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K-pop platform Universe records 2.6m viewers for first show

NCSoft Corporation, the South Korean developer behind the long-running online video game Guild Wars, welcomed more than 2.5 million viewers in 164 countries to its first online concert, staged via new artist-to-fan platform Universe on Valentine’s day.

Universe (no relation to the ticketing service) launched earlier this year as an “all-in-one technology platform” to connect Korean fans with their favourite K-pop and ‘idol’ groups.

The app is seen as a rival to Big Hit Entertainment’s Weverse fan platform, which is home to the likes of BTS, GFriend, CL and TXT. Weverse currently holds the record for the biggest-ever ticketed concert live stream, for BTS’s Bang Bang Con: The Live, which recorded 756,000 concurrent viewers last summer.

The concert featured a multi-view mode that allowed fans to watch the acts from five different angles

A total of 2.6m people viewed the free-to-watch debut show, Uni-Kon, which was held at 7pm Korean time yesterday (14 February). Performers included Park Ji Hoon, Iz*One, Monsta X, the Boyz, Kang Daniel, WJSN and AB6ix.

“There haven’t been big concerts recently due to Covid-19, but we could enjoy many artists’ performances today through Universe,” said Daniel during the show, JoongAng Ilbo reports. “I hope today’s Uni-Kon was a gift for the audience.”

The concert featured a multi-view mode that allowed fans to watch the acts from five different angles, as well as ‘extended-reality’ (XR) virtual stage effects. The entire show, as well as interviews and backstage footage, will be made available on the Universe platform in the coming days.

 


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ILMC launches 2020 edition, adds extra space

Organisers of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) today launched the 2020 edition, which sees a second hotel added and more meeting and networking space than ever before.

The 32nd edition of the invitation-only event will see 1,200 delegates attend the main conference, with around 2,000 professionals at ILMC events across the week in total.

As well as taking place at the Royal Garden Hotel, ILMC’s traditional home, the nearby Baglioni Hotel will be exclusive to ILMC delegates.

“With the top promoters, agents, festivals and venues landing in London from over 60 markets, meeting space is always at a premium,” says ILMC head Greg Parmley. “Adding a second site responds to this increasing demand, gives delegates room to do more business, and allows us to expand our programming.”

“With the top promoters, agents, festivals and venues landing in London from over 60 markets, meeting space is always at a premium”

As well as ILMC itself, satellite events around the main conference include Futures Forum on Friday 6 March which invites an additional delegation of 250 young executives to discuss the future of the business; The Arthur Awards, the live industry’s top awards which takes place on Thursday 5 March; and the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) and Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) on Tuesday 3 March.

Last year’s conference programme included keynotes from Roger Daltrey and Dua Lipa, and guest speaker slots from executives including Klaus-Peter Schulenberg (CTS Eventim), Tim Leiweke (Oak View), Michelle Bernstein (WME), Alex Hardee (Paradigm), Marsha Vlasic (Artist Group Intl.), Steve Lamacq (BBC 6Music), Phil Bowdery (Live Nation) and Bill Silva (Bill Silva Mgmt). The 2020 agenda will be published in January.

Companies supporting ILMC’s 2020 edition include Live Nation, Ticketmaster, CTS Eventim, Integro, MOJO Rental, Showsec, WME, eps, Aiken Promotions, LiveStyled, Universe, Feld Entertainment and Buma Cultuur.

The new website, which invites the world’s top industry players to travel to London for three days of ‘The Game of Live’ with the greatest masterminds in the business, is here.

 


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Ticketmaster signs Waves Vienna

Ticketmaster has added Waves Vienna, the Austrian conference and showcase festival, to its roster of industry events.

The company is now the lead ticket agent for Norway’s by:Larm, the UK’s the Great Escape and the Netherlands’ Eurosonic Noorderslag, and also tickets Wide Days in Scotland.

“We’re happy to welcome Vienna’s first music showcase festival, Waves, to the family,” says Jon West, Ticketmaster artist services marketing director.

“The magic of these events is their dual nature – the music right alongside the conference”

“We’ve been supporting important showcase festivals like the Great Escape, Eurosonic, by:Larm and more for many years now. We get a big kick out of supporting and spotlighting new artists, and festivals like Waves help us do exactly that.

“The magic of these events is their dual nature – the music right alongside the conference – and we have the technology and experience to handle both.”

 


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Ticketmaster’s Universe to launch in Spain

Universe, the Ticketmaster-owned DIY ticketing service, will launch in Spain in late 2019.

Canadian-born Universe (formerly Uniiverse) was acquired by Live Nation/Ticketmaster in 2015, and opened its first European office, in London, the following year. It went live in the Netherlands at the start of 2019, at showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag (16–19 January).

Eugeni Calsamiglia, CEO of Ticketmaster Spain, says the company is “constantly working to adapt its sales systems to every need posed by customers and artists. Universe is going to be a perfect alternative for promoters who organise single events such as exhibitions, trade shows and small concerts.

“Universe is going to be a perfect alternative for promoters”

“It’s an ecommerce solution that meets the needs of many organisers who prefer to control the process of ticket sales themselves.”

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, Ticketmaster is the largest primary ticket seller in Spain, while Universe-rivalling digital tools that allow promoters to sell their own tickets online, such as Onebox and Wegow, are growing in popularity.

 


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Tawn Albright named Ticketmaster EVP

Ticketmaster has re-hired Tawn Albright as executive vice-president, with responsibility for overseeing the growth of club ticketing service TicketWeb and DIY platform Universe.

Albright joins Ticketmaster from internet content company Leaf Group (previously Demand Media), and was previously co-founder of CEO of live entertainment digital agency Rockhouse Partners, which was sold to eTix in 2014. Prior to starting Rockhouse, he was vice-president and head of corporate development for Ticketmaster from 2006 to 2008.

“Tawn is another unique addition to our leadership team,” says Ticketmaster North America president Jared Smith.

“Tawn is another unique addition to our leadership team”

“He has a fantastic background with a proven record of leveraging technology to bring fresh product and service solutions to market in both ecommerce and enterprise software. There’s no doubt he will help us accelerate an area of our business that is already growing at an impressive rate.”

Adds Albright: “As we all keep hearing, we now live in an experiential economy where people are yearning for live events. Concerts, comedy shows, cultural fairs, festivals and attractions are more popular than ever before.

“Our unique ability to complement our portfolio of specialised tools and software with the unparallelled scale and expertise of Ticketmaster is what excites me the most about joining the team.”

 


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Ticketmaster’s Universe to launch in the Netherlands

Ticketmaster-owned self-service ticketing platform Universe will be introduced to the Dutch market early next year.

Canadian-born Universe (formerly Uniiverse) was acquired by Live Nation/Ticketmaster in 2015, and opened its first European office, in London, the following year.

It will make its Dutch debut with conference/showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), which returns to Groningen with focus countries Slovakia and the Czech Republic from 16 to 19 January 2019.

ESNS managing director Dago Houben comments: “Ticketmaster has been providing ticketing for for Eurosonic Noorderslag for decades. With the switch to Universe, it will be possible to combine the registrations for the industry delegates with tickets for the festival visitors in one database and CRM.

“We taking an enormous step forward in service for both the visitors to the conference and to the festivalgoers.”

 


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Ticketing and marketing platform Universe expands to Europe

Toronto-headquartered social ticketing platform Universe has announced plans for its first European office.

The company’s business development director, Joseph McAuliffe, make the move to London to head up the expansion after two years based at Universe’s San Francisco office.

The Universe platform, often dubbed the ‘eBay for activities’, combines ticketing software with a suite of promotional and marketing tools designed to help promoters raise awareness of and sell more tickets to their events. It was acquired by Live Nation last year.

Universe’s presence in Europe will, says, Live Nation, allow Ticketmaster to offer a self-service function across the entire continent, complementing its existing TicketWeb general-admission platform.

Universe’s presence in Europe will allow Ticketmaster to offer a self-service function across the entire continent, complementing its existing general-admission platform, TicketWeb

“It is an exciting time for growth within the UK and European market[s],” says Universe co-founder and CEO Ben Raffi. “Our technology and tools have been extremely well received in Canada and the US, with over 31,000 event organisers using our platform to sell tickets. Expanding our international presence is the next step for us as we continue to disrupt the event industry.”

“We’re looking forward to having the Universe team here in London,” adds Ticketmaster’s Mark Yovich. “We’ll be working closely with them to offer their unique event ticketing solutions to event organisers across the UK and Europe.

“Ben Raffi and his team have done an incredible job in establishing themselves as the go-to advanced DIY ticketing and event marketing platform which will be of huge benefit to our existing clients. The company sits nicely within our overall platform portfolio of world-class solutions.”