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The annual guide to the global live entertainment ticketing business
Click the interactive map below to explore the top 40 global markets
Germany is the home of CTS Eventim, a company that remains a giant in the European ticketing market (and with a significant worldwide presence, too). A glance at its website brings home just how broad its live entertainment offerings are – everything from musicals to exhibitions and major sporting events – while it also claims to “provide 250m people a year with unforgettable live experiences.” As a group, it employs over 3,500 people worldwide and generated over €1.9bn in revenue in 2022 – a healthy return to normal following Covid.
So, it stands to reason that CTS Eventim dominates the German ticketing market – not only in ticketing but it has extensive links with venues, sports organisations, concert promoters, and in-house and third-party deals. However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing of late. In June, a segment by German satirist Jan Böhmermann on his television show ZDF Magazin Royale highlighted what he described as a lack of transparency around Eventim’s ticket fees and a number of other allegations.
The aftermath was dramatic – stock dropped 9% overnight, wiping nearly €1bn off its market value, although it has recovered since then. In brighter news, the company announced in August that it had surpassed €1 billion revenue within the first six months of a financial year for the first time.
Eventim still dominates the German ticketing market and will likely do so for the foreseeable future.
As noted, Eventim still dominates the German ticketing market and will likely do so for the foreseeable future.
Revenue and ticket sales continue to show healthy growth post-Covid, and thanks to several mergers and acquisitions over the years – notably several years ago, of the number-two ticketing company and main rival Ticket Online – Eventim has around 80% of the total market.
There are many other active ticketing companies in Germany, most notably Ticketmaster (thanks to the clout of Live Nation events), Reservix, and DEAG’s MyTicket. The latter has struck several exclusive deals recently, including with Airbeat One Festival, Indian Spirit Open Air Festival, the literature festival Lit.Cologne, and Kessel Festival, which is organised by C2 in Stuttgart. MyTicket also sells over 90% of the tickets for Germany’s famed Christmas Gardens, which had ten locations last year and plans to add more in 2023.
DICE moved into the German market, too, although there remain some doubts as to how successful the move has been for the company, while there are also smaller location- or genre-specific offers from companies like Biletix, who do very well when it comes to theatre, opera, and musicals (they can provide certain special required functionalities, such as subscription tickets, that the leading players do not).
Then there are indie ticketing companies such as Ticket.io, which serve a large number of tickets for clubs and several events.
Distribution of sales
As with other German-speaking markets – particularly Austria – a love of physical persists, meaning that box offices, ticket kiosks, and other outlets remain popular, particularly for theatre and opera.
As with other German-speaking markets – particularly Austria – a love of physical persists, meaning that box offices, ticket kiosks, and other outlets remain popular, particularly for theatre and opera. But the push towards digital, mobile, and e-ticketing solutions – and the demand for them from the smartphone generation – continues. “We see fans, particularly the younger generations, rapidly adopting digital ticketing,” says Klaus Zemke, managing director of Ticketmaster Germany. “And so most ticket delivery now is digital.”
Moritz Schwenkow, CEO of MyTicket, agrees. “Digital tickets are gaining more and more importance,” he says, “but fan and colour tickets remain important for special projects, especially as collector’s items.”
Certainly, Eventim has been a major driver behind the adoption of all things digital, thanks to initiatives like its EVENTIM. Pass and integration with its mobile app, and the EVENTIM.Light product, a self-service ticketing solution for smaller events. Yet its Fantickets, produced in custom band and tour designs. remain popular, and for now, the strategy seems to be to blend this desire for a physical, collectable memento with the convenience of e-tickets and the potential that digital solutions offer.
“Digital tickets are gaining more and more importance, but fan and colour tickets remain important for special projects, especially as collector’s items.”
As Schwenkow notes – and as is the case in most European markets – “Ticket touting remains a problem. It is therefore important as an industry to prevent illegal resale and to provide customers with safe and fair ways of resale.” Viagogo and StubHub remain the two major players, but with the larger ticketing companies trying to build their own solutions to the problem, they’ve seen their business shrink.
As Ticketmaster’s Zemke says, “The introduction of ticket transfer and fan resale has been crucial, offering fans a safe way of committing to purchase tickets far in advance of events.”
Eventim has its fanSALE platform and, says Guillermo Roadknight, co-founder of live entertainment consultancy KnowloGy Live, “There are other ticketing providers who offer primary and secondary ticketing within their solution, such as TicketPay, who do tickets for Parookaville, the three-day EDM festival.”
“Resale is a market reality in Germany, and typically, Viagogo and other secondary platforms have struggled to prevent fraudulent practices and scalping on their platforms.”
TicketSwap is another company trying to solve the conundrum of scalping and resale. “Resale is a market reality in Germany, and typically, Viagogo and other secondary platforms have struggled to prevent fraudulent practices and scalping on their platforms,” says Matthias Fricke, the company’s senior partnerships manager.
TicketSwap provides a safe, fair, and transparent marketplace for fans to buy and sell tickets with a price cap 20% above the original ticket price. They also employ anti-fraud measures and work closely with event organisers to promote ethical ticketing practices.
“Many independent ticketing software companies, like vivenu or Ticket.io, provide API integrations with TicketSwap to help their clients take control of resale,” adds Fricke. “And our SecureSwap technology ensures 100% secure resale tickets.”
International/domestic splits & genres
When it comes to genre, pop and rock dominate, both in terms of live and Spotify data. But being such a huge country and having such a wide range of festivals and events, means that even comparatively less popular genres do very well.
“Electronic music is widespread, but hip-hop is really on the rise and is getting a lot of traction and interest from key stakeholders as brands and sponsorships.”
“Electronic music is widespread, but hip-hop is really on the rise and is getting a lot of traction and interest from key stakeholders as brands and sponsorships,” says Roadknight. And don’t forget the power of schlager and folk – they are some of Eventim’s most popular shows.
Despite a strong recovery post-Covid, fluctuations in the live market persist and have proven tricky to navigate for some. “There have been big shifts in demand since mid-2022,” says Hannes Tronsberg, CEO and founder of future demand GmbH, a live entertainment software provider.
“Very popular shows have increased in demand, but others lost around 15 to 20% interest on average. In general, supply is currently way higher than the increase in demand.” And, adds Roadknight, “difficulties in logistics and operations and staff shortages remain an issue, but promoters have last year’s experience to lean on”.
Aside from that, sport remains a growth area, particularly with regard to the NFL and American football – following the inaugural international NFL game in Munich in 2022, two games have been scheduled for late 2023, while the European League of Football (ELF) continues to expand.