It’s the Sunday evening after a couple days away at the Ticketing Professionals Conference (https://ticketingprofessionals.co.uk/) in Birmingham and time to catch up with various news reports, emails, and commentary.
Ticketmaster & Anti-Trust
Particularly noteworthy is Nilay Patel’s Decoder podcast on Ticketmaster & Anti-Trust Law, an extract of which is reprinted in Verge, and features Dean Budnik, Florian Ederer, Russ Tannen and Sandeep Vaheesan: https://www.theverge.com/23645057/taylor-swift-ticketmaster-eras-tour-beyonce-antitrust-monopoly-reagan-senate-hearing-congress
Bill Werde in the Full Rate No Cap newsletter discusses ‘Why The Cure Onsale Is Everything That is Right – And Wrong – About Ticketing’ confirming the strength of artists, the importance of communication and consistency of message, and highlights that both SeatGeek and StubHub cooperated with the stated wishes of The Cure to restrict ticket resale, but that VividSeats in particular did not.
The newsletter further highlights that the re-selling of Ticketmaster Verified Fan accounts is one possible way for scalpers to enable the unauthorised resale of The Cure tickets, and highlights that the transfer of these ‘account details’ are ‘Shipped by UPS’ . For further details also see: Jason Koebler & Joseph Cox ‘The Cure Tried To Stop Scalpers. Brokers Are Selling Entire Ticketmaster Accounts Instead’ – https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxjqz4/the-cure-tried-to-stop-scalpers-brokers-are-selling-entire-ticketmaster-accounts-instead
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The question as to whether a significant proportion of the middle-aged, middle-class, mid-market who previously enjoyed the performing arts, cinema or visiting historic houses have lost some cultural appetite, and/or moderated their behaviour continues to be asked.
Reading a little beyond the headline ‘Number of visits to UK attractions are bouncing back says ALVA’ (https://www.alva.org.uk/details.cfm?p=413&codeid=351046) is the stark admission that: ‘Many attractions are still not back up to 2019 visitor levels’.
What the report reveals is that the rising energy prices, the cost-of-living crisis, post-pandemic wariness, and reduced international tourism have all contributed to a drop of 23% of visitors to the UK’s leading attractions from 2019.
This report chimes with the Box Office Data report last month from SOLT (Society of London Theatre) which noted:
‘Although there has been a slight, yet encouraging increase of attendance in the West End, UK-wide theatre audience levels have not fully recovered since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.’ (https://solt.co.uk/about-london-theatre/press-office/box-office-2022-data/).
Further as the Cultural Participation Monitor (https://www.theaudienceagency.org/evidence/covid-19-cultural-participation-monitor) noted from their Autumn 2022 findings:
“We’re starting to get some clues about what the new cultural landscape may look like after COVID-19, with people increasingly keen to get back to live attendance – especially younger and metropolitan groups – but with a risk of some others being left out.” – Oliver Mantell, Director of Evidence and Insight
See: Association of Leading Visitor Attractions https://www.alva.org.uk/index.cfm
And lastly, Lucas Shaw’s excellent Screentime newsletter via Bloomberg, which this week discusses the differing movie exhibition strategies of Apple & Amazon from Netflix, with one reason offered relating to the need to re-attract audiences to multiplexes:
‘What stands out about the movies coming from Apple and Amazon is that they are primarily films for adults without superheroes. Perhaps the biggest change in thinking over the last six months is what kinds of movies can work theatrically.’
Whether this shift of focus towards movies without spandex and capes will resurrect the major movie theatre chains from insolvency is another thing, with the cinema industry still expecting audiences to remain 15% below pre-pandemic levels.
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I’ll see some of you this week in Edinburgh.
Email me if you need anything else.