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 share price peaks after N.America expansion

CTS Eventim’s share price is at an all-time high following its expansion into the North American ticketing market.

For the first time in the Munich-based company’s history, its share price has peaked at €65.80 – up almost 10% in the last five days.

The spike comes days after CTS, the second-largest ticketing company in the world, announced its goal to “establish an alternative to the dominant providers in the US and Canada” as it began selling tickets for its first US client, Big Apple Circus, on 26 September.

Before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, CTS was selling more than 250 million tickets for around 800,000 events every year, making it the world’s second-largest provider of ticketing solutions and the number one in Europe.

“North America is the most attractive market in the world for live entertainment and ticketing”

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim, says: “North America is the most attractive market in the world for live entertainment and ticketing. The platform eventim.com puts us in an ideal position to benefit from the restart there.

“The sale of tickets for Big Apple Circus is a first step on this journey. We are already in discussions with potential partners and customers about making our cutting-edge ticketing systems available to them soon.”

The Big Apple Circus is being co-produced by veteran entertainment executive Michael Cohl, a longtime promoter of bands like The Rolling Stones who briefly served as chairman of Live Nation in 2008.

Last year, CTS and Cohl formed the joint venture EMC Presents with the goal of bringing leading international artists to stages in the United States and Canada.

The move is CTS’s second foray into the US market. In 2009, Live Nation partnered with CTS Eventim to launch Live Nation Tickets, a platform intended to challenge Ticketmaster’s dominant position in North America.

Before it was launched, Live Nation pulled out of the deal and merged with Ticketmaster instead, a move which led to CTS Eventim suing for breach of contract. The disagreement was settled in arbitration in 2013.

This summer also saw the launch of Eventim Live Asia. The new company, headquartered in Singapore and led by CEO Jason Miller, focuses on the rapidly growing live entertainment markets in China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

In addition to Eventim Live Asia, Eventim Live, formed in early 2019, includes 36 promoters in 15 countries, the most recent addition being Matt Schwarz’s DreamHaus in Germany.

 


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.

McGuinness: Zoo TV tour changed the biz forever

Former U2 manager Paul McGuinness has spoken of the significant role he and the band played in the emergence of major multinational promoters such as Live Nation and AEG Live/Presents.

Interviewed by Ed Bicknell for the ILMC 29 Breakfast Meeting, McGuinness related how U2’s 1992–93 Zoo TV world tour indirectly laid the foundations for the rise of Live Nation et al. Describing the tour production as “extraordinary – but bank-breaking”,  he said U2 were then “still operating like a punk band, with low ticket prices. If one of the promoters on that tour hadn’t paid, we’d have been ruined.”

“At the end of that tour – which made no money – I said we’d never do it again,” he continued. “I had to tell [then-agents] Ian Flooks and Frank Barsalona that I wasn’t going to use them anymore. That was quite an event…

“I decided the next tour was going to be underwritten by a single promoter. We worked with Arthur Fogel and Michael Cohl – that deal became SFX, then Clear Channel and now Live Nation.”

The interview, as is tradition, took place on the final morning of ILMC, following the previous evening’s Gala Dinner and Arthur Awards (see the winners here).

Bicknell began by asking how much of a role luck has played in McGuinness’s long career. McGuinness highlighted luck as one of the four key qualities needed in a manager – along with talent, stamina and ambition – and related an anecdote about Napoleon’s choice of marshals: “He said, most of all, they have to be lucky. Luck has an enormous amount to do with success in popular music.”

“U2 always understood they had two parallel careers: one in live and one in recording”

Reflecting on his pre-U2 management career, McGuinness said his first gig was for a Celtic rock band (a “poor man’s Horslips”) called Spud. “I managed to get them a record deal, and we did a little bit of touring, mostly in Germany and Sweden,” he explained. Spud, however, had “wives and responsibilities” and were loath to buy anything for the band – even guitar strings – feeling they were committed elsewhere. McGuinness said he thought they were “too old to make it” and resolved that “the next band I manage is going to be younger than that.”

Introduced to U2 by late rock critic Bill Graham, McGuinness said band and manager’s famous five-way royalty split was established from the outset. “I used to read about Brian Epstein, Andrew [Loog] Oldham… in the groups I was interested in there was an officer class and then the soldiers,” he explained. “In the Rolling Stones you had Mick and Keith and then everyone else; in The Beatles it was John and Paul, and then George and Ringo. That’s what broke up those groups.

“So, I said to U2: ‘There isn’t going to be any money for a while, so what there is you should split equally. And since there’s four of you and one of me, why don’t we split everything five ways?’”

On U2’s early touring career, McGuinness outlined how important the band’s live act was to establishing their reputation at a time when their records weren’t selling. “U2 always understood they had two parallel careers: one in live and one in recording,” he said. “We weren’t successful [with the latter] in the beginning – the first two records didn’t perform well, and there was the constant threat of being dropped.

“Only with the third album [War] did we have success on record. By then we were known across America, Europe… we had a very military style: we targeted each country one by one and tried to build ourselves in each at the same speed.”

“In the early ’80s,” he continued, “we’d do three months in the US in one go every year. That meant playing in as many cities as possible ­– and major cities twice each, so you’d hopefully see progress from a club to an auditorium [when you returned].

“Everyone liked the idea of touring an in-the-round stadium production, but it took a lot of money and imagination to turn it into a reality. I don’t think anyone will ever do it again”

“The first show we played in LA was the [600-cap.] Country Club, and because we had support from K-Rock and the LA Times, it was sold out. When we returned three months later, we were able to sell out the 3,000-seat Santa Monica Civic [Center].”

McGuinness said a consequence of that early focus on live is that a lot of the promoters of their first shows “grew up with us.” Adding “Very often they’re now Live Nation territory bosses, so the sensation is often of still doing business with the same people.”

McGuinness stepped down as U2’s manager in 2013, two years after the conclusion of the innovative 360° tour, which saw the band play ‘in the round’ with the audience in a circular configuration around the stage ­– still the highest-grossing concert tour of all time.

Despite the tour netting him and his band more than US$736 million, McGuinness said his favourite U2 show is still their first performance at Madison Square Garden, in 1985. (The same is true for Dire Straits, agreed ex-manager Bicknell.) “Even though you get paid less, as the union has cottoned on to how sentimental bands are over the venue – I think there are union stagehands from New Jersey who haven’t left their houses in 20 years that are still getting paid – the vibe is just extraordinary,” he commented.

With discussion – inevitably – turning briefly to secondary ticketing, McGuinness said the price scaling for the 360° tour was “pretty good. We had $25 tickets further from the stage, with prices going all the way up to $120, $150, all sold out.”

“Everyone liked the idea of touring an in-the-round stadium production,” he concluded, “but it took a lot of money and imagination to turn it into a reality. I don’t think anyone will ever do it again.”

 


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.