Bloomberg News

Ticketmaster Rival Ticketfly Doubles Concert Sales on IPO Path

February 03, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Ticketfly Inc., the online ticket service, says it is winning venues from Live Nation Entertainment Inc.’s Ticketmaster and weighing an initial public offering.

The four-year-old company has signed about 70 halls that were previously with Ticketmaster, including The Troubadour in Los Angeles and the 9:30 Club in Washington, said Andrew Dreskin, co-founder and chief executive officer.

“The momentum has been overwhelming, and we’ve gotten where we are today faster than we had envisioned,” Dreskin said in an interview. “I could see this being a public company.”

The 2010 merger of Ticketmaster, which dominates event ticketing, and Live Nation, the world’s biggest concert promoter, has led some live-music venues to look for alternatives, Dreskin said. Ticketfly, where about a fifth of the locations are former Ticketmaster clients, doubled revenue and the number of tickets sold in 2011 from a year ago, he said.

The San Francisco-based company, founded by Dreskin and Dan Teree in 2008, said in April it raised $12 million from investors led by Mohr Davidow Ventures. High Peaks Venture Partners was among the earlier investors who added more. The funding brought the total capital raised to $15 million.

Before Ticketfly, Dreskin created TicketWeb, an online ticker seller that he sold to Ticketmaster in 2000 for $35.2 million.

Facebook Sales

Ticketfly allows venues, promoters and artists to sell tickets directly through their own websites and pages on Facebook Inc.’s social network. They only have to enter the information once, and Ticketfly will automatically send messages on Twitter Inc.’s micro-blogging service. It also manages clients’ e-mail newsletters.

“I can post an event from my iPhone and it’s immediately on sale,” Jonathan Halperin, talent booker at The Glass House, an 800-capacity venue in Pomona, California, that switched about two years ago, said in an interview. “That just wasn’t possible with Ticketmaster.”

Ticketfly charges lower fees and some artists and promoters prefer it over Ticketmaster, which has irritated customers with surcharges, Halperin said.

Venues using Ticketfly sold 16 percent more tickets on average in 2011 than a year earlier, compared with an industrywide gain of about 2.7 percent, the company said.

“We’re seeing a transformation in ticketing, a moment of great disruption,” Dreskin said. “I’m not sure we’ll see this kind of opportunity again.”

--Editors: Anthony Palazzo, Frank Longid

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net -0- Feb/02/2012 11:00 GMT


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