Secondary ticketing service Seatwave says its gross European ticket sales increased by 325% in quantity for the full year 2008 compared with 2007.

In-house data also confirmed a 232% increase in quantity from Q4 2007 to Q4 2008 across Europe and a 66% increase in overall number of transactions since Q3 2008.

U.K. sales data showed that the biggest growth area was theatre tickets, with a 217% full year-on-year increase in the number of tickets sold. Concerts saw a 154% rise for the same period in the U.K.

Figures indicated that Seatwave customers are becoming increasingly interested in overseas events, such as European festivals Benicassim and Rock am Ring. In Q4 2008, U.K. buyers bought tickets to events in 21 countries, up from eight in the same period of 2007.

U.K. melodic rock act Coldplay had the highest grossing tour on Seatwave in Q4 2008.

The London-based company says the increase in sales has led to a "marked reduction" in ticket prices.

"The huge rise in transactions is evidence that the secondary market is filling a genuine customer need," said Seatwave founder and CEO Joe Cohen in a statement. "Our open marketplace is lowering prices, increasing transparency and providing greater choice and opportunity, allowing real fans the chance to attend the events that matter to them."

The London-based company is Europe's leading independent ticketing Web site, according to Comscore market share data. It offers customer protection in the form of refunds for tickets not supplied and for cancelled events.

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