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The annual guide to the global live entertainment ticketing business
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“Dynamic” is how many described the growth of the live entertainment market in Poland pre-pandemic (20% per year according to most experts). Following economic prosperity, young Poles had a greater disposable income and were hungry for entertainment.
This led to a boom in shows, with bigger artists swinging through the country while on tour and a burgeoning live scene bolstered by renowned festivals and curated, acclaimed events such as OFF Festival and Unsound.
Thankfully, post-Covid, things are bouncing back nicely, and demand for concerts – and other live entertainment – remains high. “We’ve seen a strong recovery of shows by international artists since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted,’” says Joanna Comberska, managing director of Eventim Poland. But the country’s proximity to the war in Ukraine – Poland shares a 535km border with the war-hit nation – is, of course, adversely affecting many aspects of life.
“Although life goes on normally and events continue to play, we are aware that there is a war going on across our eastern border in Ukraine,” says Katarzyna Suska, managing director of Ticketmaster Poland. “This is creating uncertainty, as we see a significant increase in the organisation of events supporting people fighting in Ukraine or helping those who had to change their lives overnight and flee the war.”
eBilet is one of the leading firms in the territory. This is partly due to their strategic partnership with Allegro, the largest e-commerce company in Poland, with over 22m customers – half the Polish population – and over 200m monthly website visits. “We offer dedicated ticket presales to Allegro Smart! users, which help promoters reach a wider audience,” says Bartek Troński, eBilet’s vice president and head of commerce. “The first two presales of 2022 reached 700,000 participants.”
The first two presales of 2022 reached 700,000 participants”
Other important firms in the market are KupBilecik, Eventim, Going, and Ticketmaster.
DISTRIBUTION OF SALES
As in many Eastern European countries, many transactions are rapidly moving to the digital realm, and tickets are no exception.
Although sales of Ticketmaster’s souvenir Collector Tickets remains consistent, “Data shows there is a preference among fans for digital tickets because of the ease of accessing an event via mobile entry,” says Suska.
“Digital ticketing is the future. The growth of smartphone usage provides our partners with more insight than they have ever had”
And, she adds, it’s all part of modernisation – in the live entertainment industry and beyond. “Digital ticketing is the future. The growth of smartphone usage provides our partners with more insight than they have ever had, leading to better consumer segmentation and wider reach to potential ticket buyers.”
“It’s still outlawed in Poland, but there are two main ticket resale/scalping platforms – Alebilet pl and Viagogo.pl – and the practice is prominent for “hot” events,” says Troński. “But, thanks to benefits offered by ticketing services such as insurance, consumers are becoming more aware of different and safer ways to be covered in case they can’t attend an event.”
“The practice is prominent for “hot” events”
And Eventim are also trying to build a solution into their own platform. “As the secondary market is not tightly regulated here, Eventim’s resale platform fanSALE offers a lot of potential,” says Suska.
VALUE OF MARKET
The live music market is estimated to rise to PLN1.1bn – €233m – in 2022.
INTERNATIONAL / DOMESTIC SPLITS & GENRES
In 2022, international artists account for 44% of all music events, with the leading categories being pop (37%), festivals (36%), and rock (14%). But the fastest-growing categories are hip-hop and electro, which are becoming more popular as many young, aspiring Polish young performers have appeared in recent years.
“The Polish music scene has a strong fanbase, and this segment is dominant in the Polish live music market, which is quite unusual in Europe,” says Troński.