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Eventbrite strengthens foothold in Europe

Global ticketing and events company, Eventbrite, has announced the opening of a new development centre and events space in Madrid, the company’s first in Europe.

Eventbrite’s new engineering centre for Spain will be located in a 2,300 square metre, four-floor building in the Spanish capital. The building will feature a dedicated events space, which the company hopes to open up to local events organisers for music, tech, networking or entrepreneurial events.

The multi-purpose centre will also feature offices, a cafeteria, relaxation areas, flexible work spaces, a library and outdoor recreational spaces. Eventbrite has four other such centres worldwide.

The development is the next step in Eventbrite’s efforts to reinforce its presence in Spain, following its acquisition of Spanish ticketing company Ticketea in 2018. The company currently employs over 80 members of staff in the country, and hopes to triple the number of Spanish engineers and product developers over the next few years.

“This new office isn’t just a new physical space, it will be the embodiment of Eventbrite’s thriving global culture”

“This new office isn’t just a new physical space for us. It will be the embodiment of Eventbrite’s thriving global culture, and we aim to make being here the closest thing to working in San Francisco – with a uniquely Spanish twist,” comments Javier Andrés (pictured), Eventbrite’s country director for Spain and Portugal.

“Needless to say, this includes the employee benefits that Silicon Valley tech companies are famous for, and which are designed to increase the happiness, health and satisfaction of our employees.”

Engineering director for Eventbrite in Spain, Giuseppe Ciotta, comments that the new development will not focus exclusively on Spain. “The engineers in Madrid and Alicante will collaborate with colleagues all over the world to develop vital aspects of Eventbrite’s global platform, which is critical to the future success of the company,” says Ciotta.

In Spain, Eventbrite issued around five million tickets for tens of thousands of events last year, including Ticketea sales figures.


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Eventbrite acquires Ticketea

In its first acquisition of 2018, US self-service ticketing giant Eventbrite has bought Spain’s Ticketea for an undisclosed sum.

Similar to Netherlands-based Ticketscript, which Eventbrite acquired last January, Madrid-based Ticketea operates a self-service platform that has a roster of clients which includes major concerts, festivals and performing-arts shows. Partners include festivals such as Arenal Sound, Viña Rock, Low Festival and Dreambeach, as well as Billy Elliot the Musical, Cirque du Soleil and the Prado museum in Madrid.

The company experienced 50% year-on-year growth in 2016, selling 5.2m tickets.

The union of Eventbrite and Ticketea – which is now trading as ‘Ticketea by Eventbrite’ – will “further the momentum Eventbrite has seen since acquiring Ticketscript in January 2017 and solidify its position as a leading mid-market and self-service ticketing solution in Europe”, according to Eventbrite.

Outside of Europe, Eventbrite bolstered its presence in the North America club market with the acquisition of Ticketfly from Pandora last September.

“There is incredible synergy between our two companies”

“Ticketea’s innovative approach to solving challenges for both event creators and seekers, including a robust discovery platform, has helped them achieve impressive brand equity and a strong leadership position in not only Spain, but the broader southern European market,” says Julia Hartz, CEO and co-founder of Eventbrite, commenting on the Ticketea acquisition. “There is incredible synergy between our two companies from a business, platform and brand perspective.

“We’re thrilled to welcome their talented team, who shares our core mission of bringing people together through live experiences, to the Eventbrite family.”

Javier Andres, co-founder and CEO of Ticketea, joins Eventbrite as country director of Spain and Portugal. He says: “We have been building a significant market presence in Spain for nearly a decade and it’s exciting to be recognised by the global leader in event technology as they invest more heavily in our growing market. Joining forces brings tremendous value to our customers, who will now benefit from Eventbrite’s proven track record of innovation, global team and deep resources.

“We look forward to extending the impact of both our team and technology far beyond country borders to the more than 180 countries and territories where their powerful platform gives rise to millions of events today.”


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Spain: 69% of resold tickets are touted for profit

Nearly three quarters of tickets placed on secondary sites in Spain are there to be sold for profit, new data reveals, as momentum builds towards regulating the Spanish resale market.

Ticketea, a Madrid-based self-service ticketer, on Monday held a press conference to present the results of a survey of 12,000 people which discovered more than one in four (26%) Spaniards has resold an event ticket online. Of those 26%, 69% of respondents admitted to “speculating” on the ticket’s price, turning a profit by reselling it for more than face value.

The Ticketea survey comes as public sentiment in Spain shifts increasingly towards legislating to regulate the secondary market, inflamed by several high-profile controversies over ticket touting. Bruce Springsteen promoter Doctor Music is taking legal action – still ongoing – against several sites it accuses of “defrauding” consumers, while in February Berry Producciones and popular singer Alejandro Sanz sued Viagogo and established the Anti-Resale Alliance, an anti-touting association along the lines of FanFair in the UK.

While a majority (55%) of those surveyed are against an outright ban on resale, as is being introduced in Italy, 67% say secondary ticketing should be a “controlled practice, regulated by the law”. Of those 67%, more than three quarters say the price of resold tickets should be capped at no more than 10% above face value.

“They hurt the fans, and they take advantage of the talent of the artists and the risk assumed by promoters”

Speaking at the press conference – also attended by Doctor Music’s Neo Sala and Springsteen fan club president Joan Colet, who is hoping to gain 500,000 signatures on a petition to criminalise for-profit resale – Ticketea CEO Javier Andres said: “The current situation with ticket resale in Spain is not caused by fans selling a ticket because they can no longer attend a concert; the problem is speculators who buy large numbers of tickets and resell them for a premium of as much as 1,000%…

“They hurt the fans, and they take advantage of the talent of the artists and the risk assumed by promoters and organisers of events.”

Other insights from the survey include that around one in three people have bought a resold ticket, of which 30% paid above face value, and that 94% of consumers would like to see the introduction of a window of time in which tickets can be legally resold – cutting out brokers who harvest tickets in bulk and immediately list them on secondary sites.

Spanish culture minister Íñigo Méndez de Vigo pledged on 8 March to “regulate” the online ticket resale market, although he ruled out an outright ban, saying it would be like “putting doors on a field” (“ponerle puertas al campo“) – ie impossible. No concrete measures have yet been announced.


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Ticketea grows 50% in 2016

Last year was the best to date for Spanish DIY ticketing platform Ticketea, with 5.2 million tickets issued worldwide using its software.

The figure amounts to 50% year-on-year growth – only slightly less than the remarkable 55% growth, as reported in the International Ticketing Yearbook 2016, achieved by the Madrid-based company in 2015 – pushing the value of transactions since Ticketea’s founding in 2010 over the €150 million mark.

The company also increased the number of events, including concerts, music festivals, conferences and smaller-scale events such as birthday parties and speed-dating events, using its platform 16%, to 20,500.

A total of 25.7m people from 181 countries visited the Ticketea site in 2016, which the company notes, had they “formed a queue at a box office, would start in Leon [in Spain] and reach Tokyo”.

Ticketea won prizes for best use of technology and best service provider at the inaugural Iberian Festival Awards last March.


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