Is there Opportunity in “Tickets 2.0”?

The recent influx of ticket related acquisitions and funding announcements appears to signal a shift in the innovation ecosystem in this particular industry segment.

Since Ticketmaster acquired Ticketsnow in 2008 and essentially turned the primary and secondary ticket markets into a duopoly with Stubhub, trying to innovate in the sports and events tickets market has been fraught with peril. Ticketfly has done a lot of exciting work in this time but the majority of their customers are small to mid-size venues. The event arena has seen better outcomes with Cvent, Eventbrite, Lanyon and others gaining substantial traction and scale.

However, a huge amount of the effort and money invested in the past 6 years against creating value for the fan, the major teams and venues has not borne fruit.

At the same time, many companies have leveraged elegant user experience, easy discovery, on demand utility, transparency and optimized marketplace dynamics to massively disrupt other huge consumer markets (Uber, Airbnb, Hotel Tonight, Eventbrite, etc.)

A number of companies in the ticket arena have taken note of this and are now deploying products that also leverage elegant user experience, discovery, on demand utility and better marketplace dynamics to empower and delight the fan. This is evident in the rapid adoption of products from Experience (acquired by Cox), SeatGeek (backed by Accel), Gametime (backed by Accel) and TicketManager (backed by us at Point Judith).

All of these companies are not the first to go to market with their value proposition but they are first to completely focus on a new product and user experience that is simple, clean and creates value for the fan and team/venue more directly.

The primary ticket market represents a huge opportunity for technology players, the teams/venues and fans alike. Ticketmaster has begun to engage more seriously with the new innovators in the market as both are realizing that providing the fan (both the consumer and business person) with broader choice and the ability to tailor the experience on demand drives much deeper brand loyalty and ultimately more revenue over time. The technology innovators that are winning are building products and their companies with a primary focus on this goal.

Are we on the cusp of a real innovation and value creating wave for “Tickets 2.0”?

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