Germany: Schulenberg Speaks, Eps Hires Three
CTS/Eventim’s founder, CEO and chairman Klaus-Peter Schulenberg talked publicly about the state of the concert business in Germany Oct. 29.
Speaking to German economy magazine Handelsblatt, Schulenberg said he doesn’t think that the current ticket price level could lead to a saturation of consumer demand. The more popular an artist was, the less price-sensitive his fans were going to be.
Questioned about secondary ticketing, he said: “To be honest, I consider this black market to be an unspeakable development. If I had my way, the one showing up first at the box office – online or at the counter – should get the best ticket.”
He added that Eventim was doing “everything humanly possible” to curb the practice. “We’re fighting bots and have a dedicated department that scans all orders to detect salience.”
Schulenberg thinks drawing by lots and personalizing tickets in case demand surpassed the supply could be a solution. He’d also like to see some legislative measures implemented, such as capping the resale price according to the French model.
Eventim operates its own resale platform called FanSale. Since Germany has no law that caps the resale price, free market principles apply and resellers can charge whatever they want. The platform, however, informs buyers whether ticket prices are at or below face value by marking them with a corresponding symbol. Another symbol guarantees the validity of all tickets that were originally bought via Eventim’s own ticket systems.
On Live Nation entering the German speaking markets, Schulenberg commented that he did not believe in monopolies, pointing out that competition within the industry has always been hard. He emphasized that relationships with artists and promoters still played an important role in what was a “people’s business.”
He described his relationship with Marek Lieberberg, who was part of CTS while still at MLK before joining Live Nation in 2015, as “very good.”
While he acknowledged Amazon’s “gigantic aura” and “unique data set” he wanted to first observe the company’s ticketing endeavors in the U.S. before making up his mind about the company’s chances of success.
The German anti-trust authorities are currently investigating Eventim’s market power. “We are certain that we played by all the rules,” Schulenberg said when questioned about it.
He revealed that he had planned to sell all tickets via the Internet as early as the turn of the millennium, but that the market hadn’t been ready, which is why Eventim focused on buying majority stakes in leading concert promoters instead, in order to no longer be solely dependent on the ticketing business.
Schulenberg said his company had data on more than ten million music fans across Europe, which led to the inception of an “information science” department. It was “an asset we want to utilize more in the future.”
He added that he intends to further grow the live entertainment segment in Europe. “We want to be able to offer big European tours.”
Alice Kentenich, Olga Sarman and Katharina Wilk have joined eps to reinforce the infrastructure service provider’s controlling team.
Kentenich takes on the role of head of finance/controlling at the subsidiary eps GmbH based in Bergheim, Germany. She held various positions in both finance and controlling at other companies and comes with two degrees: business manager in accounting/controlling and a BA in general management.
Sarman and Wilk join the group finance team at eps holding GmbH in Krailing. Sarman, who is from the U.S., worked in the controlling department for German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG after studying business administration in Cologne, and also managed the finances of a Lufthansa subsidiary in New York, where she moved in 2000.
She also worked for several years as controller for various other companies in the U.S. Wilk’s past roles include finance and controlling positions at Merck, after which she switched to the online shop whiskey.de and focused on the optimization of the web shop and the process control.
“With the strong growth of the eps group in the last few years, emphasis on accounting and controlling has increased. We welcome Alice Kentenich, Olga Sarman and Katharina Wilk to the team, who will join efforts in completing these tasks,” said Martin Do¨tterl, CFO and Managing Director at eps holding gmbh.