Rockhouse And Etix Shake Up The Ticket Market

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

On Wednesday in Nashville, the digital marketing agency Rockhouse Partners, which has helped a host of clients like the Nashville Predators, Ryman Auditorium, Next BIG Nashville, and Churchill Downs with digital marketing, brand activation and sponsorships, announced that their company would be acquired by the Raleigh-based ticketing company Etix.

One of Rockhouse’s partners, Kevin Brown, said that his company will help provide the internationally-reaching Etix to build on their existing client base, such as premium venues like Asheville’s The Orange Peel. “Adding Rockhouse to the family gives Etix a major advantage in the marketplace,” Brown told American Songwriter in an email. “They can now offer entertainment properties a premier ticketing platform, and a combine that technology with world-class marketing tools and services.”

Etix will also utilize Rockhouse’s proprietary technology platform that has been custom-built with venues, fairs, festivals, and tours in mind. “It’s pretty unique stuff,” says Brown. “We’re empowering small to mid-size entertainment properties by giving them the tools they need to manage their web presence, capitalize on social media, and better market to their fans via email and other channels.”

In the shadow of Ticketmaster – who Rockhouse’s founders had previously worked for via the ticket juggernaut’s acquisition of Nashville-based Echo Music – many smaller companies have popped up to service the ticket market. Companies like Ticketfly, Eventbrite, and In Ticketing have carved niches in the event marketplace, signing on more and more smaller and mid-sized venues and events for their services. The ticketing business has also become increasingly eccentric with the rise of the secondary market, with online ticket resellers like StubHub.

Brown says he thinks over the next few years the ticket space will continue to change. “We believe the market will soon see more of a hybrid-allocation model, where essentially venues and promoters don’t have to rely on one primary ticketing company to fill the house. We could see distribution allocated to multiple ticketing providers and online distribution partners, thus giving the venue more channels to unload tickets. And in the meantime, potentially lower-priced tickets for fans.”

Lower ticket prices is gospel for fans, who mostly stayed home from overpriced and overblown shows last summer, crippling many big tours like Lilith Fair. Most industry insiders say the smaller club and events business is in good health, though, and Rockhouse and Etix should add strong leadership and direction to the ticketing space over the next few years.

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