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The annual guide to the global live entertainment ticketing business
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In the wake of the pandemic, Norway experienced high inflation rates in 2022 – its highest since the 1980s – as the country attempted to stabilise itself economically. Unemployment levels had also fallen to a point normally associated with an economic boom. Economists were quoted in early 2023 saying that inflation is expected to drop sharply later this year, and with it, unemployment levels are expected to rise slightly.
Ticketmaster and Eventim are the major ticketing players in Norway, but Icelandic company Tixly has been growing steadily (primarily as a B2B ticket provider in performing arts) and is now seen as the third-biggest player in the country.
TicketCo, is fourth, but much of its market share comes from sports. Eventim recently launched its EVENTIM.Pass, “a closed-loop digital ticket that is specifically designed to eliminate fraud and improve security,” says Arthur Award- winning Marcia Titley, MD of Eventim Norway. “It’s an in-app
digital ticket that is tout-proof and bot-proof. It proved to be a very successful solution for the Ed Sheeran tour in 2022.”
“It’s an in-app digital ticket that is tout-proof and bot-proof. It proved to be a very successful solution for the Ed Sheeran tour in 2022.”
Dynamic pricing is still at a nascent stage there. “Only recently has there been experimentation here, when some sections of the venue for Bruce Springsteen’s two nights in Oslo in summer 2023 were dynamically priced,” says Tom Rasmussen of TicketCo, but Grete Straume of Stavanger Konserthus (cap. 1,500) suggests changes are on the way. “The system is being technologically developed continuously, and our requests are often listened to,” she says.
Distribution of sales
The majority of tickets are sold digitally, with the country (as with the rest of the Nordics) being heavily mobile- centric. Most ticketing companies have their own apps, and users treat having concert tickets in their mobile wallets as second nature.
Value of market
The Norwegian live music business was worth NOK5.3bn in 2019 but dropped sharply in 2020 with the impact of the pandemic, according to Statista. There is general positivity now in the country, as live music is back with a bang. “We are in many ways back to normal,” says Straume.
The Norwegian live music business was worth NOK5.3bn in 2019 but dropped sharply in 2020 with the impact of the pandemic, according to Statista.
Rasmussen says the boom is mainly at the top end of the market. “The smaller clubs and the organisers who have activity spread across the whole year; they are definitely struggling.”
Resale for profit is outlawed in the country, although it does still happen on a person-to-person level. Eventim launched its fanSALE platform to allow fan-to-fan sales. “We can guarantee fans verified tickets quickly, safely, and fairly,” says Titley.
Ticketmaster also has a fan-to-fan offering. “We launched Resale this year, which has been terrific to see more fans engage with,” says Kristian Seljeset, Ticketmaster’s regional VP of Northern Europe and MD of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. “They are now confident that their tickets are being handed to fans in a safe manner.”
International/domestic splits & genres
It used to be that international acts dominated at festivals, but that is changing, in part due to the recovery from Covid and also because of the relative weakness of the krone.
“As in many parts of Europe, we have slightly fewer international artists and acts now than before the pandemic.”
“As in many parts of Europe, we have slightly fewer international artists and acts now than before the pandemic,” says Straume. Rock and pop remain popular, but EDM is growing significantly in popularity, with the international success of both Kygo and Alan Walker symptomatic of this shift.
Huge shows from Bruce Springsteen, Louis Tomlinson, Depeche Mode, 50 Cent, and Lil Yachty show Norway is still a priority on touring maps. But concerns about a weak currency means that tier-two and tier-three acts might skip the country.
This could see a flowering in demand for domestic acts, however. Eventim had a record year in 2022, but “rising inflation has been a challenge for our industry,” says Titley. “We see that many ticket buyers are waiting to buy tickets much closer to the show.”
Taxes & charges
The standard VAT rate in Norway is 25%, but there are no VAT charges on concert tickets. For now. That could change as the issue is being discussed by Norwegian politicians. In terms of ticketing companies’ cuts, Titley says there are so many variables as to make arriving at general numbers impossible.