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Vivendi shows strong H1 for live and ticketing

Vivendi Village, Vivendi’s live entertainment/ticketing unit, grew turnover more than 55% in the first six months of 2019, according to the French media giant’s recent half-year (H1) financial report.

Vivendi Village – which includes Vivendi Ticketing (See Tickets UK and US, France’s Digitick and the Netherlands’ Paylogic, acquired last April), live event producers Olympia Production (France) and U Live (UK), and several music venues across France and Africa – had revenues of €66 million H1 2019, up 55.1% on a constant-currency basis year on year.

Live entertainment brought in revenues of €31m, almost reaching 2018’s year total of €34m. Vivendi puts this growth down to the acquisition of French festival Garorock, which saw a 10% increase in attendance this year, with 160,000 fans descending on the four-day festival.

Live entertainment brought in revenues of €31m, almost reaching 2018’s year total of €34m

The company continues to expand its presence across Africa, with CanalOlympia opening its thirteenth venue on 19 July in Madagascar, following the unveiling of another new venue in the Republic of Congo in April.

Following record ticket sales in 2018, ticketing revenues amounted to €33m for the first half of 2019, an increase of 30.2% compared to H1 2018. Vivendi Village now has a ticketing network of 14 offices in eight countries across Europe and the Unites States.

Vivendi’s group revenues increased by almost 14% to €7.4m during the first six months of 2019, fuelled by the growth of Universal Music Group (UMG). UMG revenues were up 18.6% to $3.7 billion in H1 2019, with music by artists including Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and Queen performing well across streaming and physical sales.

Vivendi confirmed its intention to move forward with plans to sell up to 50% of UMG.

 


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Vivendi grows ticketing, live revenue in Q1

Vivendi Village (VV), the division of French media giant Vivendi related to live entertainment, has recorded a strong first financial quarter for 2019, with particular growth in ticketing revenues.

The Vivendi subsidiary includes ticketing operations See Tickets, Digitick and Paylogic, as well as live event producers Vivendi Talents & Live and promoter Olympia Production, which owns festivals and venues in France, the UK and Africa.

Overall VV revenues were up 0.4% from the first quarter of 2018 and 16.4% at constant currency and perimeter, which reflects the impact of the acquisition of ticketing technology platform Paylogic in April last year.

Ticketing revenues amounted to 15m, an increase of 38.3% compared to the first quarter of 2018. The company attributes the success to the acquisition of Paylogic, which enabled further expansion throughout Europe and access to Paylogic clients including Tomorrowland, ID&T, Amsterdam Dance Event and Awakenings.

In 2018, Vivendi’s ticketing platforms turned over 58m, selling a record 20m tickets.

The company’s live activities recorded revenues of 7m, an increase of 57.4% at constant currency and perimeter as compared to the same period of last year.

Overall, Vivendi’s group revenue saw an increase of 10.7% as compared to Q1 of last year

In February 2019, Olympia Production signed an agreement for the co-production, ticketing and communication of the ODP Talence festival in southwest France, in line with its policy to develop regional festivals in France. The festival, which celebrated its fourth edition last year, received 17,000 visitors over three days.

Olympia Production acquired popular French music festival Garorock (50,000-cap.) in October last year.

CanalOlympia is expected to open its twelfth venue on April 17 in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo, adding to existing venues in Guinea, Niger, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Benin, Togo and Gabon.

Overall, Vivendi’s group revenue saw an increase of 10.7% as compared to Q1 of last year, amounting 3,459m.

The French media conglomerate mainly attributes this to the growth of Universal Music Group, which grew revenue to 1,502m, up 18.8% at constant currency and perimeter and 22.9% on an actual basis.

New releases from Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish, as well as continued sales of the A Star is Born soundtrack and Queen albums contributed to UMG’s first quarter success.

Vivendi is aiming to sell up to 50% of UMG’s share capital to one or more partners “likely to accelerate UMG’s development and increase its value”.

 


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Record 20m tickets sold boosts strong 2018 for Vivendi

Vivendi Village, the Vivendi business unit which includes the French media giant’s live entertainment and ticketing holdings, grew turnover 12.6%, to €123 million, in 2018, amid a strong year for the group as a whole.

Vivendi Village includes Vivendi Ticketing – See Tickets (UK and US), Digitick and Paylogic – live event producers Vivendi Talents&Live and Olympia Production, and several music venues and festivals in France and Africa.

Ticketing revenues were €58m, up 9.9% year on year, boosted by the acquisition of Paylogic in April 2018. In 2018, for the first time, Vivendi Ticketing sold more than 20 million tickets in the UK, continental Europe and the United States.

Ticketing revenues were €58m, up 9.9% year on year

Elsewhere, live entertainment posted revenues of €34m – a huge rise of 94.9% on 2017. Olympia Production recorded strong growth, with more than 1,100 shows by 32 music artists and comedians, as well as four regional festivals in France, including the 50,000-capacity Garorock, acquired last year.

The Olympia (1,996-cap.) in Paris also enjoyed a strong year with 280 shows, its level of activity prior to the Bataclan attack in November 2015.

Vivendi’s group revenues, meanwhile, soared to €13.9 billion, up 11.3% on 2018, with earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation climbing 33%, to €1.29bn – boosted by a huge quarter for Universal Music Group, whose revenues grew to over €6bn, €2.6bn of it from streaming alone.

 


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Strong showing for ticketing and live in Vivendi’s H1

While most of the column inches dedicated to Vivendi’s H1 2018 results have centred on its plans to sell up to 50% of Universal Music Group “to one or more strategic partners” and not via an IPO, the French conglomerate’s latest financials also underline the strength of its many live businesses, with record festival crowds and a powerful ticketing unit incorporating the recently acquired Paylogic.

Vivendi Village – which includes Vivendi Ticketing (See Tickets UK and US, Digitick and Paylogic, acquired in April) live event producers Vivendi Talents&Live and Olympia Production, and several music venues and festivals – turned over €52 million in the first six months of 2018. While that’s a slight decline on the €56m seen in H1 2017, the 2018 figure includes the cost of the acquisitions of Paylogic and ad agency Havas.

Following the Paylogic deal, ticketing accounts for half of Vivendi Village’s revenues, giving Vivendi a “strong and complementary presence in three major markets: it is a leading player in the United Kingdom, it offers significant opportunities for synergies in Continental Europe and it is strongly growing as challenger in the United States”, according to the financial report.

Beyond ticketing, Vivendi’s festivals also saw success in the first half of the year. France’s Les Déferlantes, Brive Festival and Live au Campo – all managed by Vivendi Village – saw their attendance rates grow by 17%, 30% and 15%, respectively, and the company is plotting further expansion in the French festival market with the rumoured acquisition of Garorock and the launch of a new event in Limoges in 2019.

Total live revenues grew 36.7% year on year.

Outside of Europe and North America, meanwhile, a strong performance in Africa, and intentions to expand these operations, has also proved fruitful. An additional CanalOlympia venue was opened on 1 June 2018 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – Vivendi’s second in the city and the ninth in its growing west African live venue/cinema network.

 


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Vivendi H1: Ticketing grows as African venue network expands

Vivendi’s ticketing businesses continued to display what the company calls a “dynamic performance” in H1 2017, earning the French media giant €27 million in the first six months of the year.

That’s a 16.5% increase on the same period in 2016, and comes amid strong growth for the company’s Vivendi Village subsidiary – which includes Vivendi Ticketing (See Tickets UK, See Tickets US and France’s Digitick); events producers Vivendi Talents&Live, Olympia Production and Festival Production; and Vivendi’s music and entertainment venues – as a whole.

Vivendi Village’s H1 2017 revenues topped €56m – up 7.9% – although EBITA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation) fell to -€9m, from -€4m in H1 2016, due to “investment costs”, according to its latest balance sheets.

These investment costs include opening more venues in Africa: its sixth entertainment and film venue in Senegal launched in May, while two more, in Togo and Benin, are due to open their doors in September.

Recorded-music revenue, from Universal Music Group, climbed 7.8% to €5.44bn – helped along by ‘Despacito’, by UMG Latin America artist Luis Fonsi, which last month became the most-streamed song of all time, clocking up 4.6bn streams in six months.

 


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Strong quarter for live as Vivendi turnover up 6%

Strong growth from its live and ticketing operations helped Vivendi increase turnover by 5.9% in the three months ending 30 September, its third-quarter (Q3) results reveal.

Revenues from Vivendi Village – the subsidiary that includes the French multinational’s ticketing operations (See Tickets and Digitick), live event producer Vivendi Talents&Live and the 1,772-cap. Olympia venue in Paris – grew from €22 million in Q3 2015 to €24m; an increase of 5.8%, or 12.1% on a constant-currency basis (eliminating the effects of exchange-rate fluctuations).

Vivendi’s Q3 financial report also reveals its €159m acquisition in April of a 15% stake in French retail group Fnac will serve as the basis for “increased co-operation in live events […] and in ticketing in certain countries by teaming up with Vivendi Ticketing”.

Revenues from Vivendi Village grew from €22 million to €24m – an increase of 12.1% on a constant-currency basis

Unlike in Q2, however – when Vivendi Village vastly outgrew recorded music giant Universal Music Group (UMG) – it was UMG’s time to shine in Q3, with impressive 10.8% growth to €1.308 billion.

This can be attributed to new “agreements with streaming players ranging from Pandora to iHeartMedia to Amazon” and the “expansion of streaming [into] a number of emerging markets, including China, Russia, Brazil and Africa”.

 


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ESL signs up another music biz partner

Vivendi, the parent company of See Tickets, Digitick and Universal Music Group (UMG), has announced a strategic partnership with the world’s largest esports promoter, ESL, that will see the two companies launch a new national esports league.

The new competition, based on the existing ESL Championnat National, will be broadcast on Vivendi’s Canal Group channels.

Canal Group – which already sponsors Team Vitality, a French esports team which competes in games such as League of Legends, Call of Duty and Halo – will also join forces with ESL to co-promote esports throughout France with “important support” from UMG, video-streaming site Dailymotion and its “activities in live events, such as [1,996-cap. Paris venue] L’Olympia and Digitick”.

Canal Group will also join forces with ESL to co-promote esports throughout France with “important support” from … Digitick and the Olympia

The move comes just after a month after ESL signed a similar partnership with promotion and venues giant AEG that gives the league access to more than 120 of AEG’s facilities, including The O2 in London, Barclays Center in New York and the Oracle Arena in California, for esports events.

Global revenues from esports – or competitive video-gaming – are expected to reach US$1.1 billion by 2019.

 


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Ministry of Sound signs See Tickets deal

Ministry of Sound has appointed See Tickets as its primary ticket agency for all events, including those at its flagship London superclub.

Under the terms of the deal, See Tickets – owned by French conglomerate Vivendi – will provide Ministry of Sound with a full-service solution encompassing ticketing, marketing, web development and on-site support. See’s ticketing platform also will power the Ministry of Sound club’s website.

Martin Fitzgerald, See Tickets’ chief commercial officer, says: “The dance and club side of our business has enjoyed significant growth over the last 12 months after an increased focus on development in this area. To be able to announce a partnership with Ministry of Sound, an iconic club and respected brand, is something we are incredibly pleased about.

“To be able to announce a partnership with Ministry of Sound, an iconic club and respected brand, is something we are incredibly pleased about”

“What we have been able to demonstrate to Ministry of Sound is that our powerful ticketing technology will support and enhance the customer journey. We also have a significant customer base and marketing tools at our disposal to ultimately help increase ticket sales.”

Other See club/dance clients include Circuit Clubbing, which manages London’s Fire and Lightbox (both 600-cap.), the Soundwave Croatia festival, Mint Warehouse in Leeds (1,000-cap.) and Love Saves The Day festival in Bristol.

Vivendi Village, the subsidiary that includes the Paris-based company’s See Tickets and Digitick ticketing operations, posted revenue growth of 6.9% in the first half of 2016.

 


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Vivendi buys Flavorus from SFX

Vivendi Ticketing, the Delaware-based subsidiary of French mass media conglomerate Vivendi that owns See Group (See Tickets UK and US) and Digitick, has agreed to acquire Flavorus from SFX Entertainment for US$4 million.

Vivendi, also the parent company of Universal Music Group (which bought marketing agency Fame House from SFX last month), won an auction held at the New York offices of law firm Greenberg Traurig on 2 and 3 June. It offered $4m in cash, minus the ‘estimated closing aggregate cure amount’, or debts owed by Flavorus, of which the largest are to SFX’s own festivals: $944,000 to Spring Awakening and $1.2m to Mysteryland. (The court document notes, however, that these debts are “expected to be $0 at the closing [of the sale] since [they] will occur after ticket proceeds for [these events] are fully settled with the client.”)

Vivendi offered $4 million in cash, minus debts owed by Flavorus

Other creditors owed money by ticket outlet Flavorus, which has exclusive ticketing rights to dance music festivals HARD and Electric Daisy Carnival, include beauty/lifestyle brand BeautyCon ($127,189.53), gay festival Long Beach Pride ($245,421.79) and live streaming company Paxahau ($163,588).

The final purchase agreement will go before the Delaware bankruptcy court for approval this Wednesday (8 June).

There has so far been no update from the court on the claim by out-of-pocket cloud computing company Salesforce, which was as of 23 May seeking over $300,000 from Flavorus’s eventual buyer.