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Publication

Market Report: Argentina

The annual guide to the global live entertainment ticketing business
Click the interactive map below to explore the top 40 global markets

The fact that 2m people in June 2023 attempted to buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s run of three shows at the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires possibly says more about Swift’s pulling power – they will be her first ever shows in the country – than it does about live music as a whole in the country.

Add to this, however, the fact that Coldplay did ten nights at River Plate, a record for the stadium, in late 2022, while other acts like The Weeknd (playing in October) are adding dates there, and it is clear Argentina is a key stop for international acts on their world tours.

The Argentinian economy, however, remains tempestuous, with inflation topping 114% in May (although this was below some analysts’ worst forecasts). With annual inflation at its highest level since 1991 and four in ten people in the country classed as living in poverty, the political situation in Argentina appears increasingly unstable. Major acts might want to add in blockbuster shows in the capital, but their success here should not detract from the economic situation in the country where concerts are a luxury far out of the reach of many.

 

Primary ticketing

While Ticketmaster is active in the market, there are many specifics in Argentina that make it unique. All of the major production companies have their own ticketing arms, so DF Entertainment owns All Access, Move Concerts owns Live Pass, and Ake Music Productions owns Full Ticket. Live Nation events are also sold via All Access, making it the major player for large-scale events.

Live Nation events are also sold via All Access, making it the major player for large-scale events.

On top of this, some of the leading arenas have their own ticketing operations. Estadio Luna Park in Buenos Aires runs TicketPortal while the Movistar Arena uses the entradaUno platform. Other ticketing companies are the major ticketing suppliers for theatres, with Teatro Gran Rex, Teatro Opera, and Teatro Coliseo (all of them in Buenos Aires) using Ticketek, while many smaller theatres use Plateanet.

Ticketek is the oldest ticketing company in the country and is generally taken as having the largest market share.

 

Distribution of sales

As in every major market, e-tickets are dominant, with around 90% of tickets being delivered digitally. Hard tickets do still endure in some instances, but mainly for comps and corporate events. “We don’t have dynamic pricing in Argentina,” says Ezequiel Minoyetti of Ake Music.

“The only innovation has been made by DF Entertainment with the Quentro app used to transfer e-tickets with dynamic QR.” Esteban Stalgis of TuEntrada says, however, that some festivals are experimenting with different pricing tiers, where the first tranche of tickets will be at a lower price that rises in increments. Stalgis says that the tipping point was Covid, when digital became the main ticketing format. The lifting of Covid restrictions saw audiences clamouring for tickets like never before, but this was temporary.

“the longer they go on sale, the more expensive they are.”

“Now the situation has calmed down,” says Minoyetti, “and particularly in Argentina it is declining due to the bad economic situation that the country is suffering.” The instability of the Argentinian economy has meant that ticket prices are changing “nearly every month,” according to Stalgis, while Minoyetti adds, “the longer they go on sale, the more expensive they are.”

 

Value of market

PwC has not tabulated the value of the Argentinian live events market for several years, but Statista suggests it will be worth $30.2m this year and forecasts that this will rise to $33.8m by 2027. The economic and inflation woes in the country, however, make any forecasting a risky undertaking.

 

Secondary ticketing

Viagogo is the major secondary player in Argentina but is controversial in the industry. Its deft use of SEO places it top of Google search results for popular shows, but it is very much seen as something fans use once and never use again as they will invariably have a bad experience.

“Tickets are very expensive and sometimes fake,” says Minoyetti. “It is not a good option.” Stalgis is even more blunt in his assessment. “They have a terrible image,” he says. “Nobody buys twice on Viagogo. They rip you off with the price, and they sell too many fake tickets.” At the time of writing, single tickets on Viagogo for one of Taylor Swift’s shows in November were starting at around $500 and exceeding $1,500.

“Nobody buys twice on Viagogo. They rip you off with the price, and they sell too many fake tickets.”

International/domestic splits & genres

The economic issues in the country mean touring comes with high risks for international acts and this is reflected in how they are priced. “Tickets for local artists are lower priced and react slower to inflation,” explains Minoyetti. “On the other hand, the tickets for international artists are very expensive in pesos since they go on sale well in advance and include some insurance against a devaluation of the peso.”

Stalgis notes that 2022 and 2023 saw major international names coming to the country but says a number of domestic acts such as Duki, Bizarrap, YSY A and Trueno have done well post-pandemic, and this suggests an important growth in the local market. The dominant genre in the country is pop, followed by rock. Trap and urban acts, however, are steadily gaining ground and suggest a genre dynamic in transition for live music.

Stalgis notes that 2022 and 2023 saw major international names coming to the country but says a number of domestic acts such as Duki, Bizarrap, YSY A and Trueno have done well post-pandemic.

 

Cultural analysis

The state of the economy overshadows everything in Argentina. The success of a few major international acts like Taylor Swift and Coldplay should really, therefore, be read as the exceptions rather than the rule. The worrying instability of the peso makes it very difficult for international acts to come to the country, while local acts, despite their growth in popularity, are having to accept lower prices for their shows as normal.

Predictions are already being made that the general election in October this year will see a major lurch to the right politically, with self-described “anarcho capitalist” Javier Milei seen at the time of writing as the potential frontrunner, and could see an enormous shakeup of politics, and, by default, the economy. It is still too early to call, but many political analysts are painting a gloomy picture if he wins.

Taxes & charges

Tickets in Argentina are not subject to VAT (normally 21%), but service charges can range from 10% to 15%.

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