SeatGeek Marketing and Advertising

Part
01
of four
Part
01

SeatGeek - Competitors

Based on similarities in products/services offered and the highest market share, the top three competitors of SeatGeek are Brown Paper Tickets, Ticketmaster, and Live Nation.

#1. Brown Paper Tickets

#2. Ticketmaster

#3. Etix

  • Etix is an international web-based ticketing service provider for the entertainment, travel and sports industries.
  • It offers tickets for art and theater, social, music, sports, public gatherings, custom events and other kinds of creative events. (similar to SeatGeek)
  • It also provides digital marketing and e-commerce services to organizers and ticket vendors. (partially similar to SeatGeek, as SeatGeek does not cater to organizers or vendors)
  • It also provides ticket reprint service. (SeatGeek offers a variation of this service, where it provides a barcode which can be used in place of the ticket)

Research Strategy

We began our research by looking at pre-compiled lists of competitors from market analytics and techno-analytics websites like ZoomInfo, Investopedia, Startup Ranking, Datanyze, Craft.co, Tech Boomers, and Tech Crunch. We found pre-compiled lists of competitors on some of these websites, however, none of them provided us any criteria to determine which ones are the top competitors. Except for Datanyze, they only provided merits and demerits of its various competitors. Datanyze, on the other hand, provided us with information about the market share of each competitor. Moving forward, we used Datanyze's competitors' list as the base source.

We then studied the procedure behind Datanyze's calculation of "Market Share," to gauge the credibility of its list. We learned the Datanyze's methodology by exploring its website and by reading its descriptions on SaaS review sites like Capterra. From what we understood, Datanyze retrieves information about the technology use of any company in real-time to create a technographic analysis. It also uses a coalition of first party and third party sources to identify each company's market share.

After confirming the reliability of its methodology, we explored each competitor mentioned in Datanyze's list. We found that Brown Ticket Sales has the maximum market share among all the competitors. Next were Ticketmaster and Etix. All the three identified competitors provided product and service offerings similar to that of SeatGeek. We skipped Ticket Tailor and Vendini, as even though they were listed as competitors, they were ticket vendor software companies in actuality. The product offering and related details for each company can be found above.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

SeatGeek - Competitive Landscape

With the recognition of video advertisements' ability to facilitate the acquisition of new customers, SeatGeek sponsors videos posted on its influencers' social pages. Ticketmaster and Etix are more focused on social media advertising. The following section provides details of the advertisements done by SeatGeek and its competitors.

SEATGEEK

  • SeatGeek's advertising combines different types of advertising aimed at targeting customers from multiple mediums.
  • In all the mediums that Seat Geek uses for advertising, video ads are incorporated as the brand's go-to strategy for reaching and acquiring new users. So is the case as SeatGeek realized that video advertisements facilitate the acquisition of new customers.
  • According to an article on Retail Dive, Seat Geek leverages personalized ads to bring better experiences for its potential customers with the search engine more relative and appealing. The personalized ads consist of exciting videos that are aimed at triggering captivating and relatable emotions in potential customers.
  • The article also highlights that SeatGeek has been achieved significant success in the mobile advertising space. According to SiteMinis CEO, Marci Troutman, "SeatGeek has most likely found successes in their mobile advertising initiatives over the last year. The opportunity that mobile provides for real consumer targeting helps drive awareness and, most likely positive sales conversions".
  • Mobile Marketer reports that SeatGeek channels 50% of spend on mobile advertising. The company engaged Applovin to create mobile videos that would be used to target time-strapped millennials.
  • According to Digiday, influencer marketing is part of Seat Geek's strategy to differentiate itself from competitors such as Ticketmaster. The company hopes to establish an emotional connection with its fans.
  • SeatGeek's influencers such as David Dobrik, Alex Morgan, Brad Mondo, and Olivia Culpo post sponsored videos on their social media channels. For example, the video of YouTuber Jesse Wellens, surprising his father with Super Bowl tickets, generated over 864,000 views.

TICKETMASTER

  • As one of SeatGeek's top competitors, Ticketmaster also utilizes video advertising in promoting its service offerings.
  • One example is Ticketmaster's use of videos to promote specific content on social media. In 2017, YouTube announced a partnership with Ticketmaster to connect fans with concert tickets and tour information directly on artists' YouTube video pages.
  • As part of its social media and content marketing strategy to target NFL fans, Ticketmaster in 2018 ran a season ticket giveaway for all 32 NFL teams.
  • One of the conditions to win tickets was that "Fans must follow Ticketmaster on Twitter or Instagram and post photos or videos flaunting their enthusiasm for their favorite team with the hashtag #TicketmasterNFLentry and tagging their team "
  • The season promotion was a demonstration of the company's confidence in video advertising as crucial for promoting Ticketmaster and its events.
  • On its YouTube channel, Ticketmaster promotes targeted content through video posts of events, artists, and other relevant information that interest fans.
  • While SeatGeek sponsors videos posted on its influencer's social pages, there is no indication that Ticketmaster does the same. Ticketmaster is more focused on social media content marketing.

ETIX

  • Etix majorly utilizes social media advertising to market and promote its products and services.
  • On its Facebook platform, Etix includes video contents of upcoming events for which it offers tickets. Such posts often include any discounts for early purchases and other associated coupons. The same also happens on Etix's Twitter Page.
  • The company takes note of the opportunity in mobile advertising. Through the Etix Mobile Manager App, fans have can get instant, real-time access to "Ticket Snapshot" information for upcoming events and be able to book in advance.
  • The app is available for users of iPhone and Android.
  • Event marketing is also a major way through which Etix advertises itself. Both its Facebook and Twitter pages are full of content promoting specific events. For instance, currently, the company is through Twitter and Facebook, actively promoting the upcoming Halloween events scheduled for Thursday, 31 October 2019.
  • When compared, Etix advertising is not as aggressive as that of SeatGeek. For instance, there is no indication that Etix is focused on any personalized video content to target specific customers. Also, there is no indication that Etix does leverage sponsored videos (as in the case of Seat Geek) for influencer marketing to advertise its products, services, and events.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

SeatGeek - Ad Spend

SeatGeek has recently increased its ad spending for paid social and influencer marketing significantly. SeatGeek's competitor, Live Nation Entertainment, has increased its overall ad spend in recent years and has specifically increased the amount spent on online ads. We couldn't find any information about SeatGeek competitor Brown Paper Tickets' ad spend (explained in Research Strategy section below) and the other competitor previously identified (Ticketmaster) is part of Live Nation due to a 2010 merger between the companies.

Ad Spend Data

SeatGeek

  • According to a June 2019 article, SeatGeek upped the amount of money it spent on influencers by 60% between 2018 and 2019.
  • Between 2018 and 2019, SeatGeek raised the amount of money it "spend[s] on paid social channels[, Snapchat and Instagram, by] 96%."
  • The combination of paid social and influencer ad spending accounted for 45% of SeatGeek's 2018 spending on advertising. The company didn't specify the amount devoted to paid social versus influencers, but instead provided the aforementioned, combined value.
  • SeatGeek's total media spend for 2018 totaled $11.8 million. That 2018 total media spend almost doubled the company's 2017 total of $5.9 million.
  • SeatGeek's media spend for First Quarter 2019 totaled $1.8 million.
  • Back in 2014, SeatGeek's monthly spend for mobile marketing was $300,000.
  • In 2012/2013, SeatGeek's monthly ad spend was a mere $6,000.
  • For 2013/2014, SeatGeek massively increased its monthly ad spend to about $250,000.

Live Nation Entertainment

  • In 2016, Live Nation's CEO, Michael Rapino, said that the company previously allotted between $3 million and $4 million for concert advertising across radio, billboard, and print channels. However, Live Nation decided to redirect 80% of marketing spend for concerts from traditional press and radio channels to online channels instead.
  • Back in 2012, Live Nation's marketing budget totaled $125 million.
  • Of that $125 million, 20% ($25 million) was dedicated to social media ($125 million * 0.2 = $25 million).
  • In 2012, Live Nation projected that it would double its social media ad spend for 2013 ($50 million ($25 million * 2)).
  • Prior to merging with Ticketmaster in 2010, Live Nation's marketing budget (as was reported in 2009) totaled $170 million.

Research Strategy

We could only find ad spend data for one of SeatGeek's three competitors previously identified (Live Nation, Ticketmaster, and Brown Paper Tickets) due to two reasons. The first reason was that Ticketmaster and Live Nation merged in 2010 to form Live Nation Entertainment. Thus, recent ad spend data (2010 to present) pertained to the merged company (Live Nation Entertainment), for which we included such data. The second reason was that, despite our best efforts, we couldn't find any data or information about the remaining competitor's (Brown Paper Tickets) ad spend for any channel. We tried looking for that information in three different ways. First, we looked for any articles that might have been published on that topic by running wide-ranging searches. We only found one article about Brown Paper Tickets, published by Seattle Business Magazine, but there was no information about the company's ad spend in the article.

The second way we looked for information about Brown Paper Ticket's ad spend was by visiting the company's website, to see if any relevant information was included there, as perhaps there might have been a blog article or financial report. However, there was no kind of financial report anywhere on the site (which is extremely basic) nor even a general site search tool from which we could have tried to navigate the site to locate that information.

The third way we looked for the company's ad spend was by checking to see if the company had run any ads on TV or online. Had there been such, we would have narrowed the scope of our research by looking specifically for ad spend data pertaining to each such ad specifically, compared to our previous efforts focused on the company as a whole. In trying to find information about any TV ads, we used iSpot TV, which publishes company's TV ads and other information about those ads. There wasn't a single ad for Brown Paper Tickets included on that site. We also checked Brown Paper Tickets' social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) to see if the company posted any online ads there. There weren't any true ads there, but rather those social media channels just included regular kinds of posts about upcoming events and similar.

With regard to SeatGeek and Live Nation Entertainment, we didn't find any information about TV ad spend specifically, but rather about overall ad spend and such spend across other channels. We looked for that information in three different ways. First, we conducted wide-ranging searches for any articles about that topic. There were articles about both companies' ad spending, which we used in compiling our research findings, but no information was specific to TV ad spend. Second, we looked up both companies' TV commercials on iSpot TV. While there were TV commercials for both companies on that site, the estimated ad spend data was blocked. As a third research method, we checked for an annual report for the companies. Only Live Nation published annual reports. We reviewed Live Nation's 2018 Annual Report, but there wasn't any information specific to TV ad spend or TV advertising in general. Since SeatGeek doesn't publish annual reports, we instead tried searching the company's website to see if we could find that information that way. However, there wasn't a site search tool for us to navigate the site in looking for that information, nor was there other types of information (such as a blog) that might have published that type of information. Accordingly, we included all the applicable data and information that we found about the companies' ad spends throughout our research.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

SeatGeek - Consumer Demographics

Around 91.16% of SeatGeek's website traffic comes from the United States, while 84% of Ticketmaster's (a competitor of SeatGeek) millennial audience searched for live event details via their phone.

USEFUL FINDINGS

OVERVIEW OF SEATGEEK
  • As a company, SeatGeek operates as a ticket search engine that helps to find tickets to live entertainment.
  • The company can also be defined as a mobile ticketing marketplace that searches dozens of the biggest ticketing sites and presents the results all in one place.
  • Similar companies that compete with SeatGeek include Stubhub, Ticketmaster, etc.

CONSUMER DEMOGRAPHICS OF SEATGEEK
  • As told by the Senior Director of Growth Marketing, Shoji Ueki, SeatGeek witnesses higher Average Order Values (AVOs) from its desktop users. Subsequently, he added that older users typically possess greater disposable income and transact more through desktop.
  • Regarding the countries where most of SeatGeek's users reside, the United States comes first with a 91.16% share of web traffic followed by Canada (3.83%), the United Kingdom (0.60%), Australia (0.44%), and Mexico (0.36%).

INSIGHTS ON TICKETMASTER, STUBHUB, AND OTHER COMPETITORS OF SEATGEEK
  • Ticketmaster and the rest of sports and entertainment industry are actively attempting to identify ways to more intensely connect with consumers that are in their teens as well as those in their mid-30s.
  • As estimated by Ticketmaster, millennials account for one-quarter to one-third of the entire revenue base for several ticket sellers, leagues, and teams. According to the company, as members of Gen X ages and baby boomers start to die off, millennials will begin making up most of the sports and entertainment market's target audience.
  • More than three-fourths (84%) of Ticketmaster's millennial audience searches for live event details using their mobile device, while 67% will complete a purchase through the device. Those percentages are notably higher than its non-millennial audience.
  • StubHub's mobile-based sales expanded by at least 40% in 2014 across every demographic. Millennials contributed greatly to this growth.
  • From a study conducted by Eventbrite on the consumers of comic-con events, around 55% are reportedly male and 45% are female.
  • The mobile ticketing process often alienates an older age cohort of fans that are not as tech-savvy as others.

Research Strategy:

Although we were able to provide multiple data points on the demographic parameters such as age, gender, and country of origin for consumers of either SeatGeek or similar companies such as Ticketmaster or Stubhub, we could not find any relevant insights on other parameters like income or marital status.

Our research began by exploring market/industry research reports, academic reports, and survey results focused on the demographic distribution of mobile ticketing and its players, including SeatGeek. We decided to explore sources such as these because they provide detailed market landscapes and often use demographic details to define the consumer. We observed reports published by reputed global consultancies such as PWC, McKinsey, BCG, Deloitte, Accenture, and Gartner, along with academic databases like Academia, Researchgate, Semantic Scholar, and other quantitative databases such as Statista. Although some of them provided information relating to the industry and how it was evolving (e.g., the latest trends, opportunities, risks, etc.), there was limited information on the nuanced demographic distribution of its players or the industry as a whole.

Since these players were all online platforms, we tried to analyze their web traffic from sources such as SimilarWeb, Quant Cast, BuiltWith, Tag Explorer, Alexa, etc. Also, we made lists of relevant hashtags used by them and attempted to examine the demographics of the users employing these hashtags from sites like Hashtagify, Hash Tracking, Social Alert, Keyhole, etc. We consulted such sources as they often provide profile data of users regarding their location, age, gender, etc. Although some sources provided a detailed analysis of the sites' web traffic, the information mostly focused on keywords, devices, interests, referral websites redirecting traffic to these sites. The only relevant information provided was the users' countries of origin.

Next, we searched for the top executives of SeatGeek, Ticketmaster, Stubhub, etc., especially their marketing or operations. We utilized LinkedIn extensively to find their names and then scoured for their interviews published in relevant business sources such as Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC, INC, etc. Additionally, we searched for their LinkedIn blogs, articles, and interviews in generic news and article sources such as Medium, Quartz, among others. In these interviews, we tried to discover whether the top executives provided any information on the consumers they target, or consumers that formed the majority of their present audience.

Although there were several interviews involving the executives, the information provided was mostly on the overall market scenario, growth potential, etc., without offering extensive data on the user demographics, presumably to safeguard consumer details from competition.
Sources
Sources

From Part 04
Quotes
  • "SeatGeek is a ticket search engine that makes finding tickets to live entertainment a cinch. We search dozens of the biggest ticket sites and present the results all in one place."
Quotes
  • "SeatGeek was built in 2009 as the only mobile ticketing marketplace created with fan experience top of mind. We’re transforming the way fans buy and sell their tickets to their favorite live events across sports, music, and theater."
Quotes
  • "The increase in influencer marketing is part of the company’s strategy to differentiate the brand as it competes with Stubhub, Ticketmaster and others. By using influencers, SeatGeek is aiming to woo consumers with its “fans first” focus and to create an emotional connection with consumers, which can be harder to do with just performance marketing, said Ogden-Reese."
  • "Using influencer marketing can help the brand grow through word of mouth, said brand consultant and Metaforce co-founder Allen Adamson, adding that ticketing is a cluttered market and competitors like Stubhub likely have deeper pockets to win consumers’ attention."
  • "Influencer marketing allows SeatGeek to target their message to a specific consumer archetype rather than using broad strokes — the Indy 500 fan is likely very different than the Lady Gaga fan,” wrote Katy Wellhousen, account director at RQ, in an email."
Quotes
  • "On the other hand, we actually see higher AOVs from our desktop users. Demographics may be a partial explanation: older users tend to both transact more on desktop and have more disposable income. I also think that users still tend to feel more comfortable making really high-end purchases (e.g., super bowl tickets) on desktop. But I’d imagine that both of these effects will diminish over time."
Quotes
  • "Ticketmaster, of course, is far from alone. The entire sports and entertainment industry is fervently trying to find ways to more deeply reach consumers now in their teens to mid-30s."
  • "Typically defined as the generation born between 1980 and 2000, the millennial generation is by far the most digitally connected and socially oriented group in history. The oldest portion of that demographic is just starting to approach their peak earning years and the youngest is nearing adulthood, presenting a huge opportunity for anyone in the business of selling a ticket. "
  • "For many teams, leagues and ticket sellers, the millennial audience represents a quarter to a third of their overall revenue base. But as baby boomers begin to die off, and Generation X ages, millennials will soon represent the majority of the industry’s target audience."
  • "The ticketing industry was relatively slow to embrace mobile platforms, and overall fan adoption is estimated to still be in the low double-digit percentages with a tipping point beyond 50 percent still at least two years away. But for the younger demographic, the phone is everything. Ticketmaster estimates that 84 percent of its millennial audience searches for live event information on their phone, and 67 percent will make a purchase on the device, figures each far higher than the company’s nonmillennial audience."
  • "Secondary ticketing giant StubHub said its mobile-based sales grew 40 percent last year across all demographics, with millennials playing a key role in that growth. The company is targeting further growth this year in part through a new set of redesigned mobile apps that include greater personalization, event discovery features, and integrations with outside content and social media brands such as ESPN, Foursquare and Yelp."
  • "I don’t agree that the millennial fan is just buying cheap, last-minute tickets,” the NBA’s Donohue said. “We’ve seen a lot of customization in how offers are put together to get this demographic to embrace the membership route. Something like $80 a month, sometimes even less, can make you a season-ticket holder, and those kind of offers have been well-received."
Quotes
  • " The most recent study focused on the demographics and spending habits of Con-goers, something relevant with the recent holding of Comic-Con in San Diego. The study helped develop pertinent statistics (i.e. that 10% of con-goers spend $500 or more that these events and of that group 55% are male while 45% are female). The study also showed fan frequency of attending these events, with 49% of the 2,000 attendees responding that they go to at least three fan events per year and 60% travel to go to at least one out of town."
Quotes
  • "While there are advantages to mobile ticketing for fans, multiple experts explained to the Observer, there are also significant concerns. Specifically, fans and ticket holders have privacy concerns about how much information the Panthers will get from the mobile ticketing process, not to mention potentially alienating an older, less tech-savvy demographic of fans."
Quotes
  • "This statistic presents the share of Americans who bought airline tickets online in the past 12 months in 2018, by age. In that year, 21.98 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 years stated that they bought airline tickets online in the past 12 months."