Lyte’s fan-to-fan ticket exchange: how are we doing?

When we launched Lyte three years ago, few in the industry believed that a fan-to-fan ticket exchange could really work. We hit brick walls, had doors slammed in our faces and experienced just about every other nice and not-so-nice metaphor you can think of for “no.”

Even so, we knew we were on the verge of something that would potentially change ticketing forever — and for the better.

Bottle Rock 2018

Flash forward to 2018. Lyte staff took a look at last year’s numbers and realized: It’s been a long and, at times, arduous journey — but Lyte’s platform is working.

And we mean really, really working.

Check it out.

· Lyte started 2017 with five clients — and ended the year with 300.

· Lyte did 8,000 ticket exchanges last year, delivering more than $1.5 million in fan savings.

· After teaming up with Lyte, last year’s BottleRock music festival in Napa Valley saw a nearly a 50 percent decline in fans who showed up with fake tickets.

· Lyte handled roughly 2,800 ticket exchanges for the Newport Folk Festival last year. That took more than 80 percent away from the secondary market and saved fans more than $400,000.

· Lyte’s partnerships with ticketing companies like Ticketfly, artists like Mumford and Sons and concert promoters like Iron City in Birmingham, Alabama has seen a market shift of 90 to 95 percent from the secondary market.

· Partnerships between Lyte and primary ticketing platforms had grown from one to seven by the end of last year.

· Lyte’s technology allows people to return tickets when something comes up and they can’t make a show. But the platform has seen 1.6 times more reservations for sold-out shows that people are dying to attend than tickets that are returned.

This is all powerful stuff to happen in a year.

But we believe it’s happening because people understand more and more that the model of secondary ticketing is broken. That’s why we are revolutionizing the ticketing industry and the fan experience through technology and partnerships.

As our founder Ant Taylor says: “We’re so focused on what our product is and who is important. That’s the promoters, the artists, the fans and the primary ticketing company that brings them all together. We are connecting people and moving tickets without letting someone get price gouged.”

Lyte was born after Taylor went to the London Olympics and was baffled by the number of empty seats he saw. He knew tickets to see the top athletes in the world compete had to have been distributed — but not used.

He formed his team to create the software that allows partners to power it on and off based on ticketing tiers and sections. The technology allows artists, venues or promoters the change to return tickets to Lyte for a competitive price using a barcode. We cancel that barcode and and issue a new barcode for a fan who reserved a chance for a ticket to a show he or she wanted to see.

Tickets bought and sold through Lyte are sold a little over face value yet undercut the secondary market. That means every single ticket is discounted under the secondary, which saves fans money.

“We allow people to book a credit card reservation for a show through a site that is powered by us but marketed by the promoter,” Taylor says. “That allows promoters to see demand after they sell out. Just to see how sold out you are being amazing for them. That basically is an in around what we know as the secondary ticketing market.”

He adds: “And we allow people to return tickets they’ve bought when they can’t go, which for some may feel like fingernails on a chalkboard. But there is more than enough demand to soak up the supply as people return tickets. We put most of what people in the industry know as the secondary market in their control.”

So what’s next for Lyte?

We’re working to improve our platform and offer fans even more options for returning tickets from the moment they go on sale.

We’re partnering with even more promoters, more artists and more primary ticketing companies to save fans money and end fake or fraudulent ticketing. Our newest partners are, like all of our partners, people who care about the fan experience and want to protect it from the secondary market.

Together, we’re working to make the $1.5 million that Lyte saved fans last year an even bigger number by the end of 2018.

“This is only the beginning,” Taylor says. “We’re excited about the talks we’re having with big artists and events who see that our model is working. It’s changing the culture around ticketing with each and every single fan. Fans no longer have to waste their tickets when they can’t go or give up when as show is sold out. They’ve got fair options that benefit them, the artist, the promoter and the primary ticketer. That’s what it’s all about.”

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