Ticketing resale platform Lyte kicked off 2017 with the announcement of their first deep integration with a primary ticketing platform, Ticketfly. Having launched in 2013, the Ticketfly integration was a huge step forward for Lyte that has seen their proven track record with Ticketfly and other entities catapult them to 60x their client roster in a single year.
“We came into the year with five clients and are exiting with 300. That’s a whole other level of scale,” said Lyte Founder Ant Taylor, adding “What we saw in 2017 was we came into the year with the Ticketfly partnership, but expanded to seven different primary ticketing platform integrations. We have partnered deeply with those companies because they see the value.”
Lyte’s technology allows clients, whether they are the artist, promoter, or venue, to give customers the chance to return tickets for a competitive price to Lyte who then cancels the barcode and reissues the ticket with a new barcode for an eager fan signed up in the queue. Lyte partners can choose when to activate the platform, whether it is an option from the begining or only after a show is sold out. It can even be powered on and off based on ticketing tiers or sections.
“There were a lot of doors slammed in my face early on. It’s totally fair,” Taylor told Amplify. “There were a lot of folks who just couldn’t wrap their head around the risk of returning tickets. Now I feel that people are coming to the table with a little more of an understanding having seen this work and having seen this work at scale. It certainly helps that Lyte takes all of the financial risk out of the equation for them because we are the ones actually purchasing that ticket back.”
Lyte delivered over $1.5 million in fan savings in 2017 alone with partners like Mumford and Sons, Pitchfork Music Festival, the Exit/In in Nashville, Concord Music Festival, Echoplex in Los Angeles, Laura Marling, and Father John Misty.
The rewards of Lyte have been becoming more obvious with every new partner the platform signs. BottleRock in Napa, California was the first festival to embrace the platform in 2016 when the partnership resulted in a modest 1,000 ticket exchanges.
“BottleRock organizers realized that even though we were small, this was the experience they wanted for their customers. Year two, the product came to life. We did 8,000 ticket exchanges in 2017,” Taylor explained.
He added “We saved fans $700,000 in ticket purchases. We measure that very specifically. That’s based on the time they book a reservation and what the next cheapest ticket out there. We record that difference and add all that up to make sure we’re doing what we say we’re going to do. That’s almost $90 a ticket in fan savings.”
In addition, BottleRock saw a significant decline in fans showing up with fake tickets with 49% of the secondary sales going through Lyte.
“There will never be a person who purchases a ticket through Lyte, shows up at the box office and it isn’t there. It’s never happened in the history of our company and it never will. We don’t have any buyer guarantees because it is not necessary. It is in the wiring,” Taylor said.
That success led to Lyte’s partnership with Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island which saw 66% of the secondary transactions occur through Lyte, saving fans over $100 per ticket.
“Everybody knows Newport Folk Festival sells out in seconds. Somehow, the onsale this year sold out faster than any other year and 25% of the people who bought through the Lyte experience in 2017 came back into that primary onsale and bought in 2018,” Taylor said. “We’re seeing this maturity of the product, where not only are you going to claw back gobs of money lost on the secondary market, but in addition we’re helping partners sell out in future years.”
By partnering with artists, venues, promoters, and primary ticketing platforms Taylor said they can see 95% marketshare shift from the secondary.
Lyte’s impressive year of new partnerships has continued into 2018 with the company adding Front Gate Tickets and Gingerbread Shed as a primary ticketing platform partners. Front Gate is owned by Live Nation and the Gingerbread Shed partnership has integrated Lyte with Goldenvoice festivals Stagecoach and Splash House. They have also partnered with Eventbrite which bought Ticketfly last year, bringing their primary ticketing platform partners to seven.
“This game is not over. We’ve got so much further to go,” said Taylor. “We’re excited about some of the big artist touring discussions that we’re having. They have seen this working at their scale with our festival partnerships and are thinking they could do this in 30 cities at arenas.”
Lyte expects to announce more partnerships with arena touring acts in the coming months and is seeking to improve its product by offering more options for fans to return tickets from the moment tickets go on sale.
“What’s exciting about that to me is that I believe that what we’re doing is actually changing the culture around ticketing at an individual fan level,” Taylor said. “Fans are now thinking, if I can’t go to a show I’m just going to return my ticket. If I hit the show after it’s sold out, I’m just going to place a reservation. That’s what we’re going for.”