SeatGeek aims to become the definitive search engine for live events, but until now, the tickets available on the site only came from secondary resale sites like StubHub — in other words, if a ticket was going to show up on SeatGeek, someone else had to buy it first and then try to resell it. Now, however, SeatGeek users can purchase tickets directly from the venues, thanks to a partnership with ticketing startup Ticketfly.
The integration actually went live last week, says SeatGeek’s director of communications Will Flaherty. If you look up an event on SeatGeek and there are tickets available via Ticketfly, a Ticketfly “Official Box Office” button will appear above all the other search results. Eventually, Flaherty says SeatGeek should be able to display more information from Ticketly, such as pricing.
At first glance, the distinction between primary and secondary sales may seem a bit pedantic. If you get your tickets at a decent price, why should you care about anything else? However, Flaherty says that by expanding into primary sales, SeatGeek is also improving its inventory when it comes to certain types of events. At large sporting events, there’s a thriving market for secondary sales (that’s why SeatGeek’s initial strength was sports, and why primary ticketing for sports events still isn’t one of the company’s priorities), but that’s less true for concerts, especially smaller ones.
For example, when I looked up Nouvelle Vague’s concert next month in San Francisco, SeatGeek’s previous sources came up empty. However, Bimbo’s 365 Club (where the band will be playing) is a Ticketfly venue, so I could just buy the tickets directly.
Not only do SeatGeek and Ticketfly make more money, but it also helps SeatGeek get closer to its goal of becoming “the canonical source for live events.”
The company recently raised $1.65 million in new funding, and at the time co-founder Jack Groetzinger said one of his next big goals is to launch a mobile app. He also told me that the new investors in the round included Mousse Partners, Red Swan Ventures, and a third firm, which he couldn’t disclose. Now, SeatGeek is announcing that the unnamed investor is Evolution Media Capital, a firm created by Creative Artists Agency. It’s a great match, Flaherty says, since CAA represents a long roster of impressive athletes.