Range of ticketing platforms makes cultural events overview hard to find

Intsikurmu music festival.
Intsikurmu music festival. Source: Martin Kosseson

In recent years, a wide variety of different ticketing platforms have emerged in Estonia. However, the growing number can make it more difficult for consumers to get a comprehensive overview of all the concerts and other events taking place in Estonia.

Piletilevi's website for instance, shows that from mid-July to the end of August, tickets are available for almost 300 different cultural events in Estonia. On the Piletimaailm website, however, it is possible to buy tickets for 126 cultural events. For some events, tickets can also be bought on via several different platforms.

With a wide variety of concerts taking place in Estonia the summer, online platforms will dominate when it comes ticket sales. For example, while the OnlinePilet website only sells concert tickets, Piletimaailm additionally offers tickets for a range of other live events and film screenings. Tickets for festivals and club nights can also be purchased on the Ticketer platform.

The Fienta ticket platform also offers the possibility to register for other events including sports camps or cocktail-making workshops.

Those wishing to attend this year's Viljandi Folk Music Festival will have to purchase their tickets exclusively through the Piletikeskus platform. However, there are plenty of other concerts and events, for which tickets can be purchased from several different platforms.

According to Vello Tellissaar, member of the board of Tartu Kontsertkorraldus OÜ, this kind of competition among ticketing platforms is beneficial.

"New platforms are springing up and trying to compete with each other. If they do it themselves, it will only be an advantage for event organizers, because the platforms themselves are trying to help with ticket sales," Tellissaar told ERR.

However, Eva Palm, a board member of concert promoter Live Nation, told ERR, that the increasing number of online ticketing platforms could increase confusion for both promoters and consumers.

"It would be much better and more convenient for customers if everything was in one place. It also creates confusion for the promoters if events are spread across different platforms," Palm said.

Tellissaar believes, that while there are now plenty of ticketing platforms in Estonia, most consumers know from which platform they ought to buy tickets for which events.

"I don't think they (the platforms) interfere with each other in any way. It is the theater crowd that buys from Piletilevi and Piletimaailm, for example," Tellissaar added.

Palm said, that Live Nation only sells tickets through a single platform, as this is stipulated in its contractual agreements.

Piletilevi chief Jaanus Beilmann told ERR, that the market is free and so there could be and endless number of ticket providers. However, it comes down to the question of which are able to last.

"The main thing that differentiates platforms is the number of users. Piletilevi has been in the market for more than 25 years and now Piletilevi has over one million visits per month in Estonia," Beilmann said.

Service providers also have to invest heavily in software development, and not all of them may be able to do that.

Bringing platforms together would mean the need to merge different companies, which is a much more complex task.

Consumers, on the other hand, will make their choices based on where they are used to buying their tickets from, or which brand looks the most familiar and attractive, Beilmann added.

Platforms remained profitable last year

According to the Estonian Business Register, Piletilevi made a profit of almost €1.2 million, with sales of €8.9 million last year. In 2021, however, the company made a loss of €1.2 million, with sales of €4.2 million.

In 2022, Ticketer's turnover was €1.5 million and the company's profit was €37,000. The year before, Ticketer made a profit of €13,400 with sales of almost €94.000.

Neither Sviby OÜ, which manages Piletikeskus, nor Fienta Ticketing OÜ have so far submitted their annual account details for 2022.

Piletimaailm is owned by SA Eesti Draamateater and Online Pilet OÜ Tartu Kontsert.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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