TM Sizes Up Post-Olympics China

The Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games sold 6.8 million tickets, more than any previous games, Ticketmaster has reported.

Last year, Ticketmaster partnered with two Chinese ticketing agencies – China Sports Industry Group and Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group – to form Beijing Gehua Ticketmaster Ticketing. The entity handled domestic ticket sales for the Games and distribution to other international Olympic committees.

The system was pressed during October’s initial onsale in the country, when it reportedly received as many as 8 million hits during the first hour, causing it to crash. However, TM later managed its biggest single day during a second Olympics onsale in May, the Wall Street Journal reported, when it handled 175 million page views, with 27 million in the first hour.

The Games presented an opportunity for Ticketmaster, which has 6,500 outlets globally and generates 35 percent of its revenue from outside the U.S., to move deeper into China’s ticketing industry, which is apparently still in its infancy.

TM is already present in six markets but faces challenges ahead, including cultural differences such as Chinese consumers being accustomed to paying in person and online ticket payment systems not being widely used in the country, according to the paper.