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Publication

Market Report: Baltics

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

Despite having a population of less than 6m between them, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are three distinct markets, and even with heavy inflation and significant ticketing competition, they are keeping the show on the road.

Primary ticketing

By far the leading player in the Baltics is the Piletilevi Group, which has been steadily assembled by venture capital group BaltCap and houses several of the biggest ticketing brands in all three states, serving more than 35,000 events and selling 6.5m tickets a year across the three countries.

In Latvia, the lion’s share of the market is divided between Piletilevi’s Bilešu Serviss and Bilešu Paradīze, which is owned by Delfi Ticket Service, part of Tallinn-based Baltic media giant Ekspress Grupp, and operates an online ticket platform and box offices.

In Lithuania, Piletilevi combined the two leading ticketing destinations, Bilietai.lt and Tiketa.lt, and now operates exclusively as Bilietai.lt.

In Lithuania, Piletilevi combined the two leading ticketing destinations, Bilietai.lt and Tiketa.lt, and now operates exclusively as Bilietai.lt.

In Estonia, the most competitive market of the three, Piletilevi’s Piletilevi.ee is the biggest player in the market, while rivals include Ticketer, Piletikeskus, Piletimaailm, OnlinePilet, Fienta, and others – all with slightly different ranges of focus.

“There are over ten players fighting hard for customers and building a bigger ticketing market in Estonia,” says Piletilevi board member Jaanus Beilmann.

“There are over ten players fighting hard for customers and building a bigger ticketing market in Estonia.”

Inflation across the Baltics has been significant in recent years, raising prices by around 63% in Lithuania, 57% in Estonia, and 44% in Latvia since 2019, according to Piletilevi figures.

“Consumers are ready to pay higher ticket prices if they value the event highly enough, and for certain international acts and also domestic theatre acts, tickets are selling out fast,” says Beilmann. “For general medium-level events, consumers are more likely to postpone the purchase until nearer the event.”

Piletilevi is working on a new ticketing platform with AI-based dynamic pricing. “It is going to meet all GDPR
demands and will also enable customers to personalise their account in order to get a quicker overview of event categories according to their interests,” says Beilmann.

“Consumers are ready to pay higher ticket prices if they value the event highly enough, and for certain international acts and also domestic theatre acts, tickets are selling out fast.”

Distribution of sales

Lithuania and Latvia are just ahead of Estonia in their adoption of online ticketing, according to Piletilevi. In Lithuania, for instance, 59% of ticket purchases are made via smartphone, and overall, 87% of sales are now online compared to 13% via physical box offices. In Latvia, the numbers are not far behind (56% by smartphone, 79% online, 21% box office), and in Estonia, 24% of tickets are still purchased via a physical network and 76% over the Internet.

Secondary ticketing

“The secondary market is practically non-existent in the Baltics,” says Beilmann.

“The secondary market is practically non-existent in the Baltics.”

International/domestic splits & genres

Overall, Beilmann estimates that the Lithuanian market is 55% domestic, 45% international, compared to 60/40 in Latvia and 65/35 in Estonia. Piletilevi’s own leading position on international shows skews its own figures close to 50/50 in all three cases.

Cultural analysis

Not only is the ticketing business in the Baltic States largely a homegrown one with little international involvement, but the region’s biggest player is now using it as a springboard into other growth territories. In July, Piletilevi Group acquired an 80.2% stake in Romania’s Bilete.ro.

Not only is the ticketing business in the Baltic States largely a homegrown one with little international involvement, but the region’s biggest player is now using it as a springboard into other growth territories.

Taxes & charges

A lower 9% VAT rate was levied on all event tickets in Lithuania during Covid. Estonia has a flat VAT rate for all entertainment tickets, which stands at 20% for now but will rise to 22% from 2024. In Latvia, there is no VAT on entertainment

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