The Ticketing War

Paytm’s recent foray into Ticketing business has added much heat to the already boiling industry. Soon after, biggest of the players including BookMyShow and TicketNew started witnessing dip in their sales. Surprisingly, the platforms with a niche remain unperturbed. Specialisation rules over consolidation.

In recent years, a long list of ticketing platforms has emerged, saving audiences the hassles of standing in a queue, repeated window visits and wastage of time. Now from latest movie to upcoming cricket match, college event to the rock show, you can books your seats for anything and everything just with a few clicks. Things were smooth till recently the big payment gateway that mostly acted as channel for these bookings decided to enter the market as a player.

Paytm started selling movie tickets too and down went the sales through other major players as they relied majorly on revenues from the movie ticket business. It claimed to have sold over 52 million movie tickets in 2017, showing 500% growth in volume of tickets sold since its launch in May 2016.

The consolidated net sales of BookMyShow, has shown a 27% increase in operational revenues at Rs 300.6 crore in FY17 compared to Rs 236 crore in FY16. Apparently its movie ticketing forms about 60-65% of Book-MyShow’s ticketing revenues

That’s a considerable dip in growth. Likewise, the Chennai based platform TicketNew also posted a drop in net sales by 8.7% for the year 2016-17. Last year June, Alibaba had picked up a controlling stake in TicketNew.

Niche is the key

While the consolidation and competition is cut-throat, the war is much around screen-ticket selling. Niche players are silently growing and capturing market right under the current. Growth story of TheCollegeFever is one such example. Including more than 2100 colleges of India, almost all the IITs and IIMs extensively use the platform to organise, promote and sell tickets of their events. Unknown otherwise the platform is very popular amongst college goers and needs no introduction in campuses.

The platform has consistently posted more than 100% growth year-on-year in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Funded by Mumbai based VC 11.2 Advisors TheCollegeFever raised $250,000 last year.

Talking about the growth story, Kushal Aralihalli, founder TCF said, “Being a strong believer of a good product I allocated a major sum for product development and the strategy worked. With a seamless UI experience the platform has become a big hit amongst youngsters. Colleges are using the features on offer and creating some of the most talked about campus events in the world.”

“Four years of consistent partnerships with prestigious college events of IIT Bombay, IIT BHU, IIT Rajasthan, IIM Bangalore, IIM Indore, NIT Tirchy and others proves that TheCollegeFever delivers value apt to the College event organisers. Unlike other general event technology platforms, we have created a niche product that is customized to the college event organisers. That’s our biggest asset,” added Kushal.

TheCollegeFever is a platform for student communities based on college life and similar interests and helps them in coordinating fests, conducting workshops or promotion for wide coverage and sponsorships. Looking at the future, the company aims to grow by another 100% this year. The growth is targeted to be reflective in all terms including the reach, number of events, revenue and profits.

Soon after the consumption of the existing funds, the startup is eyeing for additional funding and expansion thereby. Additional funds are planned to be used by the company for increasing sales of tickets, expanding into major cities across the country, as well as for product development.

Other ticketing platforms with a niche include names like TicketCounters, IndianStage and TicketGenie. While TicketCounters focuses on corporate events and marathons, IndianStage is said to be the biggest music and artist ticketing platform. TicketGenie is popular amongst sports enthusiasts because of IPL and Hockey league tickets sold through them.

Only time will tell if the consolidation will continue or the churning will result into emergence of new leaders. As of now the balance is on the side of the ticketing platforms with a niche.

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