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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
New Zealand punches above its weight when it comes to live entertainment, with most of the top-tier artists stopping here on world tours, as well as healthy regional and domestic scenes.
The spectre of some of the severest Covid lockdowns in the world are well and truly behind it.
New Zealand’s ticketing market is, like its bigger neighbour Australia, led by the international giants Ticketmaster and Ticketek. The major players and leading independents operate in both markets, including leading Australian independent Oztix, which, since 2009, has operated in NZ through sister company NZtix (both are subsidiaries of Ticket Solutions group).
The major players and leading independents operate in both markets, including leading Australian independent Oztix, which, since 2009, has operated in NZ through sister company NZtix (both are subsidiaries of Ticket Solutions group).
Ticketmaster-owned company Moshtix, one of the leading independent ticketers in these parts prior to its acquisition in February 2019, is run by New Zealand-born-and-bred managing director Harley Evans.
AEG-owned AXS entered the Australian and New Zealand marketplace in 2023.
One actor that continues to operate in the Land of the Long White Cloud, despite howls of protest from concert promoters, ticketers, and music fans, is Viagogo. Though Viagogo’s position is under a cloud after the NZ Commerce Commission’s legal proceedings with the rogue operator finally reached court in 2023.
The Commerce Commission first began proceedings in November 2018, claiming that the ticket resale platform breached consumer rights protections by failing to be transparent about price commissions and selling tickets that proved to be invalid.
Initially, the Commerce Commission sought an injunction to force changes to some of its activities, though it wasn’t granted.
Initially, the Commerce Commission sought an injunction to force changes to some of its activities, though it wasn’t granted. As the case kicked off in February 2023, reps for Comm Comm, as it’s affectionately known, told the High Court in Auckland that 90% of tickets sold by Viagogo are put up for sale by professional scalpers and that the regulator had received some 1,300 complaints or communications about the platform.
Viagogo managing director Cris Miller told reporters that “the issues raised by the Commerce Commission relate to the way our ticketing website worked in the past and do not reflect current operations.” Needless to say, ticketing professionals everywhere await the outcome of that case.
Distribution of sales
Digital ticketing is the most popular way for fans to unlock entry for the show. For Ticketmaster, mobile tickets account for 81% of all ticket sales, while 9% are print-at-home, explains the ticketing giant’s general manager for NZ, Anjelica Devoe. To combat fraudulent ticket sales, notes Devoe, the company has introduced its SafeTix-encrypted digital tickets. Other players have developed their own systems to counter bogus tickets.
To combat fraudulent ticket sales, notes Devoe, the company has introduced its SafeTix-encrypted digital tickets. Other players have developed their own systems to counter bogus tickets.
NZ’s live music market is on the post-pandemic bounce. PwC’s NZ Music Economic contribution report 2023 estimates that, in 2022, NZ’s music industry directly contributed $350m to the national GDP and $720m in total, after accounting for multiplier effects.
Live music generated an estimated $136m in that timeframe. That remains down from the roughly $200m reported for 2019, the “strongest ever” year reported for live performance revenue in New Zealand, the document continues.
International/domestic splits & genres
The flow of international artists into the southern hemisphere has opened up more opportunities for fans to travel, and with that, the likes of Ticketmaster and Ticketek have introduced hotel packages to the ticket-buying experience.
Cameron Hoy, managing director – Ticketek, and chief digital officer – TEG, says: “We’re working really hard to make all transactions a very painless and frictionless process.” Ticketek, he continues, has been “invited to collaborate with various partners who specialise in accommodation to create a seamless experience for people wanting to purchase ticket and accommodation packages.”
“We’re working really hard to make all transactions a very painless and frictionless process.”
Rock, hip-hop, roots, reggae, pop. They’re all hot in NZ. The festival market “continues to boom with both Rhythm and Vines and Greenstone Entertainment looking at a strong 2023/2024 summer season,” says Mark Kneebone, managing director of Live Nation NZ.
“That’s another large area of growth for us – we continue to invest in new festivals and venues as we expect to see significant growth in New Zealand over the next decade.”