It has become commonplace in the ticketing industry to discuss distribution and why it matters. For the most part everyone understands what that generally means: Your tickets are distributed to multiple sites thus gaining exposure through marketing initiatives and a large customer base.
However, is there a global understanding of the technology, infrastructure and number of customers reached each day, month or year? Let’s take a deeper look and try to relate on how this helps scale ticket sales efforts.
Ticket Distribution and Why it Matters
Technology and Infrastructure
The ability to distribute tickets onto multiple platforms at once is a key to maximizing exposure and sales. At Stage Front, our Inventory Management program includes a point of sale that does just that. Included in the platform are order fulfillment management and customer service with the exchanges.
Additional available options such as our auto or full-service pricing software and a real-time sales portal create a unique all-inclusive distribution effort. In other words, our platforms provide a full-service eCommerce solution specifically for ticket holders.
The Distribution Numbers
Tickets are hitting sites but how many potential customers see them? Well, the numbers are impressive, and that is before adding in fulfillment and affiliate type programs (see below). According to Similarweb and Alexa, Stage Front’s top 8 distribution sites totaled close to 47 million visitors and 310 million page views in the month of August.
While impressive, as stated above, they are truthfully even better. Those numbers do not include visitors to various exchanges separate inventory sites. These programs allow third parties to create websites hosting the inventory of a larger exchange. While a customer buys on the third party website, the original exchange handles the fulfillment and client service.
Vivid Seats has had success with their Ticket Fulfillment Services (TFS), TicketNetwork has run a similar program for years, and Ticket Evolution creatively expanded on the concept adding more exposure. We may not know the exact additional visitor numbers. However, they are not all small outfits.
For example, according to Similarweb, one of Vivid Seats top TFS websites had over 1,000,000 visitors and 4,000,000 page views in August alone. Also, some exchanges broadcast tickets on other websites or applications. TicketNetwork’s agreement with Expedia lists inventory under a tickets tab, and SeatGeeks open distribution platform places tickets for sale on any website or app. This taps into the up-selling capacity and customer database of potentially high traffic sites.
Yes, these programs numbers are challenging to obtain or even guess as well. However, they are astronomical if you consider a site like Expedia can generate 95,000,000 web visits a month alone and directly up-sells to customers with ultra-targeted offerings.
One of the big pluses of distribution is, of course, the number of customers potentially viewing your inventory. We know secondary sites drive traffic. The missing piece is why do they capture so much of the market? The answer is simple. They spend money on scalable avenues that stand-alone entities cannot. Secondary Ticketing Sites rank high in Pay Per Click and SEO: Of Stage Front’s top 3 distribution sites, 65% of desktop traffic came via search. 40% of the search traffic was from PPC.
While ticketing search costs can vary, even at the global average spend of $2 – $3 per click, the expense is out of the reach of ticket holders. In general, these efforts are expensive but scale. Reference the digital marketing graphic on the left and relate it to ticket sales efforts.
If your tickets are not available on the websites in the top 3 PPC rankings, you are immediately missing out on 41% of customers who search online for tickets. You are also missing out on customers who are more likely to engage, retain brand awareness, and have a profile that points to higher purchase intent.
The distribution of tickets through platforms such as Stage Front is an eCommerce tool that drives engagement through scalable marketing activities. Utilizing these tools buys into these concepts as well as the consumer data used for ongoing cross-selling. It is modern-day eCommerce retail tailored for ticketing.
Graphic #2 Sources