PayPal Holdings Inc. says it is now the preferred payments partner of Ticketmaster, the big and often controversial multi-national ticketing business owned by Live Nation Entertainment Inc. The deal announced Monday is a boon for PayPal’s Braintree merchant-processing unit, which will become Ticketmaster’s main processor.
Monday’s announcement essentially is an expansion of the business arrangements PayPal and Live Nation already have. “PayPal Braintree has always processed a major portion of Ticketmaster’s volume across the globe,” a spokesperson for San Jose, Calif.-based PayPal tells Digital Transactions News by e-mail. “PayPal Braintree will now be taking over as Ticketmaster’s primary payments processor, meaning we will process the majority of their payments volume around the world. With this new designation, all payment methods and credit and debit cards previously accepted will still be accepted and processed.”
PayPal didn’t disclose which other processors Ticketmaster has been using. A spokesperson for Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Live Nation could not be reached for comment Monday morning.
The deal is sure to bring more volume to Braintree, especially with concerts and other public events returning to near normal levels as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes. Recent financial reports from Live Nation say the company posted $27.5 billion in fee-bearing ticketing gross transaction volume in 2022, up 54% from 2019, the last full pre-pandemic year. Live Nation said in its fourth-quarter 2022 earnings report that as of mid-February ticket sales for its 2023 shows had exceeded 50 million, up 20% from the same point in 2022, with international sales up 25%.
Monday’s announcement made clear that PayPal’s array of products, which besides the Venmo peer-to-peer payments service include PayPal Checkout and PayPal Pay Later, the company’s buy now, pay later entry, can all be used for Ticketmaster purchases.
PayPal also said it expanded a global marketing program with Live Nation. For major festivals, including Bonnaroo, BottleRock, and Lollapalooza, a limited number of fans using PayPal and Venmo will be get ticket discounts and cashless credits.
Ticketmaster, which has taken flak for its dominance of online ticket sales in the U.S., came in for intense criticism in late 2022 when its systems crashed trying to handle huge demand for upcoming concerts headlined by pop superstar Taylor Swift.