Ticketing Analysis: Eventbrite’s Music Move

On Wednesday, it was announced that the San Francisco-based event promotion and ticketing startup, Eventbrite, had raised $50 million in a round of funding led by Tiger Global.

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Back in February when we spoke to Eventbrite’s co-founder and President Julia Hartz, she hinted that the company was getting ready to take on the larger ticket market, which is mostly dominated by Ticketmaster’s control of stadium concerts and sporting events. But Hartz says Ticketmaster is not Eventbrite’s primary interest.

“We’re actually not even focused on Ticketmaster’s market yet as the larger opportunity is coming from outside the Ticketmaster market. Our core market is servicing the thousands of events that take place each month outside of Tickemaster’s purview,” says Hartz.

Indeed, it would seem that more potential lies in taking Eventbrite’s product, which has mostly empowered independent and do-it-yourself promoters, to the echelon of promoters who run small to mid-size music clubs. Currently, mid-size rooms like Nashville’s Mercy Lounge, Asheville’s Orange Peel, and L.A.’s The Troubadour are serviced by ticketing vendors such as Ticketweb (owned by Ticketmaster), eTix, and Ticketfly. For rock clubs, a product like Eventbrite that adds integrated, turn-key solutions for not only ticketing but also social engagement through Facebook would seem a welcome addition for an industry that hasn’t undergone a complete transformation like the recording industry.

But just because Eventbrite isn’t immediately looking to serve Ticketmaster’s customers, it doesn’t mean they aren’t doing large-scale events. They have plans to sell 60,000 tickets for a Black Eyed Peas concert in Central Park this summer, and Hartz pointed out in February that Eventbrite’s product lends itself well to open seating for large volume events.

Ticketing vendors have also begun looking at group buying as a model for their business, with Groupon moving into the ticketing space through a partnership with Live Nation called GrouponLive. Whether other ticketing providers like Eventbrite will add social buying components to their products remains to be seen.

“We’ll always be looking at the most innovative way in which we can tackle traditional ticketing challenges,” says Hartz.

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