Monetizing Event Local Discovery: ticketing commercial affiliation

It was 2014, it was easy to search for business or touristic points of interest around a particular location. Nevertheless, it was still hard to search for events because the information was fragmented into several local/news websites. Facebook was not providing geo-search, Eventbrite was mostly focused on courses and workshops and ticketing portals like TicketMaster were focused on sport/music events. So Eventa was born to find a solution for event discovery based on geolocation, our portal today reaches 1M users per month in Italy from web and apps. We aggregate ~20 event providers to create the most comprehensive database of events in Italy, and we use the state of art of machine learning techniques to organize and enrich raw data.

While growing our userbase, our idea for the business model crashed into reality. We planned an affiliation model on ticketing, we thought we could gain a fee for every ticket sold through our platform.

In fact it was not very difficoult to sign affiliation agreements with the main primary and secondary ticketing platforms (TicketMaster, Eventim, Viagogo, Seatwave, Stubhub, etc). But then we faced two main problems:

  1. Commercial affiliations do not guarantee a solid revenue stream. We currently collect 1% of the transaction total amount with Ticketmaster, we collect 1,10 Euros for every transaction with Eventim — for any transaction amount. This is not only beause main platforms have a better bargaining position, but also because of the complexity of the supply chain with many intermediaries — everyone with its fees.
  2. Event Local Discovery search focuses on upcoming small/medium events (long-tail)— users are looking something to do for the evening, the weekend or next week. Such type of small events are listed on Eventbrite where no commercial affiliation is possible. Consequently, only a small % of events are monetizable with ticketing.

For this reason we think this business model cannot be the main and only one for creating a company in this space. In the next weeks I will make a further analysis about other business models we tried before deciding to go with ticketing based on the blockchain.