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 Tipo.ch, Ticketfrog.ch 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.