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Publication

Market Report: Italy

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

In Italy, previous drama and deal-making has given way to a focus on growth and meeting the rising post-Covid demand for music and various other forms of live entertainment. At least for now, it seems that various anti-trust suits are no longer proceeding and that the fight against reselling and scalping is being resolved by platforms offering their own hassle-free systems for fans to swap or sell tickets to events they can no longer attend.

“Demand for live entertainment is at an all-time high, which provides a great opportunity for touring artists and venues,” says Daniel Bei, managing director of Ticketmaster Italy. Marta Fantin, director of music partnerships at DICE Italy, agrees, adding “We are seeing a spike in fans wanting to attend events again. Large-scale events are once more selling well in pre-sales, and clubs and festivals have recovered well, too.”

Primary Ticketing

CTS Eventim’s TicketOne marks its 25th year in the business in 2023, and it remains the market leader by some distance. This is in part due to the number of acquisitions it made in the past that first attracted the ire of the antitrust authorities (now resolved). Ticketmaster is also a significant player, having entered the market in 2017, and benefits from handling the vast majority of Live Nation events together with many football and basketball teams.

Vivaticket is the third biggest ticketing company – it does very well with sports and operates in the field of theatres and museums, too.

DICE is another newcomer – it launched in Italy in 2019 – and now boasts “millions of fans” using the platform every month, according to Fantin. It partnered with some of the country’s renowned festivals, venues, and promoters, including Parco Gondar in Puglia, Ortigia Sound System Festival in Sicily, Decibel Open Air in Florence, and recently announced new partnerships such as Villa Ada in Rome and I-Days in Milan.

“We recently launched Groups – a new one-stop-shop tool developed by our product team to help fans connect with friends, coordinate going out, and buy tickets together without the stress and fatigue of group admin and switching between apps”

New technology and developments in payments and social integration are a further post-Covid development. Some ticketing systems are implementing 3D views of venues and sectors, and TicketSms recently introduced the concept of payment instalments for tickets (typically three). DICE has gone further.

“We recently launched Groups – a new one-stop-shop tool developed by our product team to help fans connect with friends, coordinate going out, and buy tickets together without the stress and fatigue of group admin and switching between apps,” says Fantin.

Distribution of Sales

The pandemic forced many Italian consumers to embrace online shopping and digital commerce, and this trend continues apace. As TicketOne CEO Stefano Lionetti notes: “Ticket digitalisation, which made a major step after the pandemic, is here to stay. Web and mobile penetration is permanently between 80% and 90% of the total.

Print at home is the preferred choice so far, but mobile tickets are catching up as well. Hard tickets by post/courier remains popular in the ‘Fanticket’ version as a kind of souvenir.”

And Ticketmaster’s Bei concurs: “Digital tickets are the preferred method, with around 85% of delivery.”

This is something that Riccardo Brambilla, director of ticketing at promoter Friends & Partners, is seeing more and more of. “With one of our tours, where we sold over 500,000 tickets, the split of Internet sales was 70% print-at-home, 18% mobile tickets, and 12% FanTicket.”

“Digital tickets are the preferred method, with around 85% of delivery”

It can also depend on the genre of show and therefore the type of buyer. “For rock concerts, more and more people buy online, choosing a digital ticket (60%) over a physical FanTicket,” says Davide Fabrizio, ticketing manager of Vertigo.

And Brambilla notes a geographical disparity, particularly when it comes to each region’s own ticketing company, who have developed networks that are technically point-of-sales (like a territorial box office). “Unlike northern Italy, where the Internet accounts for 80 or 90% of sales, in southern Italy, the point-of-sale is still decisive when it comes to selling out,” he says.

Secondary Ticketing

TicketOne’s FanSale and DICE’s Waiting List have certainly dented the business of the existing but disliked Viagogo. “These official resellers of ticketing companies are not yet well-known, but they are growing,” says Fabrizio. But Battelli’s Law – which was introduced in 2018 to counter scalping – has also had an effect.

“Since the introduction of this law, the traditional reselling platforms have seen their market share for sold-out events decline,” says Brambilla. And with TicketSwap now also active in Italy, it seems that the market for unlicensed reselling is finally being tackled in a pragmatic way.

“Since the introduction of this law, the traditional reselling platforms have seen their market share for sold-out events decline”

“New legal re-sale platforms, introduced by law to prevent scalping, are more and more popular and appreciated,” says Lionetti. “TicketOne enjoys successful volumes on its FanSale resale platform where fans who cannot attend a show can easily and quickly sell the tickets and recoup their money, while fans who didn’t find tickets before, can buy a ticket for sold out event at the same price of the primary market in a 100% safe environment.”

Cultural Analysis

A new trend that many have noticed is the desire to “shop local” as it were – domestic Italian acts are on the rise. “National artists are very popular with a strong hardcore fanbase,” says Lionetti. “International events decreased this year from more than 30% to about 25% of the total. Pop and rock are evergreen, but also local rappers are more than a temporary trend.”

“The feeling from our perspective is a dominance of Italian acts when it comes to touring with international artists more programmed for festivals,” says Dino Lupelli, general manager of Italy’s Music Innovation Hub. “And the most impressive growth in live is for summer arena dates, especially by very young – and popular – Italian artists. I cannot remember so many sold-out stadium and large arena shows.”

“The feeling from our perspective is a dominance of Italian acts when it comes to touring with international artists more programmed for festivals”

DICE’s Fantin agrees. “Italian bands and homegrown artists have a significant following and growing fanbases. Anecdotally, we find there are at least two or three times more shows in-market by local bands than international artists – so while it is a relatively nascent market, it is an exciting and growing one.”

Tax & charges

VAT on music tickets is 10% in Italy. Charges from the ticketing companies are in the range of 5-7%.

 

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