Ticket search engine SeatGeek is launching a new low-cost advertising option on its Web site for ticket brokers, a first for the company in...

Ticket search engine SeatGeek is launching a new low-cost advertising option on its Web site for ticket brokers, a first for the company in an effort to peel away some ad business from search giant Google.

So far, TicketsNow, Goldstar and Vivid Seats have signed up for the program, according to SeatGeek co-founder Russ D’Souza, who added that initially the offering will focus on larger brokers but ultimately will target the whole broker community.

SeatGeek is one of a growing number of specific-industry search engines that allows users to look for event tickets that have been culled from several secondary ticket broker Web sites. The inventory is broken down by cost, and ticket bargains are highlighted. SeatGeek includes interactive venue maps with seat views and specific team pages that contain price forecasting data.

Under the new program, called the SeatGeek Ad Platform, brokers will be able to buy space on team or event pages next to the list of available tickets, and users that click on the ads are given the choice of viewing only tickets from that company, or being sent to that company’s Web site.

Rates will vary — depending on the size of the ad, location within the page, team or event popularity and other factors — but prices will begin at about $100 per month, according to D’Souza.

“We built the SeatGeek Ad Platform because we realized how limited ticketing company’s choices are in advertising and marketing,” D’Souza told TicketNews. “As you know, the ticketing world is heavily dependent upon Google and other search engines. Just like Google delivers a poor ticket search experience compared to vertically-focused companies like SeatGeek, we believe that Google is a suboptimal advertising medium for ticketing companies and consumers.”

D’Souza is not naïve enough to claim that SeatGeek garners even a fraction of the internet traffic that Google does, but where he and competing ticket search engine FanSnap believe they have an advantage is that users of ticket search engines are often more motivated to find deals. In turn, that can help boost the value of advertising on SeatGeek for brokers because their ads are more focused.

“These ads can help brokers in better building their own brand,” D’Souza said, adding that Google adverting can cost brokers thousands of dollars, which is cost prohibitive to smaller brokers. “Trying to navigate Google advertising is laborious and complex, plus a broker would have to bid against every keyword search, or combination, for a specific term or event. And, that’s very difficult to do.”

FanSnap currently offers its own advertising option for brokers, but the company has its own ace in the hole with a partnership with Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

A spokesperson for FanSnap declined to comment on SeatGeek’s new program.

“We want to make this affordable for brokers, so they can advertise where they have tickets, not where they don’t,” D’Souza said. “This is branding where the transaction is being made.”