We continue our featured TicketSummit 2007 company profile series with Advanced Ticket Systems.
By Alfred Branch, Jr.
Andrew Blachman, the CEO of U.K.-based Getmein.com, estimates that the secondary ticket market in Great Britain is worth about ₤500 million (roughly $1 billion) and is only beginning to really take off.
Getmein.com is the new website launched by Advanced Ticket Systems, creators of Soldouteventtickets.com. The two sites eventually will be merged together under the Get Me In moniker, but Blachman said there was no specific timetable for when that move would occur.
Unlike its much larger counterpart in the U.S., the secondary market in England is fighting a bit of a public relations battle because the ticket reselling, called by the derogatory term “touting” by some, is staunchly prohibited. . . One except is with the football (soccer) teams that can approve of a specific entity to resell tickets. But, gaining those approvals is not easy, Blachman said. In fact, Getmein.com is about to sign its first one; by comparison, Blachman admits that rival Viagogo.com went on a spending spree soon after launching and paid impressive amounts to secure approvals and has such partnerships with four clubs, including powerhouse Manchester United.
That’s OK, Blachman said, because, he claims, Getmein.com does more volume than Viagogo.com and receives more than 1 million visitors per month. In 2006, Getmein.com generated ₤5 million ($10 million) in sales, Blachman said, and the company is expecting to double that number in this year. The supply of available tickets for the secondary market in the U.K. is limited, so average prices tend to be significantly higher than in the U.S.; Blachman said the average transaction on the site is ₤300 ($600). Getmein.com charges a fee of about 20 percent per transaction. About 75 percent of the secondary market in the U.K. is dominated by the wildly popular football matches, he estimates. Wimbledon tickets are also popular, but this year with so much rain, some tickets that were selling for ₤2,000 ($4,000) a few weeks before were only fetching ₤500 ($1,000) during the tournament.
“We’re growing organically,” Blachman said, adding that the company is looking to launch German and Dutch language sites in the future. “People here are slowly beginning to realize that there are legitimate ways to buy and sell tickets on the secondary market. And, once there is more acceptance and more people are selling on the secondary market, prices will come down.”
One area the company is beginning to explore is the possibility of providing U.S. ticket inventory to its British customers, and vice versa. He said it might be achieved through a partnership with a U.S. broker at some point in the future.
“It seems like a natural thing, to provide U.S. inventory,” Blachman said, adding that an example could be Broadway show tickets, which Britons clamor for when traveling in the U.S.