David & Goliath: StubDog vs. Ticketmaster/Live Nation
In the land of ticketing
one giant always comes to mind. The big bully on the block who takes your
lunch from you then charges you to get it back. Ticketmaster has long
been the king of tickets, fought many dragons including Pearl Jam back
in the 90’s and was thought to be in its last stages of dominance when
Live Nation severed ties last year. As with a cat, Ticketmaster seems
to have more than 9 lives and keeps on doing its thing. If it can’t beat
you, it buys you. If you’re a threat, it buys you. If it can use you to
pimp its products it swallows you whole. It’s good to be the king right?
All the people rejoiced when Live Nation said no more! We shall not take this and will go our own way. People in the streets danced, they celebrated a new beginning. Finally a company was going to do the right thing and re-define the way we were able to purchase tickets. No longer would we pay a 80% commission for 100 dollar tickets which included, service charges, convenience charges, handling fees, shipping fees, tax, usage fee’s, a tea tax and a kick in the teeth. Man were we wrong.
Then the bomb hit and we received the news that Live Nation and Ticketmaster where going to merge. Merge? Hold on, you guys are going to merge!? But what about change, a new beginning and the start of a ticketing revolution which would lead us all to the promised land and allow us to purchase tickets without turning red with anger and screaming profanities when parting with our money? Say it ain’t so!
With the economy sinking to new lows and entertainment budgets being the first thing tossed out the window when families look to cut back what are we to do. Enter David, stage right…StubDog.com. Yes, great things come in small packages and as our David is still in its youth its already proving that there is a nitch for the little guy.
Created in 2006 in Houston, StubDog has since moved into Dallas, Fort Worth and Los Angeles. StubDog is not your run of the mill “ticket broker”; in fact, they are not a ticket broker at all. StubDog works directly with the venues to help sell seats that might otherwise remain empty. A clearinghouse for unsold tickets. Their website states “Why should these tickets remain unsold, when you can offer them for a discounted price and maximize profits?” And by the way, StubDog’s tickets are almost all 50% off the full price.
Sound good? It is. In a recent article on Flavorwire, Cecelia Estreich stated, “most events do not completely sell out (they’re referring to the types of events they promote which, fair warning, are not the next Madonna tour). The company uses this as leverage to reserve a portion of tickets to sell at half price. Not only does this guarantee a full house for the events, but it lets under funded culture mavens get out of the house once in awhile.
Fine. You are more likely to score tickets to “Ragdoll Burlesque Presents: Spangled” than coveted seats at the upcoming Phish tour. But, it’s certainly better than spending $4,200 a ticket once a dark force called Live Nation Ticketmaster…”
Sounding better? Not done yet. Not only does StubDog offer spectacular ticket prices to a wide range of events, these guys are giving away some of their profits. Giving their profits to support the organizations that support them. Sound Crazy? It is. But a good kinda crazy. In a recent LA Times article, it was reported that, “StubDog says it is adding an incentive for the culturally minded: For every ticket sold, 10% will go to benefit local arts organizations, including L.A. Stage Alliance…”
As there is only one other company offering a service, StubDog said that, “"There are 17 million people in Southern California," he said. "It's a large enough pool of people that there's room for everyone.” Absolutely. And there are another 400 million people in cities across the country waiting for you to move into their neighborhood.
In a time of endless bad news, it’s refreshing to hear of a company making a difference and not just looking out for themselves. The only beef I have with StubDog is…Why aren’t you in NYC? After doing a bit of digging it seems that it’s already in the works. Well then, I look forward to having you here!
And who doesn’t like betting on the little guy?