Thought Bubble: How the music industry can develop beyond secondary ticketing

August 22, 2018
3 min read

Ticketmaster is shutting down its secondary resale sites after long being criticised by fans for allowing the use of ‘bots’, which instantly purchase lots of tickets to re-sell at inflated prices. Although ticketing sites say they do everything they can to stop touts using bots, Mintel research shows that 72% of UK consumers think they need to do more. Mintel’s analysts assess how Ticketmaster’s decision will impact the music concert industry in the UK and Ireland.

Helen Fricker, Associate Director – Leisure – UK

“Awareness of sites like Seatwave and Get Me In! has grown in recent years, but the amount of people using them has dropped. Repeat usage is more popular for buying rather than selling tickets, but the former is decreasing, while the latter is increasing.

The majority of music event goers are put-off by prices on ticket re-sale sites. Although Ticketmaster shutting down its re-sale sites is a step in the right direction, competitors such as Viagogo and StubHub still exist. More websites are launching that don’t allow tickets to be listed at more than face-value (eg Twickets, and Fan-Share by See Tickets). This means those that sell above face-value may fail to attract customers.

The majority of fans feel music events are becoming too expensive, plus most say going to them would be one of the first things they’d cut back on if money was tight. As music event attendance dipped from 2017 to 2018, more needs to be done to ensure the industry remains in growth – it can’t rely on increasing ticket prices.”

Brian O’Connor, Research Analyst – Ireland

“The end of Seatwave and Get Me In! is likely to play well with Irish event goers, with 70% of Northern Irish and 66% of Irish consumers believing that secondary ticketing drives up the cost of attending events and festivals. Controlling costs is a key factor considered by Irish consumers when attending concerts, with factors such as cheaper accommodation, parking and transport also key concerns.

The Irish events tourism market is estimated to be worth €218.6 million in 2017, and has experienced year on year growth since 2013. While the end of these sites might impact the total value of the market in the future, it is likely to be negatable as Irish consumers continue to have an appetite for such events. Money saved on paying over face-value for tickets might be diverted to buying tickets for other events, or while at venues on food and drink or merchandise at events – making for a better at-event experience.

Indeed, measures to improve at-event experience could also generate extra ticket revenue with a number of consumers in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland willing to pay more for priority entry tickets that would let them skip queues. The future might see ticket sites offer bolt-on services, such as transport options, pre-booking parking, etc.”

Brian O’Connor
Brian O’Connor

Brian is Mintel Ireland’s Senior Consumer Analyst/Research Production Manager and has a broad focus across Leisure/Tourism, FMCG, Retail, Finance and Industrial sectors.

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