local promoters are expecting more activity from foreign operators in 2017. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Russian ticket and event markets are highly fragmented. About 1,500 organisers operate on the concert market, generally operating in their home region or in Moscow and St. Petersburg. A level above the organisers are promoters, who buy national tours and sell event dates in individual cities to local organisers. Venues rarely act as event organisers and usually earn money by leasing premises, selling tickets in the box office, running a bar and hosting corporate events. Exceptions are Yotaspace Club (hosting 200 concerts per year with Ponominalu as general ticket operator) and Teleclub. Most theatres are still state-owned, but there are a number of distributors of musicals (Stage Musical is the largest) and non-repertory theatres. The sports market is divided into club sports (clubs receive big donations and are rarely interested in selling tickets through operators), sports teams and federations (international and domestic tournaments), and commercial sports (primarily boxing and other fighting sports where Ponominalu considers itself the leader due to its a contract with major promoters). Russia is predominantly a cash market, so ticketing kiosks are important. Agencies also employ couriers to deliver tickets and take cash or credit card payment on delivery.

PRIMARY TICKETING In Russia, the basis of the market is official operators selling tickets obtained from event organisers. Among the top ticketing operations are Kassir, Parter (owned by CTS Eventim), Muzbilet, Ponominalu, Ticketland, Concert, Redkassa and Yandex Tickets. There are a number of business models in the ticketing market: ticket operators that organise events; ticket operators that finance events, but do not bear risks; ticket operators specialising in offline ticket offices; and ticket operators specialising in online products. Ticket brokers are another fragmented market with over 100 players having average gross incomes of about $2m (€1.8m) per year. The developers of ticket booking software are a separate sector, as those players usually do not operate on the b2c market, rather they provide solutions allowing organisers to sell tickets on their own behalf. Such operations include Radario, Tickets Cloud, Intickets and Dilyaver. In addition, most ticket operators also provide organisers with ticket booking software. Some market players have agreements for exchanging ticket-related information. For example, Ponominalu provides access to its database to Kassir and Redkassa. In turn, Ponominaluu is connected to the databases of Intickets and Dilyaver. SECONDARY TICKETING The ticket resale market is significantly developed in Moscow and accumulates up to $200m (€180m) per year. The basis of this market is providing tickets to the Bolshoi Theatre and other similar key event venues, as well as international sports events. Over 100 companies operate on this market and there are no apparent leaders. International services, such as Viagogo, StubHub, etc. are virtually non-existent. VALUE OF MARKET The annual event tickets market in Russia is valued at €1.92bn. Subtracting cinema from that top figure brings the market down to €1.18bn. The live music market is dominated by the two main cities, with Moscow and St. Petersburg accounting for €140m – half of the €280m for the nation as a whole. Concerts at clubs account for about €28.5m. According to PwC, the estimated the concert market in Russian in 2016 will amount to $769m (€689m). TAXES AND CHARGES Service fees vary depending on the genre of entertainment, but typically run from 5-10%. This report was prepared by Vladimir Kravchenko, general director of Colisium Music Conference, using research conducted by Sergei Babich, Colisium executive director.


SINGAPORE Languages: Mandarin, English, Malay | Population (millions): 5.7 Currency: Dollar | GDP/Capita (US$): 85,300 Internet Users (millions): 4.7 | Active Smartphones (millions): 6.8 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 50 Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 60


he city-state of Singapore is small, but well entertained, with a wide array of Western and Asian music, theatrical and sporting entertainment for its 5.7m residents.

PRIMARY TICKETING SISTIC operated for years as a government created monopoly. It still claims the lion’s share (around 80%) of venues, promoters and theatre groups, though competition has intensified since the Singapore Sports Hub development set-up its own in-house Sports Hub Tix service, which serves the Indoor Stadium, the National Stadium, OCBC Aquatic Centre and OCBC Arena. In a tech-friendly market, there are always social start-ups in the mix. Japanese-headquartered Peatix last year closed a $5m funding round. Peatix helps event organisers create an online community around their events. SECONDARY TICKETING Scalping is illegal in Singapore.

DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Singapore’s Internet and mobile penetration rate is among the highest in the region, at 82% and 88%,respectively, but traditional habits retain a foothold. “At SISTIC, more than half of the tickets are sold online. However, there are customers who prefer to buy tickets over the counter,” says SISTIC CEO Kenneth Tan. “We cater to this by ensuring we work with shopping malls, signing them up as our authorised agents to sell our tickets at their information counters. Our agent sales are ranked number two, after our online sales.” Mobile is small but growing. “Mobile or electronic tickets require venues to be equipped with supporting technology such as scanners to validate e-ticket barcodes,” says Tan, who adds that increasing numbers of venues are investing to do so. VALUE OF MARKET There were 3,256 ticketed music, theatre and dance events in 2014, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth – up from 3,006 in 2013. A total of 1.5m tickets were sold in 2014, of which 611,264 were for music events. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Singapore is one of the key entertainment hubs in Asia. SISTIC reports equal demand for both Western and Asian acts. TAXES AND CHARGES SISTIC and Sports Hub Tix both collect a booking fee of $1-4, depending on the price of the ticket.

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Language: Slovak Currency: Euro Internet Users (millions): 4.6 Population % aged 15-24: 11.8

The Prodigy was one of the headline acts at the 20th anniversary of Pohoda Festival in 2016


umours of the impending arrival of CTS Eventim have been a prominent topic of discussion among Slovak promoters in recent years, but with only cross-border activity at the moment, the nation’s home-grown operation Ticketportal remains the dominant force. Indeed, Ticketportal is a local success story, thanks to its expansion into other territories including neighbouring Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, as well as farther afield in Bulgaria, while moves are afoot to establish further footholds in Austria, Belarus and Romania. PRIMARY TICKETING With clients including Slovakia’s biggest festival, Pohoda (which celebrated its 20th year in 2016), Ticketportal remains the largest ticketing operator and sells inventory across different genres of entertainment, thanks in no small part to an impressive network of physical stores and automated ticket kiosks, while its platform is one of the country’s most popular event discovery sites. Its main competitors include, which is outperforming ticketing giant Eventim locally. Sources suggest Ticketportal enjoys a market share upwards of 75%

| | | |

Population (millions): 5.4 GDP/Capita (US$): 29,700 Active Smartphones (millions): 3.3 Population % aged 25-54: 45.2

across all ticketing in the country, helped by a network of 1,800 points of sale including state-owned post offices. Although it is still to open full operations in Slovakia, Eventim is beginning to have an impact on the Slovakian market, thanks to the ambitions of its affiliate in neighbouring Austria. However, given the close proximity of the Slovak capital, Bratislava, with Vienna, many Eventim tickets sold in Slovakia tend to be for events across the border in Austria. was founded by Slovak Internet search engine Zoznam, which is owned by T-Mobile. Despite the parent company’s rebranding as T-com, Predpredaj is still able to use Zoznam’s power as a media partner. Real Something’s Tatiania Lehocká, a promoter and artist manager, observes, “Predpredaj. sk has increased the number of stores selling their tickets. It is now not just T-mobile stores, but music shops, bookshops, travel agencies and other places too – 149 physical outlets in total.” Among the smaller ticketing operations with a presence in Slovakia is Interticket (from Hungary). Prague-based Ticketstream had a small historic presence in the country, but has now shelved its Slovak operations. “Interticket is getting more clients,” comments Lehocká, “and there is also Ticket Art, which sells tickets for musicals, theatres, rock and pop concerts, and festivals. It is bigger in the Czech Republic, where it has over 500 physical outlets, but in Slovakia it has 100 stores.” DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Ticketportal’s Lucia Bočánková reports that the company is experiencing more growth in its white-label ticketing services than it did a year ago. “Online sales are growing, but with the delivery method of e-tickets, rather than mobile ticketing,” she reveals. Lehocká notes, “There are still fans who want to have a physical ticket, possibly with nice band or festival artwork, that they can keep as a souvenir. However, the print-at-home ticket option is constantly on the rise, because it is so convenient. Furthermore, people more often have their tickets only in their phones as a code (if it is an option).” SECONDARY TICKETING Bočánková comments, “The secondary-ticketing market does not cause any problems yet, but the question is how long?” Promoter Lehocká agrees, “There is still no secondary ticketing in Slovakia, where people are not used to sold-out shows. But I believe that because the biggest live acts do not play here, these secondary ticketing companies have no interest to come to Slovakia. If more of the biggest acts play here, I am sure they will show up.” TAXES AND CHARGES Booking fees in Slovakia are typically between 6-10%.


SOUTH AFRICA Languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Sotho | Population (millions): 53.7 Currency: Rand | GDP/Capita (US$): 13,200 Internet Users (millions): 27.9 | Active Smartphones (millions): 26.3 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 87 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 128


he South African live market remains by some distance the most westernised and developed on the African continent, though there are hopes that its key music cities – Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban – could provide the foundation for a wider circuit that could also include Luanda, capital of Angola, Gaborone in Botswana and Accra in Ghana. In the past couple of years, South Africa has hosted stadium shows from international acts including One Direction, Foo Fighters, Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé, Roxette and Lionel Richie. Big Concerts, the Live Nation partner behind all the above shows, was formally acquired by the US giant in February. The deal marked the corporate titan’s formal entry into Africa and potentially heralded an age in which South Africa is no longer the world’s most remote stand-alone market. PRIMARY TICKETING Promoters in South Africa have a choice between platforms such as Computicket, Ticketpro, iTickets and Webtickets, although the market also sustains a variety of white-label solutions including Quicket, Plankton, Tixsa and UKheadquartered NuTickets. Computicket, South Africa’s historic market leader, was hit with Competition Commission claims of exclusionary and anti-competitive practices in 2010, relating to exclusivity clauses in its contracts with venues and festivals. No ruling has yet been made, but promoters and festivals still tend to work exclusively with a particular provider. Big Concerts and Hilltop Live are among those who use Computicket although white-label services have made a dent in the market leader’s power. Steyn Entertainment’s Rocking the Daisies and In The City festivals are among those who use NuTickets. Tickets for Limpopo’s famously eccentric Oppikoppi Festival can be had through both Computicket and Hilltop Live’s own Plankton service. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES The South African market harbours both ultra-modern and highly traditional consumers. Tixsa reports that roughly 60% of sales now take place online, with 60% of those via mobile or another smart device. “Everything is happening mobile and online now. Companies are all moving towards apps,” says Tixsa CEO Charlene McKenzie, who reports that mobile payment and delivery are extremely popular among younger audiences. Equally, she notes, plenty of South Africans don’t possess a credit card, and older audiences cling to the paper ticket, so most events still deploy box offices of some kind. Computicket retains a massive network of partner stores, including hundreds of stores in the Shoprite retail group, and also sells online, with a print-at-home option. As well as its own online


options, Webtickets has a deal with the country’s second largest supermarket chain, Pick n Pay, allowing customers to reserve online and collect in person. Given the relatively small margin on tickets, many South African ticketing firms also operate other services. Tixsa offers event management services, including a variety of data and marketing options. Webtickets and Plankton are among those offering cashless systems, which are increasingly being introduced at major shows. VALUE OF MARKET Consumer spending on live music in South Africa amounted to ZAR1bn (€63m) in 2014, the year live revenues overtook those for recorded music. The gap will widen over the next five years, with live music revenue expected to grow at 7.9%, reaching ZAR1.5bn (€95m) in 2019 [source: PwC]. SECONDARY TICKETING Viagogo is the secondary market leader in South Africa, though demand for tickets doesn’t necessarily always reach critical levels. In 2014, Ultra South Africa festival inked a deal with Viagogo to sell tickets. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES South Africa laps up major international artists, but there are only so many that will make the trip in a given year. “We’ve seen an increase in tourist attraction ticket sales, a slight decrease in music concerts and consistent sales in lifestyle events – a reflection of the current economic environment,” says Webtickets’ general manager Alison Cartmill. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Like many other markets, South Africa is at the mercy of its currency, which devalued 30% against both the Yen and the US dollar in the year to July 2016. Clearly, that makes international fees both expensive and highly variable in relation to ticket revenues. TAXES AND CHARGES A 14% VAT is applied to ticket sales, and fees can vary from 6% up to as much as 15%, depending on the provider.

Big Concerts hosted Mariah Carey at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium in April 2016

SPAIN Language: Spanish | Population (millions): 48.1 Currency: Euro | GDP/Capita (US$): 34,800 Internet Users (millions): 37.9 | Active Smartphones (millions): 33.7 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 339 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 334


he last 12 months have seen the Spanish economy continue its slow recovery from recession, with the number of unemployed falling by 678,000 last year. Meanwhile, the Spanish live music market has hosted blockbuster tours from the likes of AC/DC, U2, wildly popular Mexican rock band Maná and Madonna, on its way to a second year of growth. There is, as a result, some optimism in the ticketing business. At the same time, the market has been caught up in controversy over issues including taxes and secondary sales, which threaten to overshadow high-profile 2016 concerts from Adele, Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay. PRIMARY TICKETING Ticketmaster remains the largest primary ticketing operator in Spain, with an estimated 50% market share. It works with the majority of promoters, especially on the big, blockbuster concerts. In terms of ticketing volume, Eventim-owned (which sells a lot of tickets for theatre and sports) is also important, while department store El Corte Ingles remains a favourite retailer for fans. Next come two very different propositions: Spanish ticketing start-up Ticketea, which works a lot with independent promoters; and Atrapalo, an online ‘travel agent’ that operates in Spain and Latin America, offering gig and festival tickets alongside travel, hotels and other leisure options. Many music promoters also use DIY platforms Codeticket and Onebox. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Local promoters say about 80% of ticket sales are online, with 20% from the box office, although this varies wildly depending on the type of event. Mobile ticketing and print-athome are still niche, but growing in importance. According to a Ticketmaster spokesperson, more than half of its tickets are print-at-home, followed by paper tickets, with the remainder a combination of mobile and paperless. VALUE OF MARKET In 2014, the live sector in Spain turned around years of decline with revenue up 9.76% year-on-year to €173.5m, according to live promoter association APM. The following year the market rose 12.1% to €194.5m, returning the market to similar levels enjoyed in 2011 before the controversial introduction of 21% VAT on ‘cultural goods.’ APM says the 2015 results were thanks to the consolidation of Spain’s festival sector and the return of large touring stadium acts, like AC/DC, who played to 150,000 people over three dates in 2015. SECONDARY TICKETING Recent months have seen the issue of secondary ticketing really come to the fore in Spain, following a number of high-

profile cases in which tickets for hotly anticipated gigs (notably Bruce Springsteen and Adele) sold out within hours. Ticketmaster sold all 60,000 tickets for Springsteen’s Madrid gig in three hours, only for tickets to immediately reappear on sites (including Ticketmaster subsidiary Seatwave), prompting a formal complaint from consumer rights group FACUA. Promoter Doctor Music published a stinging criticism of the leading secondary ticketing sites operating in Spain: Seatwave, TengoEntradas, Ticketbis, Viagogo and Entradas 365, adding international operators TicketNetwork, TicketLiquidator and WorldTicketsShop to that list. Ticketbis, a local start-up that launched in 2010, has become one of the largest ticket resale sites in Spain. Ticketbis sued Doctor Music for libel, but the case has gone quiet after eBay paid $165m (€145m) to acquire Ticketbis in May 2016. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES International acts dominate the Spanish box office, accounting for around 60% of ticket sales. Spain has a notable predilection for Latin American acts: Maná sold some 120,000 tickets over eight shows in 2015, while Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra attracted 100,000 fans to his eight shows. In terms of genre, pop rock and dance dominate. CULTURAL ANALYSIS While the Spanish live music industry has now seen two years of consecutive growth, it is a market that remains hugely concentrated in four areas: Catalonia (home to Primavera Sound and Sónar), Madrid, the Basque Country (home to Bilbao BBK Live), and Valencia (Benicàssim). Without festivals the equation becomes even more limited, with most international touring bands only playing Madrid and Barcelona (with Bilbao a distant third). The Spanish market is also very reliant on big stadium acts to sell tickets. Little wonder, then, that APM claims that some 80% of promoters are in a difficult financial situation. TAXES AND CHARGES Local collecting society SGAE takes 10% of concert revenues and there is a 21% VAT rate on ‘cultural goods’ in Spain including tickets. However, both levies are incredibly unpopular among promoters, with moves under way to change the situation. In May 2014, Spanish promoters organised a ‘day without music’ in protest of the VAT rate, which is one of the highest in Europe, and they continue to push for reform. The situation with SGAE is more complicated. In 2014, Spanish competition regulator CNMC ordered SGAE to set a ‘fair’ rate for live concerts, contrasting the 10% rate with the 3% levy in the UK. SGAE, however, has yet to make a change, and has subsequently lost an appeal against the regulator’s ruling.


SWEDEN Language: Swedish | Population (millions): 9.8 Currency: Krona | GDP/Capita (US$): 47,900 Internet Users (millions): 8.9 | Active Smartphones (millions): 9.1 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 440 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 560

PRIMARY TICKETING Ticketmaster’s Ticnet is no.1 in Sweden, selling 12m tickets a year to 25,000 events, with 1.1m monthly visits to its website. Tickster is a strong competitor, while in 2015, AEG’s AXS, which already had a stake of its own in Swedish ticketing, acquired Swedish sports specialist Transticket, promising “Sweden’s ultimate music and sports ticketing platform.” But potentially more bullish still was the announcement in March 2016 of a joint venture between CTS Eventim and Scandinavian ticketing company Venuepoint, which operates Sweden’s Biljettforum among other Nordic portals. Given that Eventim part-owns the equally thrusting FKP Scorpio, which now stands as Live Nation’s main threat in the region, the clear implication is that the German giant means business. However, Ticnet’s retail business is the tip of the iceberg, as many venues process sales through the Ticnet platform. Nevertheless, savvy promoters are circumventing venue exclusivity deals with heavily loaded show pre-sales. “Our goal is definitely to challenge Ticketmaster,” says Venuepoint CEO Christoffer Feilberg. “Now we have more resources and new technology, and everybody really wants to go for this, so it’s going to be interesting for the next couple of years.” DISTRIBUTION OF SALES With just SEK80bn (€8.6bn) now in circulation, Sweden is well on its way to being a cashless society, and old fashioned tickets are dying too, with printable and mobile e-tickets the order of the day. VALUE OF MARKET Domestic revenues from concerts and festivals in Sweden amounted to more than SEK4.2bn (€450m) in 2014, or 51% of total Swedish music revenues, with 10% of that coming from concerts and tours abroad [source: Musiksverige]. SECONDARY TICKETING While large-scale secondary ticketing is blocked by law in Denmark and Finland, Sweden is different. “In Sweden, we see some problems,” says Feilberg. “Professionals are creating a secondary market, and sometimes people are selling tickets that are incorrectly labelled to get a higher price.” Viagogo offers Swedish shows, and e-ticket swap site TicketSwap also operates in Sweden. Tickster, a primary


Bruce Springsteen smashed his own attendance records thanks to three 2016 stadium shows promoted by Live Nation in Gothenburg

© Natalie Greppi


n wealthy, talented Sweden, the per-capita pop music export capital of the world, the live music business is as sturdy as you would expect. The festival scene thrives, all the big tours come through Stockholm, and a healthy proportion of local acts have the firepower to match international stars ticket for ticket.

ticketing site, allows consumers to resell tickets through its Tickster Resale channel. INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Swedish and international acts sit alongside each other both in the charts and in the live schedules. Avicii, Robyn, First Aid Kit and Tove Lo are contemporary Swedish names of international standard, while Roxette, Europe and The Hives are still with us, and ABBA still cast a long shadow. That’s not to mention local stars like Håkan Hellströmm, Darin and Veronica Maggio, and ubiquitous hit-makers such as Max Martin and Shellback, who help to power the pop output of the Western world. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Given that venues, not promoters, own the ticketing relationship in Sweden, FKP Scorpio doesn’t necessarily have the power to simply switch its business to the Eventim/Venuepoint platform. However, music festivals, where FKP excels, can self-ticket in Sweden and often allocate tickets to a local partner. As Ticnet, AXS and Eventim all climb into the ring, there is clear potential in Sweden for a ticketing slugfest. TAXES AND CHARGES Concerts fall into Sweden’s lowest tax band at 6%. Ticketing agents’ service fees go up to about 8%, though they can be lower. Ticnet includes (and advertises) them as part of its ticket price.

SWITZERLAND Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh | Population (millions): 8.1 Currency: Franc | GDP/Capita (US$): 58,600 Internet Users (millions): 7.1 | Active Smartphones (millions): 7.1 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 703 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 745

OpenAir St.Gallen were one of the few European festivals to secure Radiohead in 2016


he entertainment sector is growing although not at the pace it used to, the Swiss promoters’ association (SMPA) stated in its 2015 index. The big news, however, is that Ticketmaster’s entry is rumoured to be imminent. PRIMARY TICKETING The most important ticketing companies in Switzerland are Eventim’s Ticketcorner, followed by Starticket, which acquired B2B specialist Ticketportal at the beginning of the year (not to be confused with the Slovak company of the same name). Estimates regarding Eventim’s dominance in Switzerland vary. Sources suggest a 60% market share for Ticketcorner, while Starticket is estimated at around 35%. Other companies include, and white-label enabler TixTec. According to Swisscom’s Stephan Rupp, “the big players share approximately 80-90% of the market among themselves. However, the market moves a lot, revived by new players with DIY solutions.” Secutix, a Swiss based ticketing technology provider, is also a significant player in the market, but purely as a B2B operator, at least at the moment. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Online has become the most important channel for distributing tickets and these tickets are increasingly purchased using mobile devices. Right now, however, print-at-home still dominates. Fan tickets have become increasingly popular as well, says Act Entertainment’s Thomas Dürr. According to Starticket’s Frank Schwegler, 75% of tickets sold online are print-at-home. His company pushes mobile adaption by making print-at-home tickets work on mobile as well. Rock/pop is the most lucrative genre in Switzerland, where international acts still dominate. By how much varies from promoter to promoter: OpenAir St. Gallen’s Cyrill Stadler,

who cites the SMPA, estimates the ratio is 60:40 between international and national acts. Dürr and Schwegler suggest that it is more likely to be around 80:20. However, just like in neighbouring Germany and Austria, home-grown artists are enjoying increasing popularity. VALUE OF MARKET The SMPA is the only source providing at least the sales data of its 35 members. These members promoted a total of 1,695 events in 2015, selling an estimated 3.6m tickets, which represents a 10% increase compared to the year before. SMPA members generated revenue of CHF358m (€330m) in 2015, compared to CHF320m (€295m) one year prior. Based on those numbers, Stadler reckons that the overall market is worth around CHF400m (€368m), which matches Schwegler’s estimates. TAXES AND CHARGES It’s difficult to unravel the fees that are included in each ticket sale in Switzerland. Stephan Rupp says the dominant players usually charge “10-15% internal and 10-20% external fees,” adding: “We expect this fee structure to change in favour of transparency in the coming years.” Stadler points out that more favourable rates would be available if one didn’t insist on using the market leaders’ offerings. SECONDARY TICKETING The secondary ticketing market may not be comparable in size to anything one can find in the US or UK but it still prompted SMPA to release a statement in May in which it described the country’s lack of regulation, and called the current measures undertaken by promoters, such as personalising tickets, inefficient. Gurtenfestival will try out the personalised ticket method for the first time in 2016 in association with Starticket. The SMPA has blacklisted a few sites including Alltickets, Viagogo, Onlineticketsshop, Worldticketshop, Vienna Ticketoffice, Ticketbande, eBay, and Ricardo. At the same time, it recommends Ticketcorner, Starticket, Fnac, Petzitickets, and Ticketino. The association believes that a legal basis for prohibiting overpriced resale would help, as would the licensing of ticket vendors according to the French model. Other recommendations include limiting the number of tickets a person can buy, and providing proprietary sales platforms or ticket swap sites like Paléo or OpenAir St. Gallen do. Swisscom plans to offer an “appropriate solution in the foreseeable future.” RFID/CASHLESS Intellitix is operating in Switzerland through a partnership with Swisscom, and Avance Pay and Playpass are also active in the market. Starticket has its own RFID offering.


TURKEY Languages: Turkish, Kurdish | Population (millions): 79.4 Currency: Lira | GDP/Capita (US$): 20,400 Internet Users (millions): 42.3 | Active Smartphones (millions): 21.4 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 134 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 161


urkey is a tough market for promoters to operate in. Its distance from the centre of Europe means that the costs of getting artists there are pretty steep. Combined with the fact that ticket prices cannot be too high in what Nick Hobbs, promoter and owner of talent booking firm Charmenko, calls a price-sensitive market. The recent terrorist attacks that hit the country only made the situation more difficult. Some artists are afraid to travel to Turkey whilst others want extra security, increasing the costs even more. Technology plays its part in the Turkish market. A government scheme for football tickets involves the use of an ID card/credit card. Elsewhere, some promoters work with UK companies when they need RFID wristbands. “As Tixbox, we have provided two music festivals in Turkey with RFID cashless payment solutions of our own,” says the company’s Ataer Argürder. PRIMARY TICKETING The Turkish ticket market currently consists of more than ten variously sized companies, with Ticketmaster, who operate locally as Biletix, emerging as the leader in the area of events. If you include B2B and domestic repertoire, Tixbox, which is owned by the Dubai-based Alchemy Project, makes a name for itself, while Passolig (which is linked to a national ID credit card scheme) handles football tickets only. Biletino and Biletinial are active as well. “Regarding market shares, there is no official data, only speculation,” says Tixbox’s Argüder. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Charmenko’s Turna Ezgi Toros estimates that at least 80% of tickets are sold online. Biletix sells “roughly half of all tickets” online. Tickets in Turkey can also be purchased at retail outlets, box offices, call centres and via mobile as SMS, QR code or email. There’s quite a difference in terms of ticket type when one compares Biletix to Tixbox. In the case of Biletix, “a combination of PDF, QR and SMS tickets would make up around one third of ticket types, with the remainder paper tickets.” Tixbox delivers almost all of its tickets, 95% according to Argüder, digitally. Biletix reports that, “concerts make up close to half of ticket sales, with art and sports sharing second place, and with ‘family’ and ‘other’ both making up a smaller percentage.” Local content is very popular in the country, leading to 85% of Biletix’s overall sales. It’s even higher (95%) for Tixbox, who sell around 50% of tickets in the area of family entertainment and attractions, 40% in music and the rest in other areas. TAXES AND CHARGES While Biletix charge between 12-15% service fee, Argüder says Tixbox has a different approach when it comes to pricing and fees.” He adds, “We used to be promoters as well, so we do


Promoter Charmenko used Istanbul’s Zorlu Performing Arts Center for a Damien Rice concert in July 2016

understand how difficult it is to promote shows in Turkey (especially right now). So we are using our technological solutions to reduce costs for ourselves and hence our clients. Digital delivery is the best example of this.” Argüder also believes that it’s “for the market’s benefit when the overall average market fees go down. Since we have next-generation infrastructures and a healthy financial structure, we are profitable and we will use this power to further position ourselves toward leadership of the market.” There are two major taxes applied on tickets: VAT (8% on performing arts and 18% on the rest) and an entertainment tax of 10%, which varies from city to city or county to county, as well as 1.5% for the collecting society. Credit card rates can be as much as 5%, so ticketing providers often run lay-away plans for fans. VALUE OF MARKET Argüder guesses that overall ticket sales in Turkey, including all forms of live entertainment and sports, amount to around €66-70m. Biletix expect to sell around 8-9m tickets in the year 2016. There’s no data source available in Turkey that calculates ticket sales. SECONDARY TICKETING Since concerts are hardly ever sold out, there is no real secondary market activity in Turkey. If individuals want to sell their tickets, they usually do it via social media, Toros explains.


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UAE Languages: Arabic, English, Persian, Hindu, Urdu Currency: Dirham Internet Users (millions): 5.3 Population % aged 15-24: 13.6


argely due to its expat community, the UAE represents a significant live entertainment market in the heart of the Middle East. Western music may have a catchment of only around a million from a population of 9m in total, but along with family entertainment and sporting properties, big international shows are coming through, including One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Nicki Minaj and Michael Bublé in the past year. PRIMARY TICKETING Since 2013, the wider ticketing system in Dubai – the busiest entertainment and tourism market in the UAE – has been operated by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). Ticketing operators in Dubai include local service Platinum List and bricks-and-mortar retailer Virgin Megastore, as well as Ticketmaster, and BookMyShow. The same names operate in the smaller market of Abu Dhabi, where the ticketing business has no state involvement.

| Population (millions): 9.1 | GDP/Capita (US$): 67,600 | Active Smartphones (millions): no data | Population % aged 25-54: 61.4

DISTRIBUTION OF SALES Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or in person. DTCM introduced e-tickets and e-permits for events last year in Dubai, and print-at-home tickets, dispatched via email, are common. Physical retail also retains a role in the UAE, where the postal system is undeveloped. Virgin Megastore sells tickets through its stores, while Ticketmaster distributes physical tickets via a network of Carrefour outlets in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. VALUE OF MARKET Thanks to the arrival of a series of planned mega-attractions, the UAE expects to attract 45 million visitors a year by 2021 – up 70% on current totals, comprising 31m international visitors and 14m residents, relatives and friends [source: PwC]. The specific live entertainment market, however, is not currently audited. SECONDARY TICKETING Scalping is technically illegal in the Emirates, though tickets can be found for resale through classified ads. . INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES Western and Indian acts make up the large part of the UAE’s musical offering. Rihanna and the Chemical Brothers visit Du Arena in October for the after-parties of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. CULTURAL ANALYSIS The live business in the UAE isn’t without its idiosyncrasies. Large proportions of inventory are lost to ‘grace and favour’ ticketing. Dubai promoters complain that western acts, brought in by hotels as subsidised entertainment, weaken the demand for stand-alone shows. The same promoters also grumble about the lack of a purpose-built arena in Dubai. But with the arrival of Al Ahli Holding Group’s temporary, 20,000-capacity Autism Rocks arena and the promise of a permanent 25,000-cap amphitheatre in 2017, the venue infrastructure the market sorely needs has begun to arrive. Thomas Ovesen, head of AAHG’s entertainment division 117 Live, says the number of shows in Dubai will spike sharply once the permanent venue is constructed. Abu Dhabi’s key assets are the du Arena (cap. 40,000) and its indoor sister venue, the 8,000-capacity du Forum. In the summer, when the weather becomes too hot, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Flash Entertainment moves to indoor family entertainments. TAXES AND CHARGES The Dubai government imposes a 10% gross tax on every ticket sold. There is no equivalent in Abu Dhabi. Ticketing providers charge standard rates in both markets.


The monsters of rock, Iron Maiden, played Download at Donington Park as part of their Book of Souls world tour

UNITED KINGDOM Language: English | Population (millions): 64.1 Currency: Pound | GDP/Capita (US$): 41,200 Internet Users (millions): 59.0 | Active Smartphones (millions): 58.1 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 2,323 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 2,335


o call the UK live music industry feverish might be underselling it somewhat. A market worth almost £1bn (€1.18bn), supporting a vast secondary business, the UK is one of the most music-hungry countries in the world, driven by a huge base of domestic talent, a flood of international touring acts, a summer full of festivals and a multinational population. At least, that’s how it has been throughout recent times. But since July, Brexit has hung in the air like a storm cloud that could either pass over or drench the UK for years, depending on all sorts of variables. Bad economic weather could certainly wash the fun out of the live market, and the ticketing business is so astonishingly saturated – partly due to its potential for technological disruption – that some sort of reckoning seems due, whatever else happens.

PRIMARY TICKETING Primary ticketing in the UK is characterised by powerful market leaders, with Ticketmaster and Vivendi’s See Tickets in first and second place. But the competition is almost absurdly stiff, including such well-funded challengers as AEG’s AXS, Eventbrite, Songkick and Amazon Tickets; industrious established players like The Ticket Factory, Skiddle, Ticketline and Gigantic; and startups such as Dice and YPlan. “The last time we tried to count the number of ticketing agents in the UK, we got to 46 or 48, and there just isn’t the inventory to go round,” says The Ticket Factory’s managing director Stuart Cain. “The competition in the UK is pretty aggressive, and that has an impact on revenues and fees and relationships. You have got new entrants coming in, old players


Rihanna was among the stars to headline the iconic Wembley Stadium in 2016

Established in 2007, we are a boutique ticketing agency, working with the world’s largest:






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trying to lock up supply. It’s not going to get any easier.” Ticketmaster doesn’t disclose its share of the UK ticket market, though no one disputes that it leads the way for volume. Secondplaced See Tickets puts itself at around the 25% mark, the same as last year, and still behind Ticketmaster, though as CEO Rob Wilmshurst pointedly puts it, “sizing the market is impossible, and as you know, we don’t involve ourselves in ticket touting.” The market employs an allocation model, which promotes bitter fee competition between ticketing agents, but has also led operators to explore the long tail in search of profitable niches. Experience and specialisation are a ticketing company’s best assets. As Ticketline’s James Lee puts it, “The market is highly competitive, with a number of smaller outfits offering selfservice ticketing attempting to disrupt the market. However, experience counts.” Like many mid-sized ticketing companies, 15-year-old Skiddle, which operates as a listings guide, declines to throw money at battling the big boys head on. “We were one of the first to offer a self-service facility to sell

tickets and promote events, and what ultimately keeps us a bit different is that we are a guide to what’s on around the UK, with ticket sales added on,” says co-founder Rich Dyer. “That’s been our niche, and we are growing at 30% year-on-year, revenue-wise and profit-wise. If you are basing your business on trying to win a bidding war [for inventory], it gets a bit silly.” Every direct-to-consumer start-up, meanwhile, launches amid a flurry of disruption promises. Dice, with its fee-free tickets, has turned heads, while many others, including Twickets and Vibe Tickets, offer face-value ticket exchanges to those who don’t fancy the secondary market.


Stevie Wonder helped Amazon sell thousands of tickets for AEG’s British Summer Time 2016


In early 2016, Adele played eight sold-out shows at The O2 arena in her native London

The more prominent players note that, while there are clever ideas out there, few start-ups pack the kind of rounded services promoters demand. “The emergence of all of these ‘disruptive’ start-ups has actually been very good for us,” says Wilmshurst. “It has reminded old and new clients that financial security, operational stability and an experienced team will always trump a bit of someone else’s money, an app and a couple of kids. We are just glad to still be growing as a business, albeit slower, and maintaining our relevance and position amongst an ever more competitive field.” For his own part, Wilmshurst says he is not inclined to “over-invent,” though he adds: “If it helps the client or consumer then we will move towards it, but we see little value in trying to be too clever and force ideas into play. That said, we are working on a number of new initiatives to counter bots and to really change the game on mobile.”


DISTRIBUTION OF SALES “Internet sales dominate in our market, followed by mobile and sales through our contact centre in Manchester,” says Ticketmaster UK managing director Andrew Parsons. “In terms of ticket types, paper tickets are the most common, accounting for approximately three quarters of sales, followed by print-at-home and mobile.” See Tickets reports that mobile visitor numbers now stand above 50%. The Ticket Factory puts mobile sales at more than 60%, while Skiddle is getting 70-80% of traffic and sales through the channel. “That shift everybody said was coming, really has,” says Dyer.

SECONDARY TICKETING Secondary ticketing has reached industrial levels in the UK, and is the most controversial industry issue of these times. But government legislation has so far been of the light-touch variety, ruling only that resellers should transparently publish the face value of the ticket, the seat number and any applicable restrictions. But in a situation where bots and ‘power sellers’ routinely hoover up tickets for high-demand shows, there are many in the business that feel transparent selling practices – which in any case are being widely flouted – are only a fragment of the problem. In July, a quartet of artist managers representing acts including PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys, One Direction and Mumford & Sons launched a campaign to challenge the practice of industrial-scale touting. The FanFair Alliance came in the wake of June’s Waterson report, a government-commissioned study that found long-term failings in the secondary market and urged reform on a number of fronts.

VALUE OF MARKET UK Music’s Measuring Music 2015 report calculates that live music added £924m (€1.1bn) to the UK economy in 2014, while growing faster than any other sector of the music business. More recently, UK Music has calculated that 27.7m visits were


made to live music events in 2015 [source: Wish You Were Here 2016]. Ticketmaster likewise estimates the overall retail market in the UK at 66m tickets in 2016, with music responsible for around half of that. Meanwhile, based on resales from Viagogo, StubHub, Get Me In! and Seatwave, it is estimated that the British secondary business is worth more than £1bn (€1.18bn) per year, gross transactional value, in its own right, of which roughly half is thought to derive from music events.

“The secondary market is growing massively each quarter – it’s become a runaway train,” says FanFair spokesman Adam Webb. “We believe the current industrial-scale levels of online touting and profiteering can be reversed, and we want to want to work with policy makers, music businesses and fans to achieve that.” FanFair is promising a series of initiatives to help music managers reduce the risk of touting, says Webb, “whether that’s appropriate T&Cs applied to your tickets, making specific demands to primary ticket agents, or working with one of the growing number of innovative direct-to-consumer tech providers.” Much of the primary ticketing sector, too, resents the practice, though Live Nation/Ticketmaster’s presence in the market through Get Me In! and recent acquisition Seatwave ensures the mainstream business is not united on the matter. Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino addressed the subject at this year’s ILMC, insisting the group had little option but to plunge into secondary ticketing or risk letting outside players steal the business. “What we learned in America was we couldn’t wait for the world to become perfect when StubHub was running away with the market,” he said. Artists’ squeamishness about charging high prices for prime tickets, Rapino suggested, has created a gap between a good ticket’s face value and its real market value. If some prices could be raised and others lowered, he argued, the primary market might have a better chance of routing demand through primary channels. Ticketline half page ad v1b.pdf



“We’d like to figure out how to get all the money in the artists’ hands,” Rapino told ILMC delegates. “We will happily support some legislation, as we have to play by the rules more than the other guys.” INTERNATIONAL/DOMESTIC SPLITS AND GENRES The UK’s cultural borders are highly porous in both directions. One in six artist albums sold around the world in 2015 was by a British act, according to the BPI, and the UK, with its highly ethnically diverse population, represents a truly global live music market. TAXES AND CHARGES VAT at 20% is payable on concert tickets in the UK. Booking or service charges are less standardised, but range from 10-15% of the face value of a ticket, plus delivery, collection and home-printing charges. A trend for promoters to drive a hard bargain on booking fees has stripped the ticketing agent’s margin, so even in a busy market, it’s hard to prosper. Dyer wonders how heavily backed market entrants hope to ever reach a profitable point. “Your average booking fee is about £1.50,” he says “Your promoter is demanding up to half of that back now, so with your own costs, your margin on a single ticket is not great. You have to sell a lot of tickets – and how quickly can you go from an investment model to a return model whilst paying back your investors?”


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A home town visit to Houston’s NRG Stadium was on Beyoncé’s route for her 2016 Formation world tour

USA Language: English/Spanish | Population (millions): 321.4 Currency: Dollar | GDP/Capita (US$): 55,800 Internet Users (millions): 239.6 | Active Smartphones (millions): 270.1 Live music market 2015 (US$m): 9,298 | Projected live music market 2020 (US$m): 11,691


he growth of festivals in the United States has been a game changer for the live music business with Live Nation and AEG duking it out for supremacy in the outdoor season. The world’s biggest market for live entertainment, the US is, as a result, a hotbed for new ticketing technology and apps, as developers try to find their own particular lucrative niches. Barely a week goes by without some ticketing operation hitting the headlines – and the biggest feud at the moment is between Songkick and Ticketmaster, over alleged anticompetitive practice for fan club pre-sales. The nation is also the home of the secondary ticketing giants. While both primary and secondary appear to be united in their fight against ticketing bots, the parties don’t agree on the move toward paperless, with the resellers realising it could be a lot more difficult to transfer a digital ticket. PRIMARY TICKETING There are in excess of 65 ticketing system competitors that vary in feature sets and proficiency in the US currently. Many of these vendors tend to specialise in specific ticketing verticals. Some of the major players include, but are not limited to,


Ticketmaster, Spectra Ticketing and Fan Engagement (formerly known as Paciolan),, Tessitura Network, AudienceView, Etix, AXS, and Gateway Ticketing. Eventbrite also has a growing presence, while Flavorus was recently sold by troubled SFX to Vivendi to be the See Tickets affiliate in America. .According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the International Ticketing Association (INTIX), venues and organisations within the US market continue to “utilise a wide variety of ticketing platforms” with the most widely used being “Ticketmaster Classic (26%) and Ticketmaster Archtics (17%), followed by Tessitura (12%), Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement (11%), and (11%).” It’s important to note the change in Ticketmaster users from 2013 to 2016. The survey, conducted in 2013, noted Ticketmaster Archtics users as the top platform used (15%) with Ticketmaster Classic in a close second (14%). However, according to this year’s survey results, more participants declared using Ticketmaster Classic over Archtics than in the past. In terms of live music, US fans typically source their tickets through Ticketmaster, which retains many contracts beyond the Live Nation universe, while venues continue to control the ticketing manifest. Other significant operators include StubHub,

IN TERMS OF LIVE MUSIC, US FANS TYPICALLY SOURCE THEIR TICKETS THROUGH TICKETMASTER WHICH RETAINS MANY CONTRACTS BEYOND THE LIVE NATION UNIVERSE, WHILE VENUES CONTINUE TO CONTROL THE TICKETING MANIFEST. Ticketfly, AXS and many regional operations. In August, Pandoraowned Ticketfly underlined what its founder, Andrew Dreskin, refers to as its “relentless momentum” when it announced 17 new partners, including 12 venues, three festivals, one promoter and one sports team. Technology is ever-evolving in the primary world and both venues and consumers are demanding with regards to innovations and the latest functionality. To be successful, there is a strong need for platforms to have robust CRM and loyalty tools. Furthermore, there is a great trend towards obtaining and analysing data. Venues are collecting a wealth of rich data about customers through a multitude of touch points and data sources. Ensuring that data is compiled cleanly in one central location (data warehouse) helps drive more accurate actionable information. Though, some of the major players are participating using antiquated system infrastructures and/or technologies. In order to meet the ongoing demand for data, and as an alternative solution to building inherent solutions within the ticketing platform, the concept of replicated data has emerged. In this scenario, a copy of the raw ticketing and consumer data is automatically poured into the venue/organisation’s own database. Doing this allows the ticketing platform provider to offer usable data that the venue can then manipulate. Aside from direct ticketing software providers, there are a number of distributors that are powered by third-party ticketing technology. In some cases, these distributors are geographically based, while others participate throughout the US. Furthermore, some form consortiums serving multiple organisations within a locale using one ticketing system licence. Examples of these are Ticket West, Tickets Alternative, and Tickets Philadelphia. DISTRIBUTION OF SALES According to the U.S. Live Event Attendance Study, conducted by LiveAnalytics in June 2014, Americans purchasing tickets to live events do so via online (44%), box office (20%), season ticket or plans (4%), ticket outlet centres/retail (3%), phone (3%), and other, including mobile apps (26%). Overall, trends indicate that purchases via mobile devices and discount sites continue to increase, and that social media has a significant influence on what people purchase. These trends will likely persist as time goes by, as the millennial generation overtake the baby boomers in the workforce and in buying power. There are many relationships/integrations that are required to flourish in this space. These vary from niche-software providers to the secondary market, to daily deal providers (Groupon, Gold Star, ScoreBig, Living Social). Furthermore, Ticketmaster believes millennials are likely to use types of third-party provider sites. In fact, they are 40% more likely to look to another website for tickets, and 26% more likely to use the secondary market than non-millennials. That being said, the future of primary and secondary markets

as independent entities is less and less likely. The recent mergers, acquisitions and partnerships between primary and secondary providers, the new ability for secondary providers to sell tickets on the primary market, as well as new ticket recycling initiatives that allow primary ticketing vendors to sell and resell the same ticket, will continue to blur the lines between primary, secondary and other distribution methods. Season ticket sales and subscription capabilities also continue to evolve and grow in order to meet both consumer and venue demands. According to the 2016 INTIX survey, the majority of venues offered a traditional/pre-packaged set of performances/games/events (72%). However, a growing number of venues and organisations offered create-your-own/flexible packages (64%) in lieu of, or in addition to, traditional plans. About 60% of organisations reported a renewal rate of 50% or higher, with the average standing at about 51%. SECONDARY TICKETING Secondary sales play a major role in the market. There are a number of secondary market organisations throughout the US, consisting of both bricks and mortar, and web-based solutions. The laws, statutes and regulations regarding the resale of tickets vary from state to state and even down to the local municipality level. Some estimates say that over $8bn (€7bn) worth of tickets are resold each year, gross transactional value. The lines between the primary and secondary markets are blurring and as this continues, the definition alone of primary and secondary market can be convoluted, no less determining and separating the value of each. Contrary to popular belief many tickets are sold under ‘face’ value on the secondary market as a means for season subscribers to recoup some value for unwanted events. Because of this, we have now entered into an environment where the primary seller will resell tickets through consign back concepts and/or sell ‘no show’ inventory; which continues to further blur the lines. There are literally hundreds of secondary ticketing operators in the United States. Chief among them are StubHub, TicketNetwork, Ticketmaster’s TicketExchange and

Coldplay fans’ LED wristbands illuminated the Rose Bowl during their August 2016 visit


The Rolling Stones included a 14-date US leg on their 2016 world tour and return for two further stand-alone dates in October 2016

Ticketmaster+, RazorGator and Ace Tickets, to name but a few. There’s also a merging between sports and hospitality that is being tapped into by the secondary operators. VALUE OF MARKET Pollstar’s 2015 year-end reports were based on $7bn (€ 6bn) of disclosed box office returns, but those figures only account for a proportion of shows in the United States. The overall ticketing marketplace is actually growing in terms of numbers of tickets processed. People have begun to utilise various ticketing platforms to sell admissions to events that have never been ticketed before. As the total addressable market (TAM) continues to grow, the overall scope and definition of the market also expands to include events that do not necessarily fall under the “live entertainment” category. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine and agree upon what genres and specific events should and shouldn’t be included, and therefore hard to pinpoint the exact value of the US marketplace. For the most part, venues and organisations reside within a fee-based environment (per ticket fees, order fees, etc.). In many cases, it is these fees that drive the revenue that can be shared with the ticketing software provider. However, some venues are moving away from traditional fee arrangements and are looking at charging fees more as a consumer behavioural control in order to create efficiencies. Ticketing platform vendors provide their services in a number of ways from a financial perspective including arrangements that vary from retaining all or part of the consumer fee to a straight licensing fee or combinations thereof. Additional items incorporated in a deal may include signing bonuses, cash advances, sponsorships, marketing allowances, premium seat purchases, on-site support, hardware, third-party software, guaranteed technology deliverables, ticket stock, and more. CULTURAL ANALYSIS Live entertainment ticketing is an affinity-based industry. For many years, venues and organisations could dictate policies


(eg “best-available” seating; no returns or exchanges; strict pricing and fees) leaving fans with no choice but to go along with what was offered. Today, however, as the new regime takes over in the workplace and the buying power switches hands, the industry finds itself attempting to balance future initiatives to meet the demands of two very different groups as the torch is handed over from baby boomers to millennials. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, millennials became the largest generation in the workforce at the end of 2015. Research shows us that in some ways, millennials and baby boomers have similar purchasing habits. For instance, they both share a love of coupons, sales and bargains; both are comfortable with browsing, researching and shopping online; and furthermore, in both demographics, millennials (83%) and baby boomers (82%), women are far more likely than men to talk on social media about what they bought. However, studies conducted by Synchrony Financial show grave differences as well: Millennials are more likely to use their digital devices as a shopping tool, whereas baby boomers will use it to research but not actually complete purchases; millennials tend to favour word-of-mouth, social media and review sites, while baby boomers rely more on the use of print media for product information; Millennials are more pricemotivated, while baby boomers are loyal to their styles and the brands that they like. Just as in all industries, these trends affect the way patrons search for, purchase and utilise tickets. According to Ticketmaster, millennials are 70% more likely to use their phone for admission and 81% more likely to tweet about attending a live event. TAXES AND CHARGES Taxation on tickets in the US is governed on a state and local municipality level and varies greatly from no taxes or regulatory fees to areas that have several types of surcharges added to the ticket face value. Prepared by Kelly Brennan & Dan DeMato, FutureTix, Inc. Additional reporting by Gordon Masson.

COMPANY LISTINGS AND ADVERTISERS INDEX COMPANY & COUNTRY CODE 228 (CN) A2Z Tickets (US) Ace Ticket (US) Avance Pay (CH) Alibaba (CN) All Access (AR) All Events Tickets (US) Amazon Tickets (UK) Art-Mate (HK) Atrapalo (INT’L) AudienceView (INT’L) AXS (INT’L) Biļešu Paradīze (LV) Biļešu Serviss (LV) Bilete (RO) Biletinial (TU) Biletino (TU) Biletix (TU) Bilettix (DE) Bilietai (LT) Bilietu Pasaulis (LT) Biljettforum (SE) (DK) Billetlugen (DK) Billetportalen (NO) BilletRéduc (FR) Billetten (DK) Billettservice (NO) Blueticket (PT) Bohemia Ticket (CZ) BookingShow (IT) BookMyShow (INT’L) Box Office (IT) Cityline (HK) Codetickets (ES) Computicket (ZA) Concert (RU) Crowd Connected (UK) CTS Eventim (INT’L) Dami (CN) DICE (UK) Digitick (FR) Dilyaver (RU) Dot Tickets (INT’L) DTCM (AE) Dutchband (INT’L) e+ (JP) eBilet (PO) El Corte Ingles (ES) EntradaFan (AR) Entradas 365 (ES) (ES) Etix (US) Eventbrite (INT’L) Fan Engagement (INT’L)



P88 P13

COMPANY & COUNTRY CODE fanSALE (DE) Fandango (BR, US) FanFair Alliance (UK) Flavorus (US) Fnac (INT’L) France Billet (FR) Gateway Ticketing (US) Get Me In! (UK) Gigantic (UK) global event technologies (AT) HK Clubbing (HK) HK Ticketing (HK) Iabilet (RO) ID&C (INT’L) (BR) Ingresso Rápido (BR) Insider (IN) Intellitix (INT’L) InTickets (RU) iTickets (ZA) JetTicket (DE) Kassir (RU) Kyazoonga (INT’L) Last Tix (AU) Lawson HMV Entertainment (JP) Lippupalvelu (FI) Lippupiste (FI) LivePass (BR) Mobile Media Content (INT’L) Moshtix (AU) München Ticket (DE) Muzbilet (RU) Mypiao (CN) Myticket (DE, UK) MyTicket (RO) Never Empty (ES) NTK (NL) Ntry (AT) NuTickets (UK, ZA) Ocesa (MX) Onebox (ES) OnlineticketShop (INT’L) Oxynade (BE) Parter (RU) Passolig (TU) Paylogic (INT’L) Peatix (JP, SG) Pelago (HK) Petzitickets (CH) Piao (CN) Piao88 (CN) Piaobut (CN) Piletilevi (EE) Plankton (ZA) Platinum List (AE)

WEB ADDRESS P23 P61 P24 P17 P27 P74


COMPANY & COUNTRY CODE Playpass (INT’L) Ponominalu (RU) Pramogaukit (LT) (SK) Př (CZ) Quicket (ZA) Radario (INT’L) Rang1Tickets (NL) RazorGator Tickets (US) Redkassa (RU) Reservix (DE) SAP (DE) SeatGeek (INT’L) (INT’L) Seatwave (Europe) SecuTix (CH, ES, FR) See Tickets (UK) SemHora (BR) Showbiz (AU) Simplyitickets (CA) SISTIC (SG) Six Dots (CZ) Skiddle (UK) Songkick (INT’L) Spectra Ticketing (US) Sports Hub Tix (SG) Starticket (CH) Stodola (PO) StubHub (INT’L) Superboletos (MX) Swisscom (CH) Tao Piao Piao (CN) Tele Ticket Service (BE) Tengoentradas (ES) Tessitura Network (US) The Ticket Factory (UK) The Ticket Fairy (INT’L) The Ticket Group (AU) ThePointofSale (CA) TICK&LIVE (FR) Ticket Camp (JP) Ticket Liquidator (ES) Ticket Pia (JP) Ticket Ryutsu Center (JP) Ticket360 (BR) Ticketac (FR) TicketArena (GR) TicketArt (CZ) Ticketbis (INT’L) Ticketcorner (CH) Ticketea (INT’L) Ticketek (AU, NZ, AR) TicketExchange (US) Ticketflap (HK) Ticketfly (US, CA) Ticketfrog (CH) Ticketgenie (IN) Tickethall (DE) Tickethour (GR)


WEB ADDRESS P37 P4 P87 P29 P76 P21

COMPANY & COUNTRY CODE Tickethouse (GR) Ticketino (CH) Ticketland (RU) Ticket-line (AE) Ticketline (PT) Ticketline (UK) Ticketmarket (LT) Ticketmaster (INT’L) Ticketmaster+ (US) Ticketmatic (BE) TicketNetwork (ES) Ticketon (CZ) TicketOne (IT) Ticketplan (UK) Ticketpoint (NL) Ticketportal (CH) Ticketpro (INT’L) Tickets 365 (CN) Tickets België (BE) Tickets Cloud (RU) (US) (IE) Tickets4Fun (BR) Ticketscript (INT’L) TicketServices (GR TicketsNow (US) Ticketsolve (IE) Ticketstream (CZ) TicketStreet (JP) TicketToad (US) TicketTribune (NL) Tickster (SE) Ticnet (SE) Tiketa plius (LT) Tipo Ticketing (CH) Tixbox (AE, TU) Tixsa (ZA) TixTec (CH) TLS Boca Systems (INT’L) TopTicketshop (BE, NL) TopTix (INT’L) Twickets (UK) URBTIX (HK) Vente-privee (FR) Venuepoint (DK) Viagogo (INT’L) Vibe Tickets (UK) VisionOne (INT’L) Viva (GR) VivaTicket (IT) Webtickets (ZA) WeDemand! (INT’L) Weezevent (FR) white label eCommerce (DE) Wien-Ticket (AT) Worldticketshop (INT’L) YPlan (INT’L) Zappa Group (IL)


The leading information resource for the international live music industry NEWS | REPORTS | COMMENT | ANALYSIS | PROFILES NEW TECHNOLOGY | LATEST SIGNINGS

IQ Magazine

IQ Index

International Ticketing Yearbook Production 100

Live Music Intelligence


EUROSONIC NOORDERSLAG Eurosonic Noorderslag is the key exchange and networking platform for European music, with a proven track record for helping new acts break into the international music scene. Selling out each year Eurosonic Noorderslag attracts over 3,900 delegates, including 400 international festivals.

REEPERBAHN FESTIVAL Reeperbahn Festival presents more than 700 events spanning a range of genres in locations around Hamburg’s Reeperbahn. It boasts a broad spectrum of 450 emerging artists and in addition to this, the festival programme includes events in the fields of fine art, film, and literature. The Reeperbahn Conference programme is designed for professionals active in the music and creative digital industries and features sessions, showcases, networking events, or awards ceremonies.

INTERNATIONAL LIVE MUSIC CONFERENCE (ILMC) Since 1989, the ILMC has been then leading meeting point for the global live music business. The invitation-only event welcomes over 1,000 professionals annually from over 60 countries. ILMC delegates range from promoters and agents, to ticketing professionals, artist managers, festivals and venues. As well as publishing IQ Magazine (, ILMC also organizes various other events including the International Festival Forum, ILMC Production Meeting, and Green Events & Innovations Conference.

TICKET SUMMIT Ticket Summit is the leading conference and trade show for ticketing and live entertainment executives. Each summer, Ticket Summit draws nearly 800 key players from across the ticketing industry, including producers/promoters, sports teams and leagues, the primary market, and secondary market ticket brokers. Past attendees include Arizona Coyotes, Devils Arena Entertainment, eBay, Facebook, Google, Harlem Globetrotters, LA Dodgers, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, StubHub, Ticketmaster, and more.

INTIX The INTIX Annual Conference is for anyone directly or indirectly involved in ticketing the arts, professional sports, college athletics, arenas, fairs and festivals, ticket distribution or entertainment management. The three-day event includes a comprehensive program of sessions highlighting industry trends and innovations, an exhibition featuring companies that offer a wide range of ticketing products and services and opportunities to network with hundreds of conference attendees.

TICKETING PROFESSIONALS CONFERENCE The 2017 Ticketing Professionals Conference in Birmingham, UK, will once again bring together industry leaders from the major event ticketing verticals. Curated by industry professionals, the conference delivers a range of content, learning and sharing over two days and twenty-four sessions, attended by 300 delegates. Run on a not-just-for-profit basis, Ticketing Professionals strives to offer a financially accessible learning experience, driven for the benefit of the participants.



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ITY 2016  

International Ticketing Yearbook 2016

ITY 2016  

International Ticketing Yearbook 2016