2014 By the Numbers: Ticketfly passes $1 billion in sales

2014 was a banner year for Ticketfly and our partners across the U.S. and Canada. Only five years after selling our first ticket in 2009, we reached $1 billion in cumulative gross sales—$500 million of which was sold in 2014 alone. Everywhere you look around here, arrows are pointing up. Gross sales were up 42% over last year. We processed 16 million tickets and ticketed 90,000 events.

Of course, none of this growth would be possible without our incredible partners—the Ticketfly family of venues and promoters who continue to offer the very best live event experiences to their fans. In 2014, we welcomed more top venues and promoters into the Ticketfly family, including Central Park SummerStage, Forest Hills Stadium, Yoshi’s, & Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas in the United States, and Atomique Productions, West End Cultural Centre, and Blue Skies Turn Black in Canada. In all, Ticketfly added more than 400 new clients in 2014. Combined, they’re expected to sell 4.1 million tickets per year.

We also invested heavily in mobile product innovation: We acquired WillCall—a concert discovery, ticketing, and in-venue commerce mobile app that includes features like Bar Tab, which lets fans open tabs on their phones with a single swipe as they enter the venue, and close out at the end of the night by simply walking out the door. We increased our mobile arsenal for promoters with the launch of Ticketfly Pulse, the first product of its kind to give promoters real-time event information like ticket counts, gross, and scan counts, all on their phones.

We’re incredibly excited about our success in 2014, but we’re really focused on what’s ahead. Just this morning we announced that we’re acquiring Northern Tickets, the in-house ticketing provider of The MRG Group, which owns, operates, and manages premier music venues and events across Canada. Our list of new partners through this acquisition includes some of the most storied venues and events in the country—like the gorgeous Vogue Theatre in Vancouver—and firmly establishes Ticketfly as the go-to choice for independent venues and promoters in Canada.

We’re passionate about reimagining live events and 2015 is on track to be our most groundbreaking year yet as we continue to develop our technology platform to create integrated and frictionless experiences for promoters and fans. Hold on to your hats mics.

Check out the full infographic below for stats about our incredible year.

2014 Ticketfly Infographic



Growing across Canada with the acquisition of Northern Tickets

Posted by Bruce Morrison, General Manager, Ticketfly Canada

We’re more hyped up than a kid at Tim Hortons—today we’re welcoming Northern Tickets to the Ticketfly family. For the past five years, Northern Tickets has served as the in-house ticketing service of the prestigious MRG Group, which owns, operates, and manages premier music venues and events (in addition to restaurants and bars) across Canada.

This acquisition adds prominent new partners to our list, including some of the most storied Canadian venues and events, like the gorgeous Vogue Theatre, a historic 1300-cap room in downtown Vancouver; the brand new, industrial-chic Adelaide Hall, a 500-cap room in Toronto; and the incomparable Vancouver International Jazz Festival, which attracts nearly half a million visitors every year.

Since launching in Canada a little over two years ago, business has been on fire—we’re working with more than 120 partners across the country, and we see lots of room for growth. Adding Vogue Theatre to other Vancouver partners like Northwest Comedy Fest and Union Events solidifies our presence in one of the world’s key markets for live music.

Northern Tickets marks our second acquisition in Canada, and our fourth overall, and comes hot on the heels of our most successful year yet: In 2014, we crossed the $1 billion mark in cumulative gross ticket sales since selling our first ticket in 2009—$500 million of which was processed in 2014 alone (42% year-on-year growth)—and sold 16 million tickets.

Andrew Dreskin, our co-founder and CEO, and long-time regular on the Vancouver music scene, says: “Acquiring Northern Tickets and adding The MRG Group—owner and operator of legendary venues including Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre—to our client roster marks another momentous day in Ticketfly’s history. We are delighted to welcome them to the family. We’ve seen tremendous growth in Canada since launching there a couple years ago, with gross ticket sales up 80% year-over-year in 2014 alone. We’ve become the go-to solution for independent venues and promoters across Canada, and we believe that this transaction signals continued growth for us up there.”

Partnering with The MRG Group is a bit like getting pulled up on stage during a Rush concert: totally awesome. Made up of young, ambitious, and talented promoters, their team is one of the best in the business. Never satisfied with the status quo, they’re constantly seeking new ways to provide amazing experiences to patrons. They have exactly the spirit and passion we’re looking for in new partners as we continue ratcheting up explosive growth across Canada.

Matt Gibbons, President of The MRG Group, says: ““What we saw in Ticketfly was not only world class technology, but world class people with a shared belief in delivering the best experiences for fans. This is a merger of two great teams that will benefit immensely from one another. By partnering with Ticketfly, which offers the best integrated technology platform for live events, we at The MRG Group can focus on what we do best: providing exceptional hospitality.”

We’re breaking out the Molson to toast to new business and new partners. We look forward to working with The MRG Group and our other top tier Canadian partners as we reimagine live events for both promoters and fans across the Great White North.


Ticketfly Trips: The 2015 Ember Conference

This is the first post under our new “Ticketfly Tech” label. We’ll be posting regular news from our engineering team that takes you behind the scenes of the technical world at the ‘fly.

Last week, around six Ticketflyers took the short hop up to Portland for the 2015 Ember Conference, the flagship annual event of the Ember community. The gathering brings together more than 600 enthusiasts of the JavaScript framework from all over the world for two days of content around new and upcoming features. Senior engineer Julian Tescher says it’s the “mecca” of the Ember world, an annual pilgrimage worth making.

Julian poses with Ember’s mascot, The Tomster

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SXSW 2015: Meet Ticketfly in the Lonestar State

Are you heading to Austin for SXSW? The Ticketfly crew’s doing it BIG this year. We’ll be on the ground throughout Interactive (3/13-3/17) and Music (3/17-3/22), and we’d love to see you there. We’ll have representation from multiple teams at Ticketfly—see some our key point of contacts below and shoot us a note if you’d like to grab some Shiner and BBQ with us. You can also keep up with the Ticketfly team on the ground on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Ticketfly Tours: Dance into spring

We’re putting winter in our rearview mirror and gearing up for warmer weather, with a tasty sidedish of great shows. From an intimate solo tour to spazz rockers, our latest Ticketfly Tours playlist is bound to put a spring in your step.

Have a listen to our playlist, which was inspired by Ticketfly Tour artist Stephen Merritt performing 26 of his songs in alphabetical order on his current tour. This month’s playlist has 26 songs alphabetized from A-Z, featuring this month’s Ticketfly Tour bands (plus some associated bands ‘cause, well, X). Like what you hear? Catch the artists live at a show coming to a Ticketfly venue near you.

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Best of the brew: Ticketfly partners clean up beer awards

We’re pretty well known for our work in live music, but Ticketfly clients span all kinds of entertainment, from boarding tall ships to drinking pink wine. No matter what kind of fun, we work with the best, and that’s never been more true than with our current roster of beer festivals, which have been cleaning up on “best-of” lists and awards ceremonies around the country.

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Brooklyn Bowl Vegas brings a winning formula to the strip

Brooklyn Bowl Vegas


As if it wasn’t enough to become a bona fide New York institution for great food, music, drinks, and bowling (and have the Roots’ ?uestlove DJ every week at Bowl Train!), our friends at Brooklyn Bowl have started to take over the rest of the world, opening new locations in London and, for the past year, in the heart of Sin City.

Brooklyn Bowl Vegas, named “Best Live Music Venue” by Las Vegas Weekly, brings the winning formula of strikes, suds, and songs to a city known more for bottle service, fancy circus shows, and stand-up comedians. Did we mention their utterly addictive fried chicken, and all the other delicious Blue Ribbon specialties? The Food Network sure did!
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FlyCon 2015 Recap

A few weeks ago the curtain came down on the fourth annual FlyCon—a yearly gathering of venue and promoter partners, agents, artist managers, and Tfly-ers here in our home city of San Francisco. This year’s FlyCon attracted nearly 400 attendees, appearances from industry heavyweights, and—because we do like to throw a good party—more beers than we could count. Read on for a full recap of an extremely educational, very productive, and just slightly raucous FlyCon 2015.

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FlyTips: Five steps to data-driven marketing

Gone are the days of not knowing the effectiveness of your paid marketing. Gone are the days of spending budget on a dedicated email blast or display campaign on your local weekly’s site and not knowing how many eyeballs saw it, how many sales it drove, and to which events. Today, it’s all about data-driven marketing!

Here are 5 steps you should take today to start making data-based marketing decisions.

  • Tag marketing campaign links with Source and Medium UTM codes. Want to know how many ticket sales were generated as a result of your alt weekly ad or Charli XCX’s tweet? Tag your links to see this in Backstage’s Source Performance dashboard. Learn more in this Ticketfly Community Article.
  • Tag artists with genre(s) when building an event. This will associate ticket buyers with a genre list so you can email them about relevant events in the future. Do you book dubstep, comedy, or 90s rock acts? Customize genres to reflect the specific talent that frequents your business. Learn more about genre tagging in the Ticketfly Community.
  • Ask us to implement your marketing pixels to track paid ad performance. Simply generate pixel code using your advertising platform and pass it along to your Client Rep. The two most common pixel types are conversion pixels and retargeting pixels. Conversion pixels help you measure an ad’s ROI by reporting on actions people take after ads are served (i.e., buying a ticket). Retargeting pixels help you turn window-shoppers into buyers by serving ads to those who viewed an event but didn’t purchase.
  • Experiment with Facebook’s advanced advertising options like conversion tracking and custom or lookalike audiences. By placing a conversion pixel on Ticketfly’s sale confirmation pages and then adding it to your Facebook ad, you’ll know exactly which ads led to conversions (ticket sales). Custom audiences allow you to reach customers you already know with ads on Facebook. You can build audiences based on uploaded email addresses, phone numbers, or the people who visit your website. Lookalike audiences let you reach new people who are likely to be interested in your events because they are similar to your existing customers. Visit facebook.com/business to learn more.
  • Evaluate your performance using Ticketfly’s Source Performance Dashboard. What percentage of your ticket sales can you attribute to free search? How many ticket sales were generated as a result of amplifying your events to Facebook? Check out Backstage to view this at the Org or Event level. It’s critical to keep tabs on your performance to determine what’s working and what’s not so you know where to focus your budget and where to stop spending.

Forget the agony of not knowing if your marketing budget–and your time–are being spent wisely, and step into the world of data-based decisions and marketing. Reach out to your Client Rep with questions.

Ticketfly named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative”…again!

Posted by Andrew Dreskin, co-founder and CEO

What a way to start the week. I woke up yesterday to the news that Ticketfly was again named one of The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Music by Fast Company. It’s a great honor, and incredibly gratifying to be recognized for the work we are doing.

This isn’t the first time we’ve made the list, but we are glad to be a repeat recipient of this award. I think this is a good illustration of how we continue to be on the leading edge of the live events industry.

2014 was an amazing year for us and 2015 is already off to a great start. Our roadmap is full of all kinds of innovative stuff that will continue to transform how event promoters and fans experience live events.

But innovation doesn’t just happen. This is a direct result of great ideas, superb execution, and lots of hard work from the entire Ticketfly team.

The live events industry is experiencing the most fundamental technology shift that I have seen in years. We are happy to be at the epicenter of some of this change. In the end, everyone wins. It’s a great time to be a promoter or fan of live events.

Thank you, Fast Company!

For Fast Company’s full line-up of most innovative music companies, including the likes of Next Big Sound, Sonos and Spotify, read the full article here.