LN Strikes Ticketing Deal With CTS

Live Nation is entering the global ticketing business with the signing of a deal with Munich-based ticketing giant CTS Eventim.

The 10-year agreement will enable Live Nation to have its own ticketing operation utilizing and licensing the Eventim platform, regarded as the most technically advanced in the world.

The German firm will also provide back office ticketing services in the UK and across Europe.

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino described the deal as a "win-win situation," while Eventim boss Klaus-Peter Schulenberg said it’s "an alliance between two market leaders."

Eventim expects that teaming with LN will boost its current sales of about 60 million tickets to 100 million "within only a few years."

The agreement means LN gets a world-class ticketing engine for limited investment, which will allow it to control customer data, create enhanced ticket-based concert products and to capitalize on expanded distribution channels and sponsorship opportunities.

"This is a monumental step forward in the evolution of Live Nation into a next generation music company," Rapino explained.

"Eventim is the most technologically sophisticated ticketing platform in the world. Live Nation will use its most important asset, the concert ticket, to build artist careers and customer relationships, forge innovative sponsorship deals, create a fan and artist friendly secondary ticketing platform and provide a ticketing alternative for third-party venues.

"We believe that our partnership with Eventim will allow us to execute on this transformational vision."

Eventim currently operates in 17 countries, with more than 2,000 clients including promoters, sports teams and venues. It was the exclusive ticketer for the 2006 World Cup soccer finals.

Schulenberg said the agreement will provide LN with the infrastructure and technology required to reshape how consumers access ticket inventory and enable ancillary revenue opportunities, while vastly improving the overall fan ticketing experience.

The Eventim platform has innovative service offerings including interactive seating maps, mobile distribution, integrated primary and secondary ticketing, alternative access models (auctions, lottery, etc.), print-at-home, radio frequency identification ticketing and unparalleled customer relationship management capabilities.

Live Nation will host an investor call in early January to present the details of the partnership. At about the same time, the Eventim board will host a press conference to present details of the partnership.

The news appears to have an immediate effect on Eventim’s ailing share price, which rose 12.6 percent to euro 28 within hours of the announcement.

The deal will allow Live Nation to begin selling tickets on January 1, 2009. It’s expected to take a further year before the deal is up and running in the U.K.