SeatGeek Rolls Out Mobile App to Challenge StubHub, Live Nation

SeatGeek Inc., an online destination for tickets to sports matches, concerts and other events, is rolling out an enhanced mobile application as it takes on larger ticketing providers such as StubHub and Ticketmaster.

The software will let users transfer tickets without having to manually type in the details including section and seat number, co-founder Russ D’Souza said. People will eventually be able to list and sell tickets on the app, like on SeatGeek’s website, he said.

The initiatives are part of SeatGeek’s push to become more of a ticket marketplace, rather than an aggregator of ticket information. Founded in 2009, the New York-based startup specializes in giving consumers information about seat locations and price trends for tickets in the resale market. For purchases, SeatGeek sent users to outside vendors, such as StubHub, and collected an affiliate fee of 8 percent to 12 percent on the transaction. Now SeatGeek is also processing transactions and taking 15 percent of each listed sale.

“This is geared toward you and me, for when you can’t go to an event, you want to be able to sell your tickets -- we want to help facilitate those transactions,” D’Souza said. “Nobody yet realizes how big that market is.”

Sellers can cash out by connecting to bank accounts or linking up with Venmo, the peer-to-peer payments platform. The Web-based ticketing industry is expected to reach $4.1 billion in revenue this year and will grow about 3.2 percent over the next five years, according to IBISWorld estimates. Currently, StubHub, owned by EBay Inc., and Ticketmaster, owned by Live Nation Entertainment Inc. dominate ticket sales, jointly making up about 47 percent of the market , according to IBISWorld. While most tickets sell through online channels, many operators don’t have smartphone applications.

For the first nine months of 2015, 21 percent of ticketing sales for Live Nation Entertainment came through smartphones and tablets. Mobile devices account for the majority of SeatGeek’s sales, said D’Souza, who declined to give a specific number.

“We are, especially with this launch, really moving into position where we should be the go-to app for anything ticketing,” John Locke, a partner at Accel Partners and investor in SeatGeek, said. “We felt like ticketing was one of the few large markets remaining that hadn’t been won on mobile yet.”

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