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Major moves: consolidation sweeps the ticketing sector

The past 12 months have seen big-money deals by global firms who have been expanding their reach through buying up existing companies.

Eventim’s major expansion into the €800 million French live music market will see it establish a joint venture with the retailer by the end of 2019. Under the proposed new structure, Eventim would acquire 48% of France Billet, with an option to increase its holding to a majority stake over the next four years. It is folding its Eventim French business into the partnership, and the established brands – which in addition to Francebillet.com include Fnacspectacles.com and Billetreduc.com – will remain in operation.

This move will be a blow for Paris-headquartered multimedia conglomeration Vivendi, which owns the local company Digitick and was the third-largest competitor behind France Billet and Ticketmaster.

Leapfrogging its rivals, Eventim has secured the top position in the ticketing space. However, it currently does not have a promoter presence in France, unlike Live Nation or Vivendi, the latter of which owns the venues L’Olympia (1,996-cap.) and Theâtre de L’Œuvre (326-cap.) in Paris, as well as Olympia Production, the operator of a number of French festivals including Les Déferlantes (12,000-cap.) and Garorock (45,000-cap.).

In 2017-18, Eventim bought three significant promoters in Italy – Vertigo, Friends and Partners, and D’Alessandro e Galli (Di and Gi) – solidifying its brand TicketOne as the dominant ticketer in the country after Ticketmaster opened operations there in 2017.

On the other side of the world, Live Nation Entertainment’s (LNE) $480m decision to buy a 51% stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the largest promoter in Latin America, and owner of Ticketmaster Mexico, is noteworthy.

Promoting about 3,100 shows a year, Ocesa reportedly sold 3.8m tickets in 2018. Ticketmaster Mexico is comfortably the country’s biggest ticket seller, with around 37m tickets sold each year.

While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint

While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership through touring, festivals and the Ticketmaster brand, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint.

It demonstrates LNE’s growing confidence in the Latin American market and will likely lead to an increasing number of tours by international talent to the continent, and potentially further acquisitions of promoters, ticketing companies or venues.

What impact it will have on Ticketmaster in the US, where the second language is Spanish, remains to be seen. The Spanish- language market in the US is arguably currently underserved, and this could be seen as an internal growth opportunity for the global behemoth.

But more importantly, this could be part of a wider move by LNE into Latin America, where the firm historically has no major presence. Last year it acquired one of Argentina’s top promoters, DF Entertainment, while earlier in 2018, it took a stake in one of the largest music festivals in the world, Rock in Rio (100,000-cap), recently increasing its holding to 60%, which could be a sign that Ticketmaster is preparing to make a move into Brazil. Does this indicate a strategy of expansion across the region? We’ll have to wait and see.

LNE-owned Ticketmaster also bought Australia and New Zealand’s most significant independent ticketing company, Moshtix, in February, further expanding its presence in a market where it competes fiercely with TEG’s Ticketek.

Although it’s not likely to shift the balance of power, Ticketmaster’s move will add another indie brand to its suite of ticketing platforms.

Meanwhile, TEG grew its Asian reach by buying the Philippines-based ticketing company TicketWorld. This adds to its existing interests in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau. As well as major international tours by the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Katy Perry, TicketWorld has a strong presence in the local theatre market, and provides ticket services to Philippines’ venues including Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila, BGC Arts Center and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further

“We see great opportunities in many Asian markets and our strategy puts us on course to becoming a truly pan-Asian promoter,” said TEG CEO Geoff Jones at the time.

While not strictly new acquisitions, DEAG continued its policy of wholly owning companies by completing the purchase of the MyTicket platform, which going forward will be powered by the Secutix SaaS solution, while Eventim completed its takeover of German online movie ticketing platform Kinoheld and Scandinavian ticketing solution Venuepoint.

So what’s next? In the fast-moving world of ticketing, it’s hard to say.

India’s BookMyShow sells some 20m tickets a month, mainly in the cinema sector, but is looking to grow further into live entertainment. In 2018, COO of non-films at BookMyShow Albert Almeida told the Economic Times the firm wants to increase its revenues from non-cinema events from 30% to 50% by 2020.

It is one of the ticketing partners at the newly opened Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai and is addressing a lack of infrastructure in its home country by building its touring venues and producing its own shows. At a recent fundraising round, the company was valued at $1 billion, and there is still huge potential in the country of 1.3bn people. But maybe it will look to acquire in new markets, or further consolidate its position in the Middle East.

Another interesting area is the growing trend of Chinese companies taking an interest in Western music companies (for example, Tencent acquired a 10% stake in Universal Music, with an option to take another 10% in a year). Could we see a Chinese firm take an interest in a ticketing company outside of its homeland?

What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further.

For more insight into the state of the global ticketing industry, read IQ’s International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.


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Management change-up at TEG’s Ticketworld

TEG-owned Ticketworld, one of the largest ticketing companies in the Philippines, has appointed a new general manager, as chief executive Bob Sewell retires.

Sewell, who founded the Manila-based ticketing service in 1995, will stay on at TicketWorld in a consulting capacity.

TEG has now appointed John Maclang as general manager at TicketWorld.

A lawyer by profession, Maclang has led technology and e-commerce platforms as a county manager in the Philippines, most recently for Hotel Link.

Australasian live entertainment powerhouse TEG acquired TicketWorld in November 2018. The ticketing company joined TEG’s Singapore-based Asian division, which is headed up by former Ticketek managing director Brendon Bainbridge.

TEG chief executive Geoff Jones praised Sewell for his work building the company, saying: “I want to congratulate Bob on the great work he’s done to make the business what it is today and thank him for his generous contribution in integrating the company into TEG.”

“I want to congratulate Bob on the great work he’s done to make the business what it is today and thank him for his generous contribution in integrating the company into TEG”

Commenting on the new hire, Jones comments: “John brings a strong commercial and management background in technology, leisure and the law. We welcome and look forward to working with him to deliver on our commitment to grow rapidly in Asia.”

Maclang, who has been effective in his new role since 24 July, states he is looking forward to “further develop[ing] Manila as a world class entertainment market.”

Sewell wishes Maclang and TicketWorld “all the best” for the company’s “next phase of development and growth.” The TicketWorld founder notes the maturity of the Philippine entertainment sector, which “is displaying all the signs that will ensure its position of strength in the Asian market.”

In recent years, TicketWorld has provided ticketing for tours by Guns N’ Roses and Katy Perry, as well as theatre productions the Lion King and Mamma Mia.

TicketWorld provides ticketing services to Philippine venues including Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila, BGC Arts Centre (500-cap.) and the Cultural Centre of the Philippines (8,458-seated cap.).

 


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Philippines’ TicketWorld joins TEG Asia

Diversified Australasian live entertainment powerhouse TEG has acquired TicketWorld, one of the largest ticketing companies in the Philippines.

Founded in 1995, Manila-based TicketWorld has in recent years ticketed a number of major international tours, including Guns N’ Roses’ Not in This Lifetime tour and Katy Perry’s Prismatic world tour.

It also has a strong presence in the local theatre ticket market, having worked with productions such as the Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables and Wicked, and provides ticketing services to many of the Philippines’ premier venues, including Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila, BGC Arts Center (500-cap.) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (8,458-cap.).

According to TEG, the parent company of leading Australian/New Zealand ticketing platform Ticketek, as well as a host of other promotion and data analytics businesses, the acquisition “complements existing TEG businesses in Asia”.

TicketWorld becomes part of TEG Asia, the division based in Singapore under managing director Brendon Bainbridge, and which also includes affiliated ticketing operations in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau.

“The opportunity to grow the market in the Philippines by delivering more entertainment choices will be well received”

“TEG is the largest integrated entertainment company in Asia Pacific, and we have a track record and accumulated expertise in the live entertainment industry,” says TEG CEO Geoff Jones. “We see great opportunities in many Asian markets and our strategy puts us on course to becoming a truly pan-Asian promoter.

“TicketWorld has built a great reputation and lasting relationships in the Philippine live entertainment industry. I am delighted that CEO and founder Bob Sewell and his management team will remain with the business under TEG ownership.”

Sewell adds: “I look forward to working with TEG and its team of entertainment professionals. The opportunity to grow the market in the Philippines by delivering more entertainment choices will be well received in the Philippines.”

“TicketWorld is a strong ticketing business that will be enhanced by having access to TEG’s ticketing technology, data-driven marketing expertise and e-commerce experience,” comments Bainbridge. “We are delighted to see TicketWorld join the TEG Asia division and help expand our reach in the region.”

 


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