fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

CTS Eventim bolstered by €102m government aid

CTS Eventim will receive “extraordinary” Covid-19 financial aid from the German federal government for the months of November and December 2020.

The Munich-based, pan-European live entertainment confirmed that it would be receiving €102 million in government funding “to strengthen the result for the current financial year and the company’s liquidity”.

The federal government set up financial aid in order to compensate companies, institutions and self-employed people for lost sales during the months in which Germany went into lockdown.

Grants of up to 75% of sales from November and December 2019 were granted proportionally for the number of days of closure during the same months in 2020.

The funding for CTS comes after the company reported that group revenue in 2020 fell by 82.2% year-on-year to €256.8m (2019: €1,443bn). Ticketing and live entertainment were the hardest hit.

“CTS is superbly positioned when live shows return to concert halls and our business revives”

Revenue in the company’s ticketing division for the whole of 2020 was 73.7% lower year-on-year, at €126.6m (2019: €481.6m).

In the live entertainment division, revenue in the whole of 2020 was 86.1% lower year-on-year, at €136.8m (2019: €985.8m).

Despite the sharp drop in sales during 2020, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim said the company is “superbly positioned when live shows return to concert halls and our business revives”.

“In view of the increasing availability of vaccines and rapid tests, and the progress of vaccination campaigns, there are good prospects that our industry can start getting back to normal over the next few months,” he added.

Throughout 2020, the company continued the international expansion of its Eventim Live promoter network, establishing the Gadget abc Entertainment Group in Switzerland, partnering with legendary US promoter Michael Cohl, and acquiring a majority stake in the Barracuda Group in Austria.

In 2021, CTS acquired Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus, led by Matt Schwarz, taking the network up to 36 promoters in 15 countries.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Schulenberg predicts long haul to recovery

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg believes it will take the industry until late 2023 or 2024 to get back to the same levels of business that it enjoyed pre-Covid.

The founder and leader of CTS Eventim – Europe’s largest live entertainment group and second only globally to Live Nation – made the statement during his ILMC keynote interview with conference managing director Greg Parmley.

Schulenberg was responding to a question about consumer confidence in a post-pandemic world and revealed that his company’s research indicated that 80% of people would buy a ticket three months after the end of the pandemic. But that meant 20% of people that were surveyed would not be willing to buy a concert ticket. He observed that of the company’s record-breaking sales in 2019, 39% of ticket buyers across Europe were below the age of 34; 22% were aged 35-44; and the remaining 39% were aged 44 and older.

“Reopening is not recovery”

That problem prompted his assertion that artists and agents needed to understand that they should be more modest in their demands as the industry starts to recover. Indeed, he suggested that promoters should try to persuade the artists to share in the risk of a show. “The guarantee should go down,” he said, while acknowledging that such conversations did not always find a sympathetic ear.

“Reopening is not recovery,” he told ILMC delegates. “We are now looking at reopening, but recovery would mean that fans would come back at levels of 2019 and recovery would mean that people could attend a concert care-free.

“It will take until late 2023 or 2024 to get back to the levels of 2019,” he predicted, before revealing that show costs could rise by as much as 15-20% in the short term because of the effect of the pandemic and the fact that local costs will be much higher than they used to be.

“It will take until late 2023 or 2024 to get back to the levels of 2019”

“Look at the stagehands, look at the security, service companies for light and sound and maybe even the venues will try to make up their losses which they incurred in 2020 and probably 2021 as well,” he explained.

Elsewhere, Schulenberg said the adoption of 5G technology was something his company had been working on, as they could radically change the way shows work – citing fan to fan communication and fan to artist communication within a show as possibilities. “We want to stay as a technological leader, so we have been working on new tech and new features and I am pretty optimistic in this respect,” he commented.

He also opened the doors to collaborating with rivals Live Nation and others when it comes to improving the industry’s lobbying efforts with politicians and policymakers.

“I never take competition personally”

“I never take competition personally,” he said. “We are all in the same boat and I am a fan of good partnerships – that’s how we made our business and we welcome everybody to partner with us. It’s to all of our advantage.”

But he concluded that the industry needs to understand that having a strong voice requires expenditure, although he suggested that many companies are not ready to put their money where there mouths are. “We need professional associations and we have to know that professional associations are expensive – they cost money – and the industry must be willing to invest, but I think that’s a problem,” he observed.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

CTS Eventim acquires new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus

German ticketing and promotion giant CTS Eventim has acquired a majority stake in new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus.

DreamHaus will be led by Matt Schwarz as CEO and managing partner, following his departure from Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) as COO and MD in February 2020.

From 1 April, Schwarz will be joined by former Live Nation GSA executive Ioannis ‘Pana’ Panagopoulos, who joins the management team alongside Marc Seemann, Claudia Schulte and Tobias Habla.

Schwarz joined forces with CTS Eventim as head of eventimpresents in January this year, tasked with “acquiring attractive national and international tours and shows,” on behalf of Eventim Live, CTS Eventim’s promoter network.

Under the Eventim Live umbrella, DreamHaus will be responsible for organising and programming the Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, starting from the 2022 editions, along with eventimpresents.

The CTS-owned festivals have been co-promoted with Marek Lieberberg, now CEO of Live Nation GSA, since 2016.

“Even in the face of the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Eventim Live continues to grow its network and strengthen both its market position and potential,” says Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim. “We have always claimed that CTS Eventim will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

“I am grateful to CTS Eventim for the confidence the company has shown in jointly implementing our visions within this partnership”

Matt Schwarz added: “I’m very pleased about the partnership between CTS Eventim and DreamHaus, which offers our team all manner of opportunities for a successful future. I am also grateful to CTS Eventim for the confidence the company has shown in jointly implementing our visions within this partnership and thus offering artists the best possible service and the ability to reach the greatest possible audience.”

With a combined attendance of 150,000, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park take place concurrently from 11 to 13 June at Nürburgring race track and Zeppelin Field in Nüremberg respectively.

Rock am Ring was founded by Marcel Avram and Marek Lieberberg’s Mama Concerts in 1985, while Rock im Park took place for the first time in 1995 under Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur (MLK).

Schwarz was formerly VP of touring and festivals at MLK, before becoming MD and COO of Live Nation GSA when Lieberberg sold MLK to Eventim’s live music subsidiary Medusa Group in 2015. Schwarz resigned his position at Live Nation GSA in February this year.

The acquisition of DreamHaus expands Eventim Live’s pan-European network to 35 promoters in 15 countries.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Schulenberg urges gov to protect live industry

CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg has urged the German authorities to put in place targeted measures to support the live music industry through the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that “a wave of bankruptcies will sweep the country” if action is not taken.

As reported in German news outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (via Musikwoche), Schulenberg believes that “a long-term announcement” from authorities regarding the fate music festivals, as well as extensions to the amount of time organisers have to issue refunds for cancelled or postponed events, are vital to maintain the health of the industry.

Although Eventim’s biggest festivals, Rock am Ring/Rock im Park, promoted in conjunction with Live Nation, and FKP Scorpio’s Hurricane and Southside, are insured against communicable disease, the CTS boss states that intervention from the authorities is needed to ensure cover for cancellations.

The German powerhouse has enjoyed a successful few years, reporting record revenue of €1.44 billion in the 2019 financial year and increasing earnings by 25%. Due to this success, Schulenberg says his company “could hold out for two years”.

However, many smaller industry players do not have the same safety net. “We need the enormous variety of small clubs and organisers, which usually have to cope with little money anyway,” says the Eventim boss.

“We need the enormous variety of small clubs and organisers, which usually have to cope with little money anyway”

In order to mitigate the financial losses incurred by promoters, Schulenberg is appealing to the German government to extend the period of time that organisers have to refund tickets to 30 September 2020. Promoters currently have until 30 June to return money to ticketholders and, even then, only companies with annual sales of less than €2 million.

“High sales at events are offset by a margin of only 5 to 7%,” says Schulenberg. The regulation must apply to the entire industry, otherwise “a wave of bankruptcies will sweep through the country”.

Alternative forms of compensating fans, such as by issuing vouchers for future events, rather than cash refunds, should also considered.

“That costs nothing to the state and is reasonable for the buyer,” says Schulenberg.

Eventim is currently among companies asking fans not to request refunds, following similar calls from German promoters’ association BDKV, Spanish music federation Esmúsica, UK ticketing industry body Star, the Dutch culture minister, DEAG-owned ticketer Myticket, and more.

In the Netherlands, the #idontwantmymoneyback initiative allows fans to indicate that they do not need a refund in a show of solidarity with event organisers.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

CTS boosts revenue, earnings for another record year

German live entertainment powerhouse CTS Eventim reported record revenue and earnings for the 2019 financial year.

Group revenue rose by 16.2% in 2019 to a total of €1.44 billion. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also grew substantially, increasing 25.6% from €228.1 million in 2018 to €286.5m in 2019.

Ticketing and live entertainment both contributed to the growth, with live entertainment revenue increasing 21.3% to 985.8m – over €170m more than in 2018 – and ticketing growing 7.7% from the year before to €481.6m.

Earnings in both sectors saw strong growth, with EBITDA more than doubling in live entertainment, increasing from €32.3m in 2018 to €66.1m last year. In ticketing, EBITDA increased 12.6% to €220.4m.

The company puts its growth down to major tours by the likes of Ed Sheeran and to the activities of those in its fast-expanding Eventim Live promoter network, which has grown from an initial 26 promoters across 9 countries to 34 tour operators in 15 markets.

Most recently, Eventim partnered with global touring pioneer Michael Cohl, signalling its intention to expand outside of Europe.

“We continued to grow significantly over 2019, while at the same time enhancing our market position at both national and international level”

Improvements to the company’s ecommerce operations facilitated a 5.6% increase in the number of tickets sold by webshops operated by the CTS Group, with 57.3m tickets sold over the year.

“In 2019 we delivered impressive proof of the successfulness and profitability of our integrated business model comprising ticketing services, live entertainment and content,” comments CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

“We continued to grow significantly over 2019, while at the same time enhancing our market position at both national and international level. The venues we operate also showed encouraging growth and are among the best in the world.”

Eventim’s venue portfolio includes the 18,000-capacity Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the 22,000-capacity Waldbühne in Berlin and the 5,000-capacity Eventim Apollo in London.

“CTS Eventim has long been an integrated entertainment corporation that offers its customers a full and highly diversified range of live events,” adds Schulenberg. “The company is constantly developing and changing, adapting itself to the needs and requirements of new markets and a new age.”

The full CTS Eventim annual report will be published on 17 March 2020 and will be available for download here.

Photo: GEDANKENtanken GmbH/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

CTS goes global with Cohl partnership

CTS Eventim and veteran US concert promoter Michael Cohl have joined forces in a new partnership, as the European live entertainment powerhouse takes on global touring.

Both parties will hold 50% of the shares of the new company, which will be based in New York and headed up by Cohl and Glenn Orsher, CEO of Cohl’s production company S2BN Entertainment.

The deal marks the next step for CTS Eventim’s promoter network Eventim Live, which launched at last year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC), as the network expands outside of Europe for the first time.

Cohl, a global touring pioneer and former chairman of Live Nation, brings his concert business and connections across North American to the partnership, while CTS will provide full access to its ticketing platforms and Eventim Live network, which now comprises 32 promoters in 13 countries.

CTS Eventim and Michael Cohl have joined forces in a new partnership, as the European live entertainment powerhouse takes on global touring

Known for paving the way for global touring as we know it today, Cohl spent a reported US$60 million on the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels Tour in 1989 and went on to promote tours for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, U2, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Barbra Streisand.

Cohl has also lent his hand to theatre, producing Broadway shows including Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Lion King, Spamalot, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, The Producers and Bombay Dreams.

The veteran promoter and producer joined ‘cannabis culture’ brand Civilized Worldwide in 2018 as a board member and investor.

Eventim, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, has quietly evolved into a live entertainment powerhouse over the past three decades with CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg at its head. In the past year, the company has added numerous promoters to its Eventim Live network and acquired a stake in Fnac Darty’s France Billet.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

CTS Eventim shares up 60% in 2019

German entertainment behemoth CTS Eventim has enjoyed a profitable 2019 so far, with the creation of promoter network Eventim Live and expansion of online ticket sales driving “significant growth” in live entertainment and ticketing respectively.

The company’s share price has risen by 61.5% since January, climbing from €33.8 to to €54.6, following a “successful” first half of the year and strong third quarter results. Earlier this month, Eventim traded at an all-time high of €55.5.

At the time of writing, the company’s market capitalisation sat at €5.2 billion, a significant increase from the €3.9bn recorded in the first half of 2019, indicating an acceleration of growth as the year has progressed.

Group revenue surpassed €1bn for the first time in a nine-month period, up 16.5% from the same period in 2018 to €1.1bn. Normalised EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) also saw an increase from the previous year, rising 26.5% to €177m.

According to Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, the company has “significantly improved” its online ticketing volume in 2019. The company has sold 36.8m tickets through its online channels so far this year – a 9.2% increase year-on-year – which has helped drive ticketing revenue up by 11% to €306.9m.

“Our aim is to offer international tour opportunities to artists from all over the world”

Schulenberg adds that the increasing number of tickets sales through digital channels “has positive and long-term impacts” for the company.

Live entertainment revenue “exceeded expectations” rising 19% to €781.4m, whereas normalised EBITDA grew “disproportionately” by 52.7% from the first nine months of 2018, reaching €57.8m. Eventim puts the growth down to “major tours” put on by Eventim Live promoters in Germany, as well as by newly acquired promoters abroad.

Russian promoter Talent Concert International (TCI) was the most recent addition to the pan-European promoter network, with Austria’s Barracuda Music potentially joining in the near future.

“CTS Eventim is on course to achieve the targets for the 2019 financial year,” comments Schulenberg. “The establishment of our promoter network, Eventim Live, is opening up additional avenues for us in the [live entertainment] field. Our aim is to offer international tour opportunities to artists from all over the world.”

The CTS boss adds that “by taking a stake in France’s market leader, France Billet, we have also achieved a major and strategic step forward in the ticketing segment. In this way, CTS Eventim is extending and reinforcing its market position in a commercially attractive and culturally diversified market.”

Read IQ‘s anniversary feature on 30 years of CTS Eventim below.

Deutsche Courage: The rise and rise of CTS Eventim


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

CTS Eventim takes control of Russian promoter TCI

Live entertainment powerhouse CTS Eventim has expanded into Russia, acquiring 51% of concert promoter Talent Concert International (TCI).

As previously announced at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in March, TCI will join the company’s pan-European promoter network Eventim Live. The transaction will be completed in the next few days.

The addition of the Russian promoter brings the total number of countries represented in the network to twelve. The network now comprises 28 promoters, who together organise more than 30 festivals and 5,000 live events each year.

“TCI complements our portfolio perfectly,” comments Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg. “The Russian market is very important to a growing number of internationally popular artists – and few companies bring as many acts from abroad to Russia as TCI. I am sure that our new colleagues will greatly enrich the work of our Eventim Live network of promoters.”

Founded in 1995 by Ed Ratnikov, TCI has organised live performances by Blur, Nick Cave, Deep Purple, Kraftwerk, Limp Bizkit, Motörhead, Rihanna, the Scorpions and Robbie Williams, among others, in its home market. This year, TCI has promoted show by artists including Jennifer Lopez, Rammstein and Whitesnake.

“CTS Eventim is the best possible partner for continuing TCI’s growth story long-term”

TCI founder and president Ratnikov and finance director Nikolay Sinitsyn will continue to serve as the promoter’s senior management, holding the remaining 49% of the company between them.

“CTS Eventim is the best possible partner for continuing TCI’s growth story long-term,” says Ratnikov. “Becoming part of a global player opens up additional opportunities for us and the entire Russian market.”

The TCI founder adds that it is “a great honour” to join Eventim Live, stating that, “we look forward to expanding our new partner’s portfolio with exciting shows, and its geographic reach all the way to the Pacific.”

For Eventim Live managing director Dr Frithjof Pils, the TCI acquisition “strengthens our market position in Europe”, opens up access to “many exciting acts that have long relied on the services of Ed Ratnikov and his team”, and offers Eventim Live promoters a “hassle-free way” to have their acts perform in Russia.

Eventim has owned Russian ticketing provider parter.ru since 2006. Parter this year handled the ticketing for Universiade, “one of the most complex sports projects in Russia”, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

H1 growth puts Eventim shares at record high

Bremen-based live entertainment powerhouse CTS Eventim grew revenues to almost €700 million in the first half of this year – a 15% increase from the same period last year – as the company looks on track for a successful 2019.

In addition to the rise in revenue, normalised EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) broke the €100m half-year mark for the first time, growing almost 18% to €111.8m.

The half-year sucess puts Eventim share prices at their highest ever, reaching €50.1 at press time, with market capitalisation currently standing at a record €4.8 billion. The company had beaten its previous share-price high in July, after announcing plans to acquire a stake in Fnac Dart-owned ticketing brand France Billet.

The growth is in keeping with the company’s first quarter financial report, which stated the rise in revenue had “accelerated” at the start of Q2.

Growth in the ticketing sector – which generated €200m in the first half of the year – was fuelled by online sales, with 23.7 million tickets sold via Eventim web portals in H1, a 6% increase on the first six months of 2018. In the second quarter alone, online ticket volume rose by more than 8%.

“CTS Eventim is heading for another successful year”

Live entertainment revenues exceeded half a billion euros (€505m) for the first time in a six month period, representing an 18% rise from last year. Normalised EBITDA was also up, climbing 31% to €37m.

Live success came from “a strong tour business” for promoters in the newly created, pan-European Eventim Live network, which combines the company’s majority owned promoters, including FKP Scorpio, Fullsteam, Semmel and Vivo Concerti.

Successful editions of twin festivals Rock am Ring and Rock im Park and the acquisition of four Italian concert promoters also delivered “positive business performance” for the German company.

“CTS Eventim is heading for another successful year,” says chief executive Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, pointing to the planned deal with France Billet and the creation of Eventim Live as “important strategic moves for the future.”

IQ revealed earlier this week that major stock market-listed live companies have increased their collective market value by more than US$8bn in the past two years.

Update: Eventim’s market capitalisation later broke the €5bn mark for the very first time, peaking at a share price of €53.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Deutsche Courage: The rise and rise of CTS Eventim

From humble beginnings at the dawn of the Internet age, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg and team have grown CTS Eventim into a €4 billion live events powerhouse.

As the German company celebrates its 30th birthday, Eventim execs and partners describe the journey to the top, as well as what the future holds for Europe’s leading live music company, writes Jon Chapple…

 


If any one company can be said to have shaped the direction of the global concert industry over the past three decades, there’s a good argument to be made for CTS Eventim.

In the early 2000s, as Live Nation ancestors SFX Entertainment and then Clear Channel Entertainment gobbled up independent promoters across North America, a similar revolution was underway across the Atlantic, with CTS Eventim – under the stewardship of CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg – quietly building a live entertainment powerhouse from its base in Bremen, Germany.

As the first company in Europe to sell tickets online – and, perhaps most significantly, the first in the world to run a ticketing operation alongside a concert promotion division – Eventim under Schulenberg set the template for the modern, vertically integrated concert business prevalent in the 21st century.

Now, as the company enters the next stage of its evolution with pan- European promoter network Eventim Live, IQ examines the CTS story so far – and discovers what comes next…

Computer says yes
While many sources credit Schulenberg as CTS Eventim’s founder, the roots of the business lie in Computer Ticket Service (CTS), founded in 1989 by concert promoter Marcel Avram.

Avram, now president of European Concert Agency, was soon joined at the fledgling CTS by Matthias Hoffmann, of Mannheim’s Hoffmann Konzerte, and later by a third partner, Marek Lieberberg (with whom Avram had co-founded Mama Concerts in 1969).

“We, as promoters, can learn a lot from him. He started the same way as us, but he was cleverer”

Speaking to IQ, Avram says he has “huge respect for what Klaus has, over the years, made out of a small idea I had in the 90s when I created CTS.” The three partners, he explains, were unable to devote the time necessary to develop CTS – the 1990s saw Avram promoting world tours by the likes of Michael Jackson, Rod Stewart and Eros Ramazzotti – and Avram describes the company’s subsequent growth as CTS Eventim as a “huge achievement” by Schulenberg.

“I couldn’t have done it better,” he continues, “not just because of the time, but also because of Schulenberg’s know-how. He did a great job and I admire him for it.”

As CEO of CTS Eventim, Schulenberg, 67, now presides over a vertically integrated, publicly traded live entertainment powerhouse worth over €4bn by market capitalisation, and which turned over more than €1.2bn in 2018. But it all started – as these stories often do – with a “mediocre” high-school band…

Net result
The first indication that Klaus-Peter Schulenberg’s future lay in the music industry came as a 15-year-old student, when he assumed the role of booking agent for his band. “I made sure that our band had enough shows,” he remembers. “The other groups at school would come to me and say, ‘You’re so mediocre but you always have lots of gigs… can you do the same for us?’”

Schulenberg became an artist manager in 1971, discovering teen idol Bernd Clüver while studying economics at the University of Bremen. “He had a wonderful voice – very soft – and was very good looking,” recalls Schulenberg. “All the girls liked him.”

“The other groups at school would come to me and say, ‘You’re so mediocre, but you always have lots of gigs… can you do the same for us?’”

At the time, Schulenberg was 19 – then legally a minor – so his father signed the young singer on his behalf. Clüver’s hit ‘Der Junge mit der Mundharmonika’ (‘The Boy with the Harmonica’) sold more than two million copies, and the proceeds allowed Schulenberg to give up on his studies and reinvest them (“in a solid Hanseatic manner,” notes a 2003 Handelsblatt profile) in his own music company, KPS Concertbüro.

Somewhat unbelievably, KPS’s first concert wasn’t with a Bremen, or even a German, act – rather, the company’s maiden event was a 10,000-person show with bona fide rock’n’roll megastars the Rolling Stones, in partnership with Fritz Rau (the “Rau” in Lippmann + Rau). “That was the starting point for working together for the next 20 years,” says Schulenberg.

From concerts came touring exhibitions, radio stations and newspapers, including the popular Bremen free-sheet Weser Report, and by the early 1990s Schulenberg was looking seriously into the possibilities of a newfangled technology that would change dramatically the direction of his career: the internet.

“In those days, I went to interactive media conventions in the US, and by the 1990s I’d got to know the internet,” he recalls. “At that time, you had to buy tickets in an outlet store or on a busy phone line, which was not an enjoyable shopping experience. I saw the opportunity the internet presented for ticket sales – for consumers and also for the ticket agent, who could earn a service charge.”

“I saw the opportunity the internet presented for ticket sales – for both consumers and the ticket agent”

By 1996, and the dawn of the digital age, Schulenberg had his sights set on buying a ticketing company. “I could see that CTS wasn’t successful, and in 1996 I made them an offer and Marcel, Marek and Matthias finally accepted.”

Just the ticket
André Béchir, founder and CEO of Switzerland’s abc Production, echoes the sentiments of many Eventim executives and partners when he describes Schulenberg as a “visionary” – someone who, at an early stage, saw the potential both of selling tickets online and of bringing together ticketing with live entertainment (concerts, festivals, other live shows and venues) under one corporate umbrella.

“I first met him years ago, when we were both working as promoters,” says Béchir, who is full of praise both for Schulenberg’s personal character and his professional foresight. “He’s much cleverer than I am,” he says. “He concentrated on [digital] ticketing, as he saw that this was the platform of the future, and then he built up an extremely good infrastructure around it.”

“He’s a visionary,” Béchir continues. “We, as promoters, can learn a lot from him – because he started the same way as us, but he was cleverer.”

Cleverer, maybe – but digital ticketing was far from an overnight success, according to Schulenberg, who remembers an early on-sale when CTS spent two million Deutschmarks on marketing, but sold just 100 tickets.

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 83, or subscribe to the magazine here