In a bid to further increase its global reach, Ticketmaster today announced it bought a majority stake in Emma Entertainment Ltd., a Beijing, China-based event ticketing and promotions company. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Emma Entertainment will change its name to Emma Ticketmaster and become “an operating business” of the company, officials said.
The investment in Emma Entertainment marks the third deal Ticketmaster has secured in the People’s Republic of China within the past year, following its formation last fall of a joint venture called Beijing Gehua Ticketmaster Ticketing Co. to sell tickets to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and this spring buying an undisclosed stake in Broadway China Network. . .
With more than 1.3 billion people, China is the world’s most populous country, making Ticketmaster’s continued investment there a no-brainer. “What attracted us to Emma is great local management. Jonathan Krane, Emma Entertainment’s CEO, has done a fantastic job navigating the complicated dynamics of the rapidly developing Chinese market,” Eric Korman, Executive Vice President of Ticketmaster, said in a prepared statement. “Under Jon’s leadership, Emma has established more than 30 exclusive ticketing venue contracts in five different major cities in China in just three years of operation. Equally as important, Emma has been instrumental in presenting many major events into the People’s Republic of China, such as the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton.”
China’s middle and upper middle classes are becoming one of the most powerful blocks of leisure, recreation and entertainment spenders in the world as the country’s global economic base continues to grow. Under Ticketmaster’s guidance, Emma Entertainment’s mission will be to continue to increase its share of the ticketing and promotions market throughout China and implement new ticketing technologies.
Krane, who will remain CEO of Emma Entertainment, said in a prepared statement that the company is proud to be aligned with Ticketmaster. “We look forward to working with Ticketmaster to develop our Chinese ticketing operations and bring great live entertainment to the people of China.”