Seatwave sees 1 million tickets traded through its site. Impressive?

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Seatwave, the European aftermarket ticket exchange, is trumpeting somewhat of a landmark today, announcing that one million tickets have been traded through the site. However, it’s a number that is brought sharply into focus when you consider how well funded the UK startup is – thought to be a massive $53 million – and that it’s been operating for coming up to four years. That number doesn’t seem to have quite the same wow-factor now.

Like similar marketplaces, Seatwave, which operates in the UK and several places in mainland Europe, provides what it describes as a fan-to-fan ticket exchange, essentially an aftermarket where people can buy and sell tickets to theatre, sport and music events. The company’s pitch, however, is that its online marketplace ensures that ticket sales and purchases are 100% safe, presumably with proven mechanisms in place to counteract fraud and unreliable buyers and sellers.

The idea is also that by creating an open and transparent marketplace, it can help to bring down prices in the secondary ticketing market, a trend that we’ve seen in other markets where the Internet is disrupting.

Of course, Seatwave has a whole bunch of competitors: There’s TicketMaster (IAC), StubHub (eBay) and the likes of UK-based Viagogo, another well funded startup in the aftermarket ticket space whose backers include tennis legends Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf.

  • Simon Jones

    It’s not too unimpressive either, I expect they make quite high revenues on those 1 million sales. A friend of mine sold a couple of tickets last year and I think they took around £20 from a £70 selling price per ticket.

    Who knows if that’s average, above or below, but if it is that’s revenues of £20 million in the first 4 years, just under half it’s funding. Would you expect them to do much better than that during it’s formative years?

    • Steve O'Hear

      That’s a fair point, perhaps that should have trumpeted revenue alongside the number of transactions.

  • Fabio

    Secondary ticket markets are lucrative businesses because are based on the hideous practice of scooping all available tickets within seconds using botnets. I’m not saying that these ‘virtual touts’ are the same people owning the secondary market channel, but as a fan I’m really bothered about the situation because for any decent live event it’s getting harder and harder to get tickets at face value (leaving aside the often extortionately and largely unjustified booking fees, like paying for effing collecting the ticket at the box office, but I digress…).
    So all this fan-to-fan tag lines are just annoying me and what I would like to see is a transparent market. The post correctly speaks of ‘disruption’ and I’m really hoping that the internet will somehow put an end to these scandalous secondary market ticket prices, if the UK regulator can’t do anything better than letting all this happen.

  • Laura Lovely

    Very nice, good news

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