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StubHub still “below expectations” after challenging Q3

StubHub's financial performance continues to be affected by a "tough events landscape" and restrictions on touting, says eBay Inc. CEO Devin Wenig

By Jon Chapple on 23 Oct 2017

Devin Wenig, eBay Inc CEO

image © eBay Inc.

StubHub is performing below its parent company’s expectations, eBay president and CEO Devin Wenig has said, after posting weak growth for a second consecutive financial quarter in Q3 2017.

The secondary ticketing business’s gross merchandise volume (GMV), or the value of tickets sold, grew 2% to US$1.2bn in Q3, while revenue increased 5% to $275m.

That 2% figure compares to 8% for eBay Inc. as a whole, and follows a 5% decline in GMV in Q2. In Q1, meanwhile, GMV grew 6% and revenues 18%.

Speaking to investors, Wenig (pictured) said StubHub’s half-year stagnation is due to a lack of big events. “One we’ve mentioned before, which is we’ve got a very tough events […] landscape. StubHub is totally dependent on things that are out of its control, which are the lineup of concerts, teams, events. And Q3 last year was – actually, the second half last year was historically good and it’s not quite breaking that way this year. So, that’s just a factor of – it is what it is given the event landscape.”

Wenig also pointed to growing pains associated with StubHub’s ongoing attempts to form primary market relationships with sports teams and promoters – and, without naming any, initiatives such as Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan which restrict the supply of tickets available to the secondary market.

“We have competitors that are looking to restrict markets, restrict ticket access to supply, and we think that’s terrible for fans”

“I also want to point out that the ticket landscape is changing and we need to position StubHub for an evolving ticket landscape,” he continued.

“One thing I’d mention is, in certain areas, we have competitors that are looking to restrict markets, restrict ticket access to supply, and we think that’s terrible for fans. We’ve always been an advocate of open markets. We’ll keep fighting for open markets. There will be more to say about that in due course.

“But it’s – in part, the event landscape lapping and, in part, us positioning StubHub to be a winner and it’s an amazing business and we still believe it’s an amazing business in an evolving ticket landscape.”

While acknowledging that StubHub’s growth improved on Q2, Wenig said he sees a difficult end to the year for the platform. “We do expect continued pressure on growth through the rest of this year, which will continue to weigh on overall eBay and growth rates,” he concluded.


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