Q&A: Eventim Live Asia’s Jason Miller

With CTS Eventim entering the Asian market through the launch of Eventim Live Asia (ELA), caught up with chief executive Jason Miller.

Prior to taking on the role with ELA, Miller led all touring operations for Live Nation Entertainment’s Asia and Middle East offices which means he is well placed to take on this new challenge.

Firstly, could you tell us how this role with Eventim Live Asia came about?

Jason Miller: I believe in Asia as the most dynamic, important part of any successful future for the music business, and in particular the live entertainment space. To have played a leadership role in developing these markets has been one of the great joys and privileges of my career. Once I was free of any further obligation to Live Nation, it was only a matter of time before my search for the best possible new partner took me to Eventim. 

I’m really grateful to Live Nation and to the team I was lucky enough to work with, building unprecedented tours in Asia. Nothing could have prepared me better for this moment.

What was the appeal of this role with Eventim?

JM: Eventim is legitimately a visionary company, and it’s on a roll. The company’s growth these past 10 years has been incredible. Nearly tripled revenue, and literally doubled it in just the four years leading up to COVID. 

Eventim has done this with a unique combination of organic growth, as well as by partnering with or acquiring the best executive talent and companies in a string of new markets. With this launch in Asia, Eventim is as much a global touring company as anyone in the world.

Why has Eventim Live Asia launched now?

JM: It takes months to build the relationships, infrastructure and plans to deliver the absolute best in live entertainment.

We are beginning the conversations now that will lead to incredible live events when markets in Asia are fully open and ready for them.

Further to the previous: what is Eventim Live Asia looking to achieve in Asia?

JM: Succeeding in Asia requires experience and relationships. You really need to know what you’re doing and who the best partners are to build the best events and frankly, to avoid a lot of risk. I’m excited to bring all the lessons I’ve learned over the years to Eventim, and really, to a lot of great artists.

Every artist and every tour has unique needs, especially in these markets. I think ELA is always just competing with the bar of what that artist has done before, and working to make sure we deliver on that artist’s vision.

I should add, having a legitimate third global option should be great for artists. I’m excited that ELA is going to play a leadership role in that equation.

Don’t take my word for it. Go ask managers and agents if they’d prefer to have three bids instead of two.

In the coming months, we will be very excited to share the fruits of the work we are putting in behind the scenes today.

Tell us about how Asian live events are recovering post-COVID? Is it a time for optimism?

JM: Eventim Live Asia is interested in helping to take top local Asian acts around the world. But a lot of our business will also be focused on bringing Western acts to Asia. And for that to happen, we really need most, if not all markets to be operational for live music, in order to make these big, expensive tours make financial sense for all partners involved. 

I do think it’s a time for cautious optimism. Hopefully the coming months will see more slowing of the pandemic, more markets opening, and a new normal established.

What do you consider the most interesting trends in live events in Asia?

JM: This is like asking a parent to pick their favourite child. I think a lot of the opportunity here is continuing to educate the next generation of global stars and their teams on the incredible opportunities in Asia.One thing that I’ve learned the past few years is that the smartest and most visionary agents and managers are not waiting to think about Asia as an afterthought to a large tour. It’s a massive opportunity to build and cement an artist career, with passionate new fans. 

Around 60% of the world’s population is in Asia. America has four cities with more than four million people; China has nearly 20 cities with five million. The markets that ELA will focus on initially literally have a population greater than six Americas.  

Every day, data is making it easier to identify routes and specific opportunities. How can any artist who is serious about their career and their future afford not to make Asia a priority?

Finally, with reference to TheTicketingBusiness’s Asian forum – why is this important for ticketing and live events in the region?

JM: Communication is key. I know I speak for many folks in the live entertainment business when I say thank you for leading some of these important discussions, and providing a platform for knowledge transfer and deal making. Hopefully we’ll all be back in person soon!