The acquisition of UK start-up Una Tickets gives relative newcomer Sky "even more of a presence" in the live entertainment market
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Sky has quietly wound down its event ticketing division, IQ understands, with former Sky Tickets clients securing new partners and its director moving to Really Useful
By Jon Chapple on 08 Sep 2017
Less than a year after announcing its first music-industry partnerships, Sky Tickets – the fledgling entertainment/sports ticketing division of broadcast giant Sky UK Ltd – is no longer doing business, multiple sources have told IQ.
Sky Tickets was, along with Amazon UK’s Amazon Tickets and Alibaba’s Tao Piao Piao/Damai.cn, one of several new ticketing ventures launched by major multinationals in recent years, and appeared to be laying the groundwork for expansion in the live music space with last year’s acquisition of UK start-up Una Tickets.
Concurrent with the buy-out of Una, Sky announced the platform would be the exclusive ticketing partner of Omeara, the new London venue managed by Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett – a deleted 19 October tweet from the now defunct Sky Tickets Twitter account read: “Tonight, London’s newest music venue launches. Check out what’s going on at #OMEARA for yourself: https://tickets.sky.com/events” – while then-Sky Tickets director Mark Guymer also confirmed to IQ the the company would provide a “full end-to-end service” for Curious Arts Festival in the New Forest.
Sky also began sending delegates to industry events to drum up business for the new platform; Sky Tickets’ Alex Kennedy, for instance, spoke at the ‘future of live music’ panel at FastForward 2016.
Sky appeared to be laying the groundwork for live music expansion with the acquisition of Una Tickets
However, IQ understands the deal with Omeara fell apart not long after it was announced (one person close to Sky suggests it was a case of the company simply “not managing to get their ticketing plan together”), with tickets currently sold through a variety of agents, and Curious Arts has since moved over to Eventbrite. The web address tickets.sky.com now redirects to the Sky homepage.
Guymer, the man tasked with leading Sky Tickets, has also moved on, joining Really Useful Group, where he is overseeing the launch of its new ticketing platform as managing director. He reports to Rebecca Kane-Burton, the former O2 GM who joined the theatre company last September.
While’s Sky’s future plans for Una/Sky Tickets remain unclear, Sky UK stills holds a significant stake in Una Tickets Ltd, and Sky execs Karl Holmes, Colin Jones and Christopher Taylor remain Una directors. Guymer also notes Sky recently began rolling out its Sky VIP loyalty programme, which includes the chance to win VIP tickets to sporting events and film screenings, in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Sky UK did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
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