Mourning the death of Seatwave

The first tickets ever sold on Seatwave were to see Genesis. The tech was flaky, Joe had to manually sell them to a customer from the States over the phone. I knew we were on to something great. As I ’ thousand certain you will have seen by now, last week Ticketmaster announced that they plan to close their secondary ticket platforms in the united kingdom : Seatwave and GetMeIn. In what seemed to be universally acclaimed as a “ victory for the fans ” it signified the end of 12 years of Seatwave as a business. It brought the end to a travel that had seen meter illions of tickets sold, meter illions ( and millions ) of VC dollars raised, multiple awards and plaudits, external acquisitions, huge steps in invention and class driving fan security, multiple partnerships & alliances, hundreds of brilliant and talented employees, 15 markets, 8 languages and controversy, lots and lots of controversy .The original Info graphic for the Seatwave business model. Those Lostprophets tickets were real and the first we sold on Ebay in the pre-launch phase. Oh the irony… Ticketmaster ’ s decision to shut down their secondary coil sites came as a storm to few close to the company and the industry.

Ticketmaster had acquired Seatwave in 2014 to complement it ’ s existing secondary ticketing chopine, GetMein which it had previously acquired in 2008. There was small ostentation when Seatwave was acquired, potential anti-competition hurdles needed to be avoided on both sides so the minimum was written about it at the time. The huge chest beater acquisition opportunities had been and gone and had been gobbled up by others. Where as growth had flattened, primary slate confront values had rocketed & the ticket landscape continued to change dramatically. Seatwave offered Ticketmaster a in truth pan european platform, both on the demand and the supply side, arrant for a ship’s company with 360 degree relationships with bands & fans, throughout the rate chain. however, the following four years would see little in terms of expansion and investment as Ticketmaster itself navigated through a changing ticketing consumer landscape, using secondary ticket as and when needed to combat the negative public forces on both sides of the Atlantic. The demise, and eventual closure was ala, inevitable .The Seatwave Germany website in around 2008. Germany remains a market where ticket resale faces huge consumer barriers and a primary ticketing infrastructure which simply doesn’t have the inefficiencies to capitalise upon as in the UK & US. If you were to research the secondary ticket industry, position 2011, you won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate find a draw written about Seatwave. The adult public investment rounds stopped, & our competitors slipped away into the shadows to build their businesses in more “ innovative ” ways. founder and CEO, Joe Cohen left at the startle of 2013, his Milo Yiannopoulos penned exit piece is arrant Joe & careless of how much Milo ends up getting nuked from the internet, should live for always. Post, Joe, the reigns of Seatwave were handed to Ajay Chowdury who took a fast and effective M+A border on to complete the sale of Seatwave to Ticketmaster in 2014. And then that, was pretty much that. I ’ ll never forget when Joe, my party boss at the time at, invited me to come with him to join Seatwave back in 2006. Joe had secured some initial support from Atlas, had a great mind, a business model and an audacious planned launch date 6 months in the future. We focussed on the future, the opportunity, and spent little time on the three fundamental issues that Seatwave was going to face. We would face more headwind than we could handle which would ultimately lead to the Seatwave death & the miss of growth in ticket resale on this side of the Atlantic .

  1. Legality around ticket resale for key events

I ’ vitamin d frequently joke that “ Apart from Premier League Football, The England team and any tournaments featuring the England team at any stage in any country in the universe, Wimbledon Non Debentures, Glastonbury & the Olympics — you can sell tickets for any consequence on Seatwave ”. It wasn ’ t a funny antic truly, not for us and more importantly not for the fans that wanted to go to these events and couldn ’ t due to a combination of legality and over-stringent access control. Like a fortune of great european inauguration, Seatwave was inspired by an idea from the states. StubHub had been incredibly successful and with that classical piece of back of the cigarette mailboat start up maths, based on likely tickets sold per year, Europe represented the lapp size of opportunity. childlike right ? well, no. Putting language and borders aside, the laws put in space in 1994 deeming the resale of football tickets in the UK ( Europe ’ mho largest ticket resale market by far ) illegal reasonably much nuked the equivalent sports resale business that StubHub had built in the US .Creative from Seatwave’s 1st ATL campaign in 2007. “Find the right fan for your ticket” was a first in that it targeted sellers of tickets and normalised what had previously been a scorn upon act Unlike the US, where four primary sports league boom, aboard sell out College sports and blockbuster one off events. The UK and the rest of Mainline Europe effectively has ONE fun, Football. The chasm between this and every other sport else is huge. expensive efforts to resell football tickets were attempted by those in the space and well received by the clubs who welcomed a new Tier of sponsor to their portfolio. however none of these deals represented what fans wanted in the market, with sites based out of the UK being allowed to trade with no regulation or sports fan protection at all across Google ’ sulfur pages. sure, we had one offs, The Six Nations is a big ticket, The Ashes will constantly be the Ashes and the Boxing renaissance in the UK was well received by fans. But in terms of the day in, day out sports trade — on both sides of the market place we couldn ’ thymine compete in a football resale market in the UK and that is where the demand was. As a consequence, Seatwave was a business primarily driven by concerts. 2. Perception of the concert industry To this day, it ’ s the sensing of most fans that 100 % of the tickets to see their front-runner bands go on sale at the same time and they have an equal shoot against thousands of other keen and enthusiastic fans to get the best seats .The look-a-likes used, and they were actual look-a-likes and enthusiastic fans signified the opportunity to sell your ticket to fan as crazy about the act as you were. It ’ sulfur besides a sensing amongst fans that at this key period in the sales action, Greedy touts pounce in using their “ bots ” and grab all the tickets before they get a prospect besides and then instantaneously hike them up on resale sites.

This is a one-half accuracy at best, but distillery no one seems to care. Fans are f**ked from the start. It ’ s the argue Seatwave was created in the inaugural example. Often a little as 5 % of a display ’ second inventory will even be placed on sale, thousands of fans are fighting for just a handful of tickets. This could be a whole web log post in its self but as Seatwave and its competitors grew, they then became the public boldness of the problem. Seatwave and it ’ randomness competitors facilitated the market, making it much easier for those with tickets to resell them but didn ’ thyroxine create the diligence and it ’ randomness inefficiencies. The marketplaces surely didn ’ thyroxine dictate to the bands and teams what they could and would do with their inventory, specially for their pavilion events where output maximization is overriding. Some of the largest resellers of tickets would frequently be the promoters and bands themselves, delighted to take Seatwave ’ sulfur investment specially when it came with tax income guarantees above front rate for inventory. The public didn ’ thyroxine see this, and honestly didn ’ t stop to ask questions. 3. We were “Whiter than most” but not “Whiter than white” expression Value alone ticket exchanges or “ ethical ” ticket exchanges as they are often referred to, present the acceptable scene of ticket resale. Upheld in the press, there are some decent businesses out there & social media ’ mho resurrect and as a result ubiquity has helped them massively. From conception, Seatwave set out to give customers a complete view of market and to provide fans with the opportunity to buy and sell tickets for the events they wanted. This allowed re-sellers of tickets to list them at what ever they price they wanted, above or below Face value was irrelevant, actual market measure was the metric unit that mattered. Every slate had a respect in the market and we believed that should be represented on the market. The market was built so individual and professional resellers could co-exist. The more individual sellers that were brought on to the platform, who could use detail pricing guides to let them understand the prize of the slate they wanted to sell, the greater the fan have on the platform. Increased liquidity would lead to increases in seating options, extra details about the seats themselves and most importantly, lower tag prices .Start up advertising on the London Underground is now an everyday occurrence, back in 2007 it was far from that, Seatwave were part of a new breed that used the medium and it’s most impactful formats to drive awareness and more importantly actual listing of tickets by individual fans. professional re-sellers did represent a significant share of the market & would frequently focus on the VIP end of events, offering more bounty inventory at the prices to match that value. This would drive winnow uproar despite the fact that, far less than 50 % of the tickets sold were above face value. This nuance was lost. It didn ’ t make good headlines. From day one, we went steer to steer with Viagogo and being “ better than them ”, got through to some fans, but just not enough. We would constantly be grouped together &, what they did, always rubbed off on us. They finally said “ screw it ” and left the UK in around 2010 and I can entirely speculate have gone on to build a hearty ticket business, being both the platform and the agent themselves. surely a way to achieve achiever in this commercialize. dependable to say this all came to head with “ The Great ticketing scandal ” in 2012. Having under covering reporters in your business international relations and security network ’ t something I ’ d wish on any business but the sidereal day after this was shown on Channel 4, despite the best efforts of some, we had one of the biggest days in the history of the company in terms of tickets sold . For Seatwave ’ s customers, the reviews of our intersection were generally positive. We ’ vitamin d never convert those who considered selling tickets above face value up there with murder but for the millions that wanted tickets, when they wanted to buy them, in the areas of the venue that they coveted, Seatwave was a god send and incredibly convenient . So whats next for fans? This unfortunate question rolls on. concluding week ’ randomness news program, portrayed as capital news for fans is far from that. The noble act that TM claim it to be will result in more platinum seats, fan clubs, ticket exchanges and fans paying more, equitable under unlike guises. Ticketmaster have got rid of a pair of small public headaches but continue to face the challenge of keeping their artists and venues happy. creative approaches to ticket price is samara to that.

I am asked often — “ how would you do ticket resale ” in Europe ? and my answer is always the like. Try something unlike, try another approach. Don ’ thymine build another Seatwave, ala I fear the lapp headwind drive results. I joined Seatwave as the first employee on June 24th 2006. I ran teams that managed Marketing, Content and Growth through the end of 2012. My views are strictly my own based on my own experiences.

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