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SeatGeek ups primary ambitions with TopTix buy

SeatGeek, the New York-based ticket aggregator and resale site, has acquired Israeli ticketing software developer TopTix in a US$56 million deal it says “instantly makes SeatGeek one of the largest primary ticketers in the world”.

The two companies have been partners since August, when SeatGeek announced a move into the primary market, powered by TopTix’s SRO⁴ software. The new primary platform, now dubbed SeatGeek Open, will allow promoters and sports teams to sell tickets via other apps and websites, “in places where fans are spending time and consuming content”, such as ecommerce and social-media sites. “This is a radically different approach from that of industry incumbents, which limit the distribution of tickets,” seats SeatGeek.

The acquisition of TopTix was financed by a new venture funding round led by Glynn Capital. All 500+ TopTix clients, which in the music space include Kappa FuturFestival in Turin, the Concertgebouw venue in Amsterdam and Australia’s Theatre Royal, become clients of SeatGeek, with TopTix operating as a subsidiary.

“Combining these two platforms together allows SeatGeek to deliver the most powerful – and only open – ticketing platform in the industry”

“As anyone who has spent time in the entertainment industry knows, ticketing is a pain point for teams, artists, venues, and their fans,” comments Glynn Capital’s David Glynn. “We believe that SeatGeek, strengthened by TopTix, is providing a better option through an innovative business model and best-in-class technology, and we think that’s the key to turning a massive industry on its head.”

Adds SeatGeek co-founder Jack Groetzinger: “TopTix has by far the best back-end primary ticketing technology in the world, and we humbly believe that at SeatGeek we have created what is easily the best user experience. Combining these two platforms together allows SeatGeek to deliver the most powerful – and only open – ticketing platform in the industry.

We’re thrilled to be working with the team from TopTix to continue to build our open ecosystem that is transforming the way people access live events.”

 


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StubHub lands major primary partner: Rock in Rio

In the biggest primary deal so far for the world’s largest secondary ticketing site, StubHub has been named the official ticket seller for Rock in Rio 2017.

StubHub told IQ last October that its business model is moving increasingly towards offering promoters “another channel to sell primary, face-value tickets”, as with its primary-market deals with sports teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brazilian national rugby squad. Its head of communications in December also revealed the company, a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay, is in conversation with potential partners in Australia with a view to selling their primary inventory.

StubHub says its platform was attractive to Rock in Rio given its global reach and capability for fans to buy tickets in their own language and currency.

“StubHub connects people to inspiring experiences, and as the international ticketing partner for Rock in Rio we will offer international fans an innovative, easy-to-use, secure platform to purchase their tickets to one the world’s most dynamic music festivals,” comments Ricardo Noryo, StubHub’s director of partnerships in Latin America.

“We chose StubHub as we want fans anywhere in the world to have the best possible experience buying their tickets for the event

“Since the 2013 edition of Rock in Rio, in Rio de Janeiro, we have seen international ticket sales to events in Brazil more than double, and we may be looking forward to the most global edition of Rock in Rio to date.”

Rock in Rio executive vice-president Roberta Medina adds: “At Rock in Rio, we strive for a line-up composed of the biggest music acts worldwide, and each year we are seeing a growing number of international attendees at the event. Therefore we chose StubHub, as we want fans anywhere in the world to have the best possible experience buying their tickets for the event.”

Tickets went on sale through StubHub/Ticketbis last Thursday (6 April), priced at £124/€145.

Rock in Rio 2017 is headlined by Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

 


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TeamRock debuts new ticketing operation

British magazine publisher and broadcaster TeamRock has launched its own ticketing platform in partnership with NEC Group’s The Ticket Factory (TTF).

The creation of TeamRock Tickets will, says TTF managing director Stuart Cain, give the company access to “arguably the biggest rock and metal customer base in the country”, making TTF the “go-to national agent for any event promoter looking to reach rock and metal fans”. TeamRock, which publishes Classic RockMetal Hammer and Prog magazines and operates TeamRock.com and TeamRock Radio, has a reach of some six million people worldwide.

The TeamRock Tickets store is hosted on the TTF website and currently offers tickets to, among other events, Bloodstock festival, Bryan Adams’ The Get Up tour and The Who’s (pictured) Back to The Who 51! tour.

“Our audience is built of loyal and passionate people who will soon be able to buy tickets under our brand, meaning we can provide an even better TeamRock experience”

The tie-up continues TTF’s strategy of partnering with well-known brands and builds on exiting arrangements with Barclaycard, Virgin Trains and Uber.

“Our audience is built of loyal and passionate people who will soon be able to buy tickets under our brand, meaning we can provide an even better TeamRock experience,” says TeamRock’s managing director, Tony Dowling. “The Ticket Factory’s technology and systems mean we’ll deliver a reliable service to our customers which will integrate seamlessly with the TeamRock brand.”

He adds: “Their proposition of standing ‘for the fans’, developing their product with a customer-first approach and strong stance against secondary ticketing, aligns closely with our ethos as a credible and authentic media owner.”

 


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SeatGeek lands major primary ticket deal

Secondary ticketing platform SeatGeek has followed StubHub into the primary market via a strategic partnership with ticketing software developer TopTix.

SeatGeek, which began life as a ticket aggregator/search engine but recently also launched a ticket marketplace of its own (partially under pressure from StubHub, which in 2014 pulled its inventory from the site), will use TopTix’s SRO4 software to provide the back-end functionality for its new primary platform.

Its first partnership is with Major League Soccer (MLS) – the highest-level football (soccer) league in the US, equivalent to the UK’s Premier League – which will allow for a team’s primary tickets to be sold on any site or mobile application of their choosing using SeatGeek/TopTix’s technology.

“Together with SeatGeek we are going to build the best ticketing experience in the sports industry”

“We were seeking a partner who shared the same vision for an open ecosystem and can support us with back-end software to support our primary ticketing needs,” says SeatGeek co-founder Jack Groetzinger. “We couldn’t be more pleased with TopTix. The team is comprised of [sic] some of the best people in the industry and the SRO4 software is really impressive.”

Commenting on the MLS deal, Kathy Carter, president of Soccer United Marketing (MLS’s commercial arm), says: “Our number-one objective when we set out to find a ticketing partner was to align with a group that would build an incredible fan experience. We selected SeatGeek because we believe that together we are going to build the best ticketing experience in the sports industry.”

US market leader StubHub’s first primary partnership, announced in February, is with basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers.

 


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Skiddle introduces 72hr cooling-off period

British ticket seller Skiddle has announced the launch of Cool:Off, a flexible ticketing option designed to take the fight to ticket touts by giving buyers 72 hours to change their minds.

Providing the event is over a week away and the buyer is still within the 72-hour window, Skiddle will issue a full refund, “giving you enough time to round the troops and properly plan happy in the knowledge there’s a safety net covering you if you can’t commit”, says a statement from the Preston-based company.

Skiddle suggests having a safety net encourages impulse buys, with a boost to ticket sales of as much as 27%

Promoters will need to opt in to the cooling-off period, although Skiddle will handle the refund process. Its initial tests suggest the idea of having a safety net encourages impulse buys, with a boost to ticket sales of as much as 27% for some events.

Concurrently with Cool:Off, colon-happy Skiddle has also introduced Re:Sell, a Twickets-style ticket exchange allowing those who’ve missed the 72-hour to resell their tickets at face value. “With Re:Sell, you can now apply to sell tickets for sold-out events through us to another thankful fan at face value,” says the company, “helping in our stand against touts.”

 


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StubHub to sponsor first primary ticket partner

The Philadelphia 76ers, the basketball team with which StubHub has partnered to launch its first primary ticketing platform, will receive shirt sponsorship from world’s biggest ticket resale site for the 2017–18 National Basketball Association (NBA) season.

The NBA is the first major US sports league to enable its franchises to exploit a commercial opportunity long taken for granted by, for example, English football teams.

The StubHub logo will feature on a small patch on the front left of the Philadelphia 76ers (‘Sixers’)’ 2017–18 jerseys (pictured).

“Since day one, StubHub has been a pioneer and innovator within the live entertainment ecosystem, and we could not be more excited to join the Philadelphia 76ers in making history with this groundbreaking partnership,” says StubHub president Scott Cutler. “The Philadelphia 76ers are not only a beloved global brand, they also serve as incredible partners and collaborators for StubHub, and we look forward to continuously innovating and improving the fan experience together.”

In February eBay-owned StubHub announced its move into primary ticketing by becoming the Sixers’ official ticketing partner.

It last week launched its first Spanish-language website (and fifth localised StubHub site in total): StubHub Mexico.