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The annual guide to the global live entertainment ticketing business
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When it comes to ticketing, Türkiye remains a challenging market. The pandemic, along with the well-documented sociocultural and political turmoil and the collapsing lira, has created what Mehmet Ağaoğulları, live entertainment executive of entertainment agency Pozitif, describes as “a rift between the Turkish market and Europe.” As he explains, while demand to see A-list stars may remain, the ability of fans to pay the A-list prices that such tours require has faltered.
This means domestic acts – especially Turkish hip-hop – have been given more space, as have smaller local festivals. “In all genres, almost all the middle ground has been erased,” says Ağaoğulları. “It’s either the local acts or the top artists, as the middle range of the market isn’t really financially operable.”
“It’s either the local acts or the top artists, as the middle range of the market isn’t really financially operable.”
It’s not all bad news, though. Electronic music, especially “the business techno, big arena DJs, and backstage access, and so on, continue to work very well,” he adds. And, says Kemal Erdine, managing director of Ticketmaster Turkey, “We are also seeing an increase in intimate club shows, which enables fans to see their favourite artists in smaller settings in more cities.”
The market leader remains Ticketmaster, which operates as Biletix. While no one is really challenging its hegemony, there are other significant players in the field: Mobilet, an online-only, social-media-led platform, has new owners, Iticket does its own events, and Passo is one of the country’s most visited e-commerce sites. There’s also Bugece, an indie ticketing firm that primarily covers electronic music events and parties.
Distribution of sales
Digital has become the norm, according to Erdine. “Customers who want printed tickets can still make their purchases from our retail outlets, but this is rare and accounts for less than 1% of all tickets,” he says. Digital’s prevalence has also facilitated the rise of dynamic pricing. “We have been using this until one or two weeks prior to the event,” says Ağaoğulları, “and we change prices according to capacity and tickets sold.”
“Customers who want printed tickets can still make their purchases from our retail outlets, but this is rare and accounts for less than 1% of all tickets,”
When it comes to secondary ticketing, there’s not much market for music – “There’s no big scalping issue, as generally there’s more supply than demand,” explains Ağaoğulları.
Instead, non-music events and sports dominate, especially football matches by Istanbul’s big three of Galatasaray, Beşiktaş, and Fenerbahçe. Viagogo and TicketSwap remain the leading destinations for anyone trying to buy or sell.