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Eventbrite confirms commitment to live

In a month that saw San Francisco-based event management and ticketing company Eventbrite lay off 45% of its staff, including many in its music division, the company’s founders have stated that they are not intending to pivot away from music.

The layoffs, which affected 500 employees, form part of a $100 million coronavirus cost-cutting plan and were carried out due to “the unprecedented shutdown of the global economy”, according to Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz.

Similarly to other live music executives, including heads of Live Nation, CAA, Endeavor, UTA and Paradigm, Hartz is foregoing her salary for the year to save costs.

In response to reports that the company’s music division was particularly hard hit by the money-saving measures, Hartz told Billboard: “We are not planning to exit music and we’re committed to serving independent creators,” adding, “can you imagine our country without independent live music venues?”

“We are not planning to exit music and we’re committed to serving independent creators”

Hartz states that Eventbrite is using this time to “double down” on improving its platform, adding that the company “has always had a self-service ethos”.

In 2019, almost 950,000 event organisers used the Eventbrite platform, in a year that saw net revenue increase by 12% from the year before to $327m.

The company’s 2017 acquisition of former competitor Ticketfly aimed to create a “powerhouse” for independent venues and promoters, although Eventbrite encountered some issues relating to the integration of the platform, which was completed late last year.

Ticketfly co-founder Andrew Dreskin, stepped down from his role as Eventbrite Music president in May 2019 and stayed on in an advisory role, although reports suggest he may have now departed the company completely, following a pitch to buy back Ticketfly’s assets.

Photo: JD Lasica/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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AXS adds former Eventbrite execs to business team

AEG ticketing partner AXS has added two former Eventbrite executives to its sales team, as the company continues to grow its music sector.

Shaun Eidson joins the team as vice president of sales for music and Stephanie Streeter takes on the role of senior director of sales for music.

Combined, the new hires have more than two decades worth of industry experience across business development, sales and strategic partnerships.

Having previously worked at fellow ticketing companies Eventbrite and StubHub, Eidson will develop and manage engagements with music venues, promoters and artists to implement the AXS platform in international markets.

Streeter, who helped lead the migration of Ticketfly clients over to the Eventbrite platform, will develop partnerships with music festivals, venues and promoters in her newly created role at AXS.

“Shaun and Stephanie bring deep knowledge of what artists and venues require from their ticketing partner”

Eventbrite now has fewer than 100 clients left to migrate, according to a recent Q2 financial report.

“The AXS platform is pushing the pace of innovation for the music industry at every level, from clubs and theatres to arenas, and we continue to add partners that are looking for more sophisticated and robust tools to help grow their businesses,” says Rob Sine, chief revenue officer for AXS, who both Streeter and Eidson will report to.

“Shaun and Stephanie bring deep knowledge of what artists and venues require from their ticketing partner to continue to serve the ever-evolving needs of artists, promoters, and fans and we are thrilled to have them join the AXS team.”

AXS launched its official price-capped resale platform at AEG-owned London arenas the O2 (20,000-cap.) and the SSE Arena (12,500) earlier this year.

 


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Eventbrite Music president Dreskin to step down

Ticketfly co-founder Andrew Dreskin is taking a step back from his role as Eventbrite Music president and will not be standing for re-election to the board of directors as he transitions into an advisory role in early June.

Dreskin became president of Eventbrite in 2017, following the company’s US$200 million acquisition of Ticketfly from Pandora, and joined the executive board in early 2018.

Prior to Ticketfly, Dreskin co-founded TicketWeb, which he sold to Ticketmaster in 2000.

“After more than a decade at Ticketfly, two acquisitions, and all told almost 20 years running ticketing companies, it feels like the right time for me to transition into a different role,” Dreskin told Billboard.

“It has been a tremendous honour to lead both Ticketfly, and Eventbrite’s music division for the past couple years. I have mad respect for the team at Eventbrite and continue to believe that we are building the best music ticketing platform in the world.”

Dreskin adds that he is “stepping down but not stepping out” and has entered into a “new multi-year advisory agreement” with Eventbrite, remaining the “main point of contact” for his existing roster of clients.

“After more than a decade at Ticketfly, two acquisitions, and all told almost 20 years running ticketing companies, it feels like the right time for me to transition into a different role”

“We’re grateful for Andrew’s dedication to leading Eventbrite’s music division since Ticketfly and Eventbrite came together nearly two years ago, culminating in the release of the Eventbrite Music platform late last year,” says Eventbrite co-founder and chief executive Julia Hartz.

“Today’s news does not change our fervent commitment to the independent live music community both in North America and globally, and our clients and the team that serves them remain our highest priority,” states Hartz.

The new Eventbrite Music platform, a ticketing solution aimed at mid-sized independent venues and promoters, launched in November 2018 as the company announced plans to retire the Ticketfly brand. All existing Ticketfly clients will be moved onto the new platform by the end of the year.

The transitioning of Ticketfly to the Eventbrite platform has not proved straightforward. The company cited the integration process as a reason for its “modest growth” in the first financial quarter of this year. Eventbrite’s shares dropped 30% to $17 after releasing its Q1 report, which detailed almost 70% losses as compared to Q1 2018.

Almost a month after the publishing the report, the company’s shares continue to hover around the $16 mark, 30% below its IPO price of $23.

 


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Bye bye, Ticketfly: Eventbrite launches platform for indie venues

Eventbrite today announced the launch of Eventbrite Music, a new ticketing solution for independent promoters, venues and festivals.

Built on the Eventbrite platform, Eventbrite Music “brings together the world-class expertise and functionality of multiple platforms”, says the company, following last year’s acquisitions of European self-service platform Ticketscript and US indie specialist Ticketfly.

While not explicitly named by Eventbrite as a successor to Ticketfly, a spokesperson tells IQ the Ticketfly brand will be retired sometime in 2019, with all existing Ticketfly clients moved onto the new Eventbrite Music platform. (Ticketscript has already been rebranded.)

“Over the years, the core needs of a concert promoter haven’t changed: They need to reduce friction in their day-to-day operations, promote profitable shows, sometimes hundreds of them a year, and deliver a great experience for artists and fans,” says Andrew Dreskin, co-founder of Ticketfly and now president of Eventbrite’s music division.

“The amount of thought and work we’ve put into addressing these needs has been a herculean effort. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I can say with conviction that Eventbrite Music is the best piece of ticketing software that I’ve ever worked on.

“We’re excited to put this solution into the hands of independent promoters around the world and help to continue to fuel a thriving independent music ecosystem.”

“I can say with conviction that Eventbrite Music is the best piece of ticketing software that I’ve ever worked on”

While it is North America- and Australia-only at launch, IQ understands the platform will eventually make its way over to Europe.

Eventbrite Music is “backed by a dedicated team of the industry’s top music experts”, says the company, “who together with promoters, festivals and more than 1,000 venues, make up a tight-knit independent live music community.”

The platform is built for mobile, allowing for easy access to real-time show data; customisable reserved seating functionality with a mobile-optimised purchase process for consumers; and the Eventbrite Organizer app, while clients will benefit from Eventbrite’s partnership agreements with more than 50 third-party distribution platforms, including YouTube, Spotify, Instagram and Songkick.

“Marketing and ticketing are synonymous in my mind and Eventbrite Music is a huge help for independent venues like us,” says Jordan Olels, marketing and ticketing manager for Seattle venue Neumos and Capitol Hill Block Party festival.

“Not only does it save time in the set-up of our ticketing but we can easily see which distribution channels are moving tickets, whether it’s Facebook, Spotify, Songkick, or something else. We’ve definitely seen an uptick in ticket sales since switching to Eventbrite.”

Eventbrite launched on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year. At press time, its share price had jumped to US$33, up from $31.79 at market opening this morning.

 


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