Popcorn, Lights, Action: BookMyShow braces for Zomato’s blockbuster debut in the ticketing arena

Grab your popcorn, folks, because the battle for movie and event ticketing supremacy is about to heat up! In one corner, we have the reigning champ, BookMyShow, a platform that has weathered more storms than a seasoned sailor. In the other, the feisty challenger, Zomato, a tech titan with a penchant for disruption. As the two titans prepare to duke it out, the entertainment industry is abuzz with anticipation, wondering who will emerge victorious in this epic showdown.

BookMyShow, the online ticketing platform that has been the go-to destination for movie and event enthusiasts for over 25 years, has proven time and time again that it’s a force to be reckoned with. Founded by the tenacious Ashish Hemrajani, this company has faced its fair share of challenges, from the dot-com bubble burst to the global financial crisis, and even the devastating impact of the pandemic. But like a true hero in a blockbuster film, BookMyShow has always managed to bounce back, emerging stronger and more resilient than ever before.

BookMyShow’s ticket to resilience

BookMyShow is no stranger to disruptions. In 2015, the entry of Paytm, a deep-pocketed player in the ticketing space, threatened to disrupt their dominance. Paytm’s aggressive foray, complete with heavy discounts and cashbacks, slowed BookMyShow’s growth for a while. But BookMyShow, ever the savvy strategist, adapted and pivoted, weathering the storm and eventually regaining its position as the market leader.

Just when BookMyShow had found its rhythm, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, bringing the entire entertainment industry to a screeching halt. With lockdowns and social distancing measures in place, BookMyShow’s business crashed overnight. But true to form, the company didn’t let this setback define it. Instead, it went back to the drawing board, reinventing itself and emerging from the pandemic stronger than ever before.

As the world gradually returned to normal, BookMyShow seized the opportunity to reclaim its rightful place. The company reported a remarkable turnaround, with revenue growing 3.5 times in FY23 compared to the previous year, reaching an all-time high of over INR1,200 crore. This impressive performance not only showcased BookMyShow’s resilience but also highlighted its ability to adapt and thrive in the face of adversity.

Zomato’s foray into the ticketing arena

Enter Zomato, the tech giant that has made a name for itself in the food delivery space. Sensing an opportunity to expand its empire, Zomato is now set to enter the ticketing arena, with plans to acquire Paytm’s movie and events-booking division. This strategic move has sent shockwaves through the industry, as Zomato prepares to challenge BookMyShow’s long-standing dominance.

Led by Deepinder Goyal, Zomato has a reputation for disrupting established industries. From its success in the food delivery business to its recent acquisition of Blinkit, the company has demonstrated its ability to identify and capitalize on emerging opportunities. This track record has analysts and industry experts excited about Zomato’s potential to shake up the ticketing landscape.

While the movie ticketing business is known for its low margins and slow growth, the events and shows segment presents a more lucrative opportunity. BookMyShow has long been the dominant player in this space, holding a two-thirds market share. But with Zomato’s deep pockets and proven execution capabilities, the battle for this high-margin segment is set to be fierce.

Zomato has made it clear that it’s not content with just dipping its toes in the ticketing business. The company has already hired Zeenah Vilcassim, a seasoned industry veteran, to lead its Zomato Live Entertainment division. The live events segment is experiencing a remarkable surge in popularity, with music concerts, comedy performances, sports events, and other forms of entertainment captivating audiences across the country. According to a recent report by EY, this segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18% to reach INR14,300 crore by 2026, making it an enticing target for both BookMyShow and Zomato.

The tale of the tape

Zomato’s deep pockets, impressive execution capabilities, and vast user base could give it a significant advantage in the ticketing arena. The company’s ability to leverage its existing relationships with restaurants and its expertise in creating seamless user experiences could prove invaluable in the battle for market share.

However, BookMyShow is no stranger to fierce competition. The company has weathered storms before and emerged stronger each time. With its 25-year track record, extensive partnerships with theater chains, and a loyal customer base, BookMyShow is well-equipped to put up a formidable fight against Zomato’s onslaught.

While Zomato’s entry into the ticketing business is undoubtedly exciting, it’s not without its risks. The events and shows segment can be a cash-guzzling endeavor, with high artist costs and a fragmented market. If Zomato’s acquisition of Paytm’s ticketing division ends up making significant losses, it could be a major setback for the company and its valuation.

As the curtain rises on this epic showdown, the entertainment industry holds its breath, eager to see which titan will emerge victorious. Will BookMyShow’s resilience and adaptability prove too much for Zomato’s disruptive ambitions? Or will Zomato’s deep pockets and proven execution capabilities overwhelm the reigning champion? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the battle for ticketing supremacy is about to get a whole lot more interesting, and this is one titanic tussle you will want to grab front row seats to.