Contrary to all the cries in today’s business world to diversify in order to sell bigger, one ticketer is taking a chance on specialization, and is finding some success.
The Los Angeles-based TicketMob.com, a ticketing and venue management platform launched in 2009, aims to provide customized online ticketing services for specific genres in the live entertainment industry. The company initially focused on the comedy market, working to build custom ticketing sites for clubs hosting comics.
In a recent conversation with TicketNews, CEO and founder Scot Richardson explained why. “I started as a comedy promoter. I ran a business for 10 years where I promoted about 200 comedy shows a year. Our first vertical was LaughStub, because I knew comedy very well. It was built in 2009 and launched in 2010.”
“We signed the Improv in our first quarter, and we followed that up with signing The Comedy Store, Second City, and by the middle of 2011 we had most of the major comedy clubs on our platform.”
As the company saw increasing success with its business model, Richardson and his staff had a revelation. “We realized that we had stumbled on something unique — being a ticketing company with a vertical, we could super-serve that vertical rather than being a one-size-fits-all.”
Next, staff got to work developing more verticals to market to ticket providers. September 2011 saw the launch of TuneStub, catering to bands, promoters and venues. In sync with the rising popularity of electronica and D.J.-generated music, ElectroStub was born in 2012 to meet the needs of D.J.’s, nightclub owners, and festival promoters.
Richardson sees his company as uniquely able to provide such specialized services using its verticals model, and he highlights the benefits of “super-serving” each specific market.
“We build a community site and social media sites around [the genre]. We have about 400,000 Facebook fans. We built a site dedicated to live comedy. So a show that wouldn’t make the front page of Ticketmaster can suddenly be a big component on our site. Second, we build in customized tools for that vertical.”
The TicketMob website emphasizes the marketing power of these tools, which include custom-built websites, social media engagement with Facebook widgets, e-commerce design and analytics to track success.
A recent SoundCtrl.com article noted that TicketMob’s technology can also assist a company in its branding efforts: “the TicketMob structure itself is virtually transparent, leaving the focus on your venue or event.”
As the company motto states, “If you want it, we will build it.”
Richardson expressed particular pride in his company’s ability to harness the power of social media. “The incumbents have all just gotten to the point where they make sure you have your seat and that’s it. We have built unique tools, features that reward customers who buy tickets and use social media. For instance, a provider may give a one dollar discount to someone who buys a ticket and posts that to Facebook.”
“You turn your customer into a marketer; they help drive additional ticket sales… so you have really created a viral component to drive tickets. We have shown providers how they can sell more tickets using our software than they could using a traditional ticketing company.”
And now TicketMob has reached a milestone, having sold 3.5 million tickets in three years of business. A press release announcing the news noted that sales for the company are up to 300,000 tickets per month.
Richardson sees a bright future ahead for his company, with new verticals planned for roll out soon, as well as new tools specifically designed for artists.”
“We’ve now sold over three and a half million tickets, and business is growing 20 percent month after month. We are trying to be a forward thinking company that does things a little differently than everybody else. We take pride in being the underdog and trying to shake things up.”