Ticketmaster is bringing its business to South Africa, announcing the opening of a hew HQ in Cape Town as part of its launch in the country. The launch is the first on the African continent for the company, which had previously established operations in Turkey and the UAE for its “Africa and Middle East” region, according to the company’s international operations website.

“As a popular stop for the world’s biggest artists and major international sporting events, South Africa is a natural choice for us,” says Ticketmaster President Mark Yovich, who was President of Ticketmaster International prior to taking over the main operation in the lead-up to Jared Smith’s departure. “Our unparalleled technology and continued investment in innovation will enable our South African team to provide the best ticketing experience to event organisers, venues and fans across the country.”

Justin Van Wyk will serve as Managing Director of Ticketmaster South Africa, having been an executive with Big Concerts in Cape Town for more than a decade, including serving as its CEO since 2016.

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“Our local team of experts have been living and breathing live events for 20+ years and are ready to bring their industry-wide knowledge coupled with the world’s largest ticket marketplace to clients and fans here. As a country rapidly adopting digital technology, South African fans are sure to embrace Ticketmaster’s industry-leading digital ticketing innovations.”

The company is launching in the country of approximately 60 million on the heels of what it says was a successful onsale for the Justin Bieber Justice World Tour date in the country, which was entirely online in a first for the country. The Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 event is similarly 100% online and digital-only, as Ticketmaster continues its push to bring mobile-only technology to every event it can require it.

This shift has some downsides – according to research published by Pew Research Center, an estimated 8% of South African adults do not own a mobile device of their own, relying on shared access of a mobile device with others to access mobile technology. A further 5% own no mobile device at all. That same study shows that 44% of mobile users in the country report issues finding a reliable mobile signal and 37% have trouble paying for phone usage, all factors which call into question a move away from traditional ticketing formats to all-mobile in the country.

Ticketmaster’s South Africa-specific website can be found at https://www.ticketmaster.co.za/ There are currently 15 music events listed on the website, with six sporting events on offer, including Rugby World Cup.