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Ticketmaster strengthens ties with ASM Global

Ticketmaster has strengthened its relationship with ASM Global through an expanded partnership that now allows it to conduct ticket sales for Live Nation-promoted shows at the venue management company’s arenas and stadiums across North America.

ASM confirmed in a statement that Ticketmaster will have access to properties that welcome more than eight million fans per year, although it did not confirm which venues will work with the ticketing operator.

ASM and its venues will also have access to Ticketmaster’s Live Analytics dashboard, which provides insights and tools designed to enhance customer engagement.

The expanded agreement with Live Nation’s Ticketmaster comes two years after deals that saw ASM Global formed by a merger between AEG Facilities and SMG, and AEG acquiring AXS Tickets as its in-house ticketing operator.

The announcement also comes three months after ASM Global hired former Live Nation executive Ron Bension as its new president and chief executive.

Bension said: “With amazing content in all of our venues as a powerful foundation, we continue to discover imaginative new methods that leverage breakthrough technologies to create unparalleled consumer journeys including innovative food and beverage and premium VIP treatment for fans. Aligning with industry leaders like Ticketmaster is a critical component in providing millions of people with the most seamless and secure live experiences.”

ASM said patrons at its venues will benefit from Ticketmaster services that include contactless entry, mobile tickets, instant transfer to friends or other fans and anti-counterfeiting measures.

ASM manages a number of leading venues across North America, including Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and Barclays Center in New York City.

“ASM is our largest partner in North America, and we are proud to grow our great work together,” said Michael Rapino, Live Nation’s president and chief executive. “We are committed to supporting ASM’s efforts to provide fans with best-in-class ticketing and fan-engagement now and into the future.”

The announcement – issued simultaneously by ASM Global and Live Nation – has raised some eyebrows in the industry, with the former considered to be closely aligned with AEG and, due to historic ties, its on-house ticketing subsidiary AXS.

An industry insider said: “Every ticket sale matters, especially after COVID-19. This news is a repositioning of the relationship between several ASM venues and Ticketmaster. The mention of ‘renewal’ indicates that there was an assessment or evaluation process and, at the end of that, it became clear that Ticketmaster is a better option for selling tickets than, say, AXS. Where this leaves AXS’ long-term aspirations to be a leading consumer-facing ticket seller is interesting. In essence this deal says that ASM’s concert-starved facilities will be better placed if they align with the Live Nation/Ticketmaster offer to reach market.”

The insider added: “ASM will not be worried about losing some ticket fees from its reduced venue allocation arriving on the AXS platform but instead much more interested in the incremental spend per fan within its venue from food, beverage, parking and so on. As the North American concert tour business reopens we can expect to see more realignments to the promoters. After all, these are the people with the gigs that the venues need more than ever.”