Business News Deals Digital Live Business Top Stories

Eventbrite confirms $200 million Ticketfly buy

By | Published on Monday 12 June 2017


Eventbrite has confirmed its acquisition of US ticketing firm Ticketfly for $200 million. The deal, it says, “brings together Eventbrite’s momentum in music, global scale, and expertise in event technology with Ticketfly’s marketing excellence and strong track record of success in music”. All in all, it’s an immense alignment. Immense I tell you!

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, said Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz on announcing the deal, “and we see immense alignment and opportunity with this union”. See, told you.

“Together with Ticketfly, we will focus our collective energy on further developing our unparalleled solution and superior services for indie music venues and promoters around the world”, Hartz added.

Ticketfly, of course, was bought by Pandora in 2015 as the personalised radio service sought to diversify, having concluded that its core advertising business was never going to take it into profit. The logic was that all the data Pandora had on American music fans, coupled with it being able to target advertising to those same fans via its streaming platform, meant a move into ticketing was a logical and potentially lucrative step.

However, as cash-strapped Pandora started to review its business earlier this year, a sell off of Ticketfly was quickly mooted. The Eventbrite deal was announced on Friday at the same time it was confirmed that broadcaster Sirius XM had bought a significant slice of the Pandora business for $480 million. Some have noted that Liberty Media, which has a controlling stake in Sirius XM, also owns a quarter of Live Nation, which of course in turn owns Ticketmaster. Which may or may not be relevant.

Either way, Friday’s two announcements mean that Pandora has secured a significant cash pile to work its way through as it tries to further grow its ad-funded personalised radio business while ploughing on with its bid to also secure a slice of the subscription streaming market. Even though it technically sold Ticketfly for considerably less than it paid to acquire it back in 2015, that deal having been worth up to $450 million, depending on when you value the Pandora stock that accounted for a big chunk of the transaction.

What about the potential for Pandora to use all its data and marketing power to sell tickets and share in the loot though? “Eventbrite and Pandora plan to enter into a future distribution agreement to extend the benefits already proven out with the Pandora and Ticketfly integration”, say the two companies. Well, that’s alright then.

“The combination of Ticketfly and Pandora proved our thesis that listeners want easy access to live events, and that we have the ability to promote and sell tickets at scale in a highly targeted way”, Pandora boss man Tim Westergren said on Friday. “We look forward to expanding the opportunity to bring fans and artists together through our continued partnership with Eventbrite and Ticketfly”.

As for Ticketfly co-founder and CEO Andrew Dreskin, who will now lead Eventbrite’s music efforts, well he was full of praise for both the past and future owner of his business.

“Ticketfly and Eventbrite are the two most progressive live events technology companies out there”, said he. “And together we will create a transformational platform that will be game-changing for independent venues and promoters. We plan to build on the great work that Ticketfly and Pandora have done and offer the benefits of that partnership to Eventbrite’s customers, delivering even more live event notifications to Pandora listeners”.

Immense alignment and a game-changing transformational platform! What a time to be alive!