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The annual guide to the global live entertainment ticketing business
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A consistently buoyant market thanks to its warm climate and enthusiastic audiences, live entertainment has bounced back well in the last few years. “Us Portuguese have become regular consumers of music and culture, but we believe we still have space to grow,” says Jorge Vinha da Silva, CEO of MEO Blueticket.
Partly that growth continues to come from tourism – long-established festivals such as Super Bock Super Rock, NOS Alive, Primavera Sound Porto, and Sónar Lisboa play a huge role in culture consumption and attract music fans from far and wide. All of this means that Portugal remains an essential stop for major artists on tour and has pushed the value of the total ticketing market to almost €250m annually.
MEO Blueticket isn’t just a major player in music. “Besides selling major international tours, we are the leader in tourism and major attractions,” adds Vinha da Silva. Making up Portugal’s ‘big three’ are Ticketline and Bilheteira Online (BOL), although a fourth – See Tickets – is also jostling for position.
“Besides selling major international tours, we are the leader in tourism and major attractions.”
Distribution of sales
A significant portion of Portuguese audiences still buy their tickets in stores and outlets, but digital has become the primary option for live entertainment buyers, with 52% opting for print- at-home or mobile. MEO Blueticket reports that 60% of their sales are now digital tickets, while when it comes to tourism and major attractions, “the preference now is to buy either online or at local box offices,” says Vinha da Silva.
The resale of tickets is not permitted by law in Portugal, but that hasn’t stopped some companies, such as Viagogo, from offering tickets for major events and A-list artists to Portuguese consumers.
There remains huge demand for music, particularly big names, which partly explains the number of large, successful festivals for a comparatively small country. Pop and rock dominate, but hip-hop continues to grow in popularity along with other genres, such as EDM and electronica. Investments in digital tools such as social media campaigns and data mining have helped ticketing companies and promoters achieve better results, as have emerging tech trends.
“We notice a rise in different and new payment methods – this flexibility in payment options is used to attract, convert, and retain customers and has become an important trend.”
“The use of cashless solutions, the development of custom-made mobile apps, and RFID wristbands have all increased,” says Vinha da Silva. “And we notice a rise in different and new payment methods – this flexibility in payment options is used to attract, convert, and retain customers and has become an important trend.”