When SeatGeek wrote to serve notice on its Benelux arts customers in October, many in the industry felt a sense of déjà vu. Wasn’t this the same company which had also walked away from its Asian client base 24 months previously?
Indeed, as we reported in August 2018 (SeatGeek to exit Asia-Pacific market), the US-based ticketing group sunsetted its clients stating it had “reviewed all vertical markets and SRO product direction,” making “the decision to focus on specific verticals (and to) sunset any new business sales outside of live entertainment.”
Many of the clients came with SeatGeek’s acquisition of the TopTix/SRO platform in early 2017 and its partner group businesses, including TicketServ, as the New York-based group looked to move from its original mobile-based ticket resale platform into a primary, enterprise-scale ticket retail platform.
At the time, SeatGeek defined ‘live entertainment’ as being sport, music/concerts and major performing arts such as Broadway and West End-style commercial theatre. The sunsetting of Benelux arts clients appears to be in line with this focus – and the 50+ organisations in Europe will now be shopping around for new ticketing solutions as the contracted support for SeatGeek platform begins to drop off.
But where did the Asian businesses take their ticketing requirements after SeatGeek left the region? TheTicketingBusiness has taken a look back across Asia to see where the former TopTix SRO/SeatGeek customers went for their ticketing solutions.
Our research indicates that there were some 30 clients in Asia, Australasia and Oceania on SeatGeek at the time of the sunset announcement (August 2018).
In Australia, several clients migrated to Red61, the Edinburgh-based group which started life in 2002, serving the needs of Edinburgh Festival Fringe and now has an Australian subsidiary. These included: Country Arts SA (a group of 5 venues), Shepparton Theatre Arts Group / Riverlinks Venues, Albury Entertainment Centre, Hamilton Arts Centre and West Gippsland Arts Centre. Red61 also picked up the Darwin Festival in Northern Territory.
The City of Casey in (Melbourne) Victoria transitioned to Tessitura Network, the performing arts ticketing and donor platform.
Several of the largest venues went to Vivaticket (formerly Best Union/ENTA) including HOTA (Home of the Arts – on the Gold Coast), Frankston Arts Centre (Melbourne), and Theatre Royal Hobart (Tasmania). Sydney Philharmonia Choirs also moved to Vivaticket.
Darwin Entertainment Centre chose Tickets(.)com.
Outside of Australia a few of the Asian clients changed direction, with TicketCharge Malaysia becoming part of TEG, the Australian-based entertainment group which owns Ticketek. Elsewhere, AirAsia in Malaysia developed its own ticketing solution under the AirAsia RedTix brand. Ticketmastas in Papua New Guinea swapped to Red61.
SeatGeek’s Asia adventure formally ended in April 2020 with the local office closing and remaining support staff departing. TheTicketingBusiness understands a handful of sites in the region remain on SeatGeek with support being offered from UK office, despite the conflicting timezones.
Now the industry will be looking to see where the 50+ European organisations on SeatGeek’s latest sunset trip end up.
If you have been directly affected by the issues raised in this article or would like to update/correct this news post, please contact us here.