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Tixel outlines ‘mission’ to reshape resale market

Matt Kaplan, head of UK/EU at the "honest resale marketplace", tells IQ about the company's efforts to change perceptions

By James Hanley on 17 Jun 2024

Matt Kaplan

Tixel’s head of UK/EU Matt Kaplan has detailed the firm’s mission to help alter perceptions around the secondary ticketing sector.

The price-capped, self-styled “honest resale marketplace” has expanded its remit to Cross The Tracks, Wide Awake and Project 6 and City Splash, part of Brockwell Live series in London, in addition to its existing partnerships with Superstruct UK festivals including Boardmasters, Kendal Calling, Tramlines Festival, Truck Festival and Y Not Festival.

Founded in Australia in 2018, Tixel launched its UK operation in 2021 and has reported year-on-year growth of 97% in events trading on the platform between ’22 and ’23.

“We are a very passionate, mission-driven company,” Kaplan tells IQ. “This is our fourth season in the UK – and one of those was half a season because of Covid – and the type of partners we’ve already got on board really says something about who we are and what we’re trying to achieve.”

While some of the negative connotations around the secondary market remain, amid the stream of high-profile investigations and controversies – most recently the claim that ticket touts hatched secret plans to sabotage Labour’s bid to cap ticket resale if the party wins the next UK general election – Kaplan is at pains to distance Tixel from some of its more “notorious” competitors.

“We have tools that help festivals reach some of the more price-sensitive buyers, potentially without having to devalue their brand and publicly discount”

“It’s our job to educate the industry and our partners on why we’re different and how we can support them with their campaign and protect their fans,” he says. “When you potentially have speculative listings and bots buying up a whole lot of tickets and selling them for inflated prices on unregulated markets, that has some tailwind of connotations across the industry. Clearly, there is an impact of some of that more nefarious activity, but we utilise it to shine a light on why we’re different.”

Tixel is able to eliminate fraud and double-scanning by reissuing new tickets for events when they are on-sold. It also gives organisers complete control and visibility of their resale market, while helping unlock new revenue and fan data.

“The ability to utilise our tools, regardless of the sell through rate of a festival, has been a really strong sales tool for us,” adds Kaplan. “Essentially, we allow festivals to tinker with their pricing on our marketplace. They often just tweak the price by maybe £5 or £10, and that might tip buying decisions. So we have tools that help festivals reach some of the more price-sensitive buyers, potentially without having to devalue their brand and publicly discount.

“It’s obviously super-tough to hit the bullseye on pricing because they price their festivals before the actual gates are going to open, so they don’t necessarily have all the insights. Us giving them the ability to to use some of our tools to help sell through more primary stock is effective. And then giving every festival the ability to have a secondary ticket trade that is safe and secure is also really important, and that’s something that we do really well.”

Superstruct UK enlisted Tixel as its exclusive resale platform for a number of its domestic events last year. The partnership includes direct technology integrations to facilitate functions like real-time, accurate ticket validation on all tickets listed (eliminating fakes and/or speculative listings) and the ability for a buyer to list and sell a ticket before ticket barcodes have been distributed. Kaplan sees the deal as a key moment for Tixel.

“We think what we’re doing is very important to the industry, and the more people that know about us, the better”

“It helped in our conversations with a whole load of other promoters and we’ve seen lots of doors open as a result,” he notes. “We know that our tech is very good, we’ve got best in class, but we want to be able to share that with other promoters and having a name like Superstruct on our books makes that initial outreach a bit easier, because people recognise us. There’s brand recognition in the market, so then we’re able to actually show our wares.

“We think what we’re doing is very important to the industry, and the more people that know about us, the better.”

The 2023 season saw Tixel move over 15,000 tickets across eight events and four ticketing platforms, and this year is shaping up to blow that out of the water.

“We’ve got events every single week between now and the end of September in the UK, and then Australia is going strong,” says Kaplan. “We’ve got a bunch of new independent partners as well, like We Out Here festival, Bloodstock and Camp Wildfire.

“We’ve also grown various portfolios: Silverstone Woodlands has a number of other events that we now work with and the U-Live festival portfolio has also expanded with us – they’ve got six or seven festivals we now work with. The idea is to keep building, keep growing and keep supporting our organisers.”


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