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Tickets Please: All Options Open Report Details The State Of Play In Post-Pandemic Ticketing



Today’s event ticket is considered by many as an option, not a commitment. This is one of the big takeouts from a new report into the ticketing landscape produced by entertainment and culture marketing agency Bolster Group and honest ticket marketplace Tixel.

The collaborative report – All Options Open: Ticketing State of Play 2022 – states that following the pandemic 71% of event-goers have changed their ticket purchase behaviour – whether that be buying more tickets, less tickets or buying them differently. Due to pandemic-related cancellations and postponements 50% of the market now think twice about buying tickets, that figure going as high as 70% for Gen Z.

Image of Panic! At The Disco performing live

Tixel Co-founder Jason Webb says the mindset has shifted from ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) to ‘buy now, decide later’ (BNDL), particularly for those aged 18-25.

“They feel secure in the knowledge that if they change their mind or plans change, they can sell the ticket and move on.

“There’s a level of fluidity in tickets today that we’ve not seen before,” he continues, “driven primarily by consumer desire for flexibility.”

To produce the report, Bolster Group and Tixel surveyed more than 1,200 ticket consumers about their behaviours and buying preferences, with in-depth interviews also being conducted with key music industry experts — Sharlene Harris (ALH Group), Seth Clancy (Oztix), Casey Katz (Untitled Group), Nick O’Byrne (Look Out Kid), Sam Adams Nye (Humanitix), and Taylor James (Lemon Tree Music).

It looks at the emergence of a “flexible economy” as the live entertainment industry begins to bounce back from the pandemic, more than two years on from March 2020.

One of the biggest shifts has been the adoption of resale platforms such as Tixel, which has given consumers more control over their ticket purchasing decisions.

According to the survey, 84% of event-goers are more likely to purchase tickets knowing they can be resold, while 41% of event-goers will think twice about buying a ticket to an event that doesn’t allow easy resale.

The report also cites the emergence of five self-identified personas that buyers take on when sourcing tickets. The most common buyer type are the ‘Early Birds’ (42%) who pounce on pre-sales to save money or avoid missing out. Then there’s the ‘Group Organiser’ (22%) who rallies the troops and buys multiple tickets. Other personas were identified as ‘Bet Hedgers’, ‘Window Watchers’ and ‘Procrastinators’.

“We know audiences are buying much later than they typically did pre-pandemic, but this report takes a deeper look at why,” says Darren Levin, Bolster Group’s Head of Strategy & Solutions. “As we head into a turbulent summer period, we hope this report arms the industry with all the info it needs to get a handle on an ever-evolving audience.”

Despite the sweeping changes to the ticketing landscape, some things have remained the same as pre-pandemic times, notably the power of a great lineup to motivate purchase.

The report states that 91% of event-goers need to love the artists on the line-up to click on the buy button, while a line-up video alone can sway 65% of event goers into purchase.

Levin says Bolster Group and Tixel hope to build on this research year on year. “We could think of no better partner than Tixel, who have witnessed similar market shifts first hand.”

Read the full report at tixel.com/blog/ticketing-state-of-play.