Event organisers require a solution to tackle profiteering of their inventory on the secondary market (StubHub, Viagogo, Seatwave etc). Fans themselves are growing increasingly frustrated at being priced out of events through unscrupulous ticket touts.
Twickets is the service both sides are looking for.
Started by a team of experienced entrepreneurs, it has gained investment and support from leading entertainment industry figures. Since launch Twickets has achieved over £2.7m of ticket sales* and 240k app downloads - driven purely through organic growth.It has been appointed as the exclusive resale platform for many high profile partners including Adele, Mumford & Sons, One Direction, QPR and, in the near future, Crystal Palace FC.
Twickets has quickly established itself as what we believe is the only solution able to satisfy the needs of fans and event organisers, and seeks investment to accelerate growth in the UK and internationally.
*figures based on company's unaudited management accounts.
We are offering a number of incentives to our investors in this round:
>£500 - Twickets t shirt, waived booking fee on next Twickets transaction.
>£1,000 - Twickets t shirt, waived booking fee on next two Twickets transactions, invite to Twickets annual party.
>£5,000 - Twickets t shirt, waived booking fee on next two Twickets transactions, invite to Twickets annual party, two complimentary tickets to a UK event as guests of Twickets.
>£10,000 - Twickets t shirt, waived booking fee on next two Twickets transactions, invite to Twickets annual party, four complimentary tickets to a UK event as guests of Twickets.
>£25,000 - Twickets t shirt, waived booking fee on next two Twickets transactions, invite to Twickets annual party, four complimentary tickets to a UK event as guests of Twickets, and a place at a leading industry Awards Ceremony.
Waived booking fees valid for 6 months after investment.
Event ticket invites will be offered for 3 different shows from which investors can choose from.
Awards table will be one of Mercury Music prize, Nordoff Robins lunch, or the Brit Awards as selected by Twickets.
Many of the existing secondary ticketing platforms are being exploited by those intent on profiteering and deception. An estimated 70-80% of trades undertaken there are by professional ‘brokers’ and in many cases they may be breaking the law.
Twickets are curbing such exploitation by working closely with event organisers to keep value out of the hands of touts and allow fans to purchase at fair prices with a guarantee of authenticity.
Backing has come from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse and Twickets was recommended by Prof Waterson in his Independent Secondary Ticketing Report commissioned by the Government.
We have experienced strong support from the entertainment industry as they prioritise genuine fans and see inflated ticket prices as not only reducing the chance of those fans attending more shows in the future but spending less on merchandise, food and beverage at the event.
Keeping the cost of tickets restricted to face value is therefore a win for fans and event organisers alike
Substantial accomplishments to date
£270k in revenue representing £2.7m in tickets sold since launch.*
Close to 250k Twickets app downloads, 200k+ web site visitors pcm and over 100k registered users. All achieved with no marketing spend to date.*
Huge share of voice on social media, and journalists writing glowing reviews. The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post.
Extensive trade press, including Music Week front cover on launch and ‘Best Ticketing Platform’ nomination in their 2016 awards.
Investors include the founder of Ignition Management (Noel Gallagher, Catfish & The Bottlemen), Modest! (One Direction, Olly Murs), the founder of Wildlife (Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood), Chris Wright (Chrysalis plc co-founder), Steve Parish (Chairman / co-owner Crystal Palace FC), Tony Wadsworth (ex EMI Chairman).
Partnered with Adele, The 1975, Mumford & Sons, Massive Attack, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Last Shadow Puppets, One Direction, Association of Independent Festivals (Kendal Calling, End of the Road, Bestival etc), Micky Flanagan, Crystal Palace, QPR and many more.
The Ticket Factory, one of the UK's leading ticketing agencies, are to integrate our platform.Similar services with other agencies are planned.
Twitter accounts in Germany, Italy, Spain, US and Canada demonstrate demand for a full scale Twickets service in these markets.
One of the biggest music promoters in mainland Europe has agreed to partner with Twickets to launch the service there.
HMV-owned Fopp are a delivery partner.
*based on company's unaudited management accounts.
The Twickets revenue model is to charge a 10% booking fee to the buyer i.e. the same fee a customer would expect to pay on the primary market.
Twickets is free to sellers for most events but charges a small fee for a growing number of partner events.
Over 50% of tickets are sold on the day they are listed, demonstrating that the platform is meeting a real need and that the pricing structure is correct. Existing secondary platforms charge c.28% across the buyer and seller combined.
We are also planning a premium service, which will offer sellers “promoted tickets” pinned at the top of the Twickets stream and a “waiting list” service (currently in trial) allowing buyers to register for a ticket and be automatically allocated once available.
We also offer primary tickets as last minute allocations to dampen secondary prices and as an affiliate to our partner ticket agencies. We have successfully launched this with One Direction and Massive Attack.
Use of proceeds
The advancement of the technology is a main priority for the business. It is essential to the continued growth of Twickets and provides a key barrier to entry for new entrants to the market. Ticket resale is quite distinct from primary ticketing, and requires considerable planning and resource to build a robust and scalable platform that Twickets is today. To ensure Twickets remains a market leader we will therefore be looking to recruit further to the technology team.
The majority of our funding requirement however, is to be used in undertaking our first marketing activity, which will drive the growth projections in the financial plan. CRM would be an integral part of this effort, maximising active and repeat usage among the customers acquired.
Finally we will be dedicating funds to help us expand Twickets outside of the UK. This is planned for mainland Europe before the end of the year, but we also aim to launch into the US in 2017.
There is an outstanding directors’ loan amounting to £177,132. The money raised in this round will not be used to repay this loan.
Twickets aims to target regular event-goers across music, theatre, comedy and sport.
The group with the highest propensity to use Twickets on a regular basis are young dedicated live entertainment fans. Twickets’ market research found that 18-34s buy and sell music and theatre tickets more often than any other age group. In the same research, we found that they also outperform the average frequency of transaction for comedy tickets, whereas the sports ticket market is led by an older age group (35-54s), both in terms of buying and selling.
Being a marketplace Twickets will need to continue to build both awareness and trust amongst buyers and sellers and will aim to have many of its users interacting on both sides.
For buyers, Twickets has already built in filters for location, event type and date enabling them to appeal to all those that are interested in attending live events.
Since buyers know that they are only paying a maximum of face value plus booking fee and are guaranteed that the tickets are genuine it removes the fear of being mis-sold and therefore opens this market.
According to the Association of Independent Festivals only 0.2% of fans who resold a ticket sought to make a profit. The reality is that most fans just want to ensure that they get their money back and ideally the ticket goes to another fan. Twickets' zero commission to sellers and large audience reach enable sellers to get their money back quickly and easily.
Another key marketing focus is to the event owners, where partnerships will be key in ensuring that Twickets have an active pipeline of tickets, as well as access to new event goers that may not be already aware of our service.
A full list of current partners is in the marketing section, but as an example, QPR have provided extensive match day perimeter advertising in the “TV arc”, and behind each of the goals.
Characteristics of target market
The Live Entertainment market is in rude health – UK Music have reported that concert attendance in the UK is at an all-time high, reaching 21 million in 2014, a 23% increase over the past three years. This breaks down as 17.5 million concert attendances and 3.5 million festival attendances.
According to Mintel, the value of the UK’s live music market was worth £1,970m in 2014 and is forecast to continue to grow to £2,552m by 2019. In the UK in 2014, 67 million tickets were sold for live sport events.
In 2014, a whopping 42.8m people attended live football matches. The Premier League (13.9m) and the Championship (9.4m) boasted the 1st and 4th highest aggregate attendances of any domestic football leagues across Europe during the 2013-14 season.
Within this growth market, secondary ticketing (or ticket resale) is the fastest growing sector, and it was estimated in a Parliamentary report last year to be worth up to £1bn a year in the UK alone. However, as we have already shown, the reality is that the market is rigged, and it is not just a UK phenomenon.
The Attorney General in New York recently published a damning report on the secondary sites.
Doctor Music Concerts in Spain has filed official complaints against a number of secondary ticket outlets across the country. It stated the “flood of resale tickets” for its Springsteen and Adele gigs had “outraged fans, artists and music promoters”.
The same story is true of all markets with an active event scene, and the big four secondary platforms have expanded rapidly into these territories.
The Twickets marketing strategy has two key objectives:
- Growth of the registered user base
- Conversion of registered users to active, repeat users
The first element of this strategy is reliant on marketing activity as well as the striking of partnerships with event organisers, with a view to accelerating the already impressive organic growth.
Organic growth is currently adding between 5-10,000 new registered users a month. Minimal marketing has been carried out so far.
The intention would be to implement a disciplined marketing programme in 2016, targeting young, dedicated live entertainment fans with a view to both increasing recognition of the Twickets brand and generating direct leads for specific tickets.
The partnership element of the strategy has already been tested and the potency of the approach proven. For example last summer, Twickets partnered with the Association of Independent Festivals to become its exclusive resale facilitator for (amongst others) the Secret Garden Party. Targets for that month’s revenue were smashed due to it’s enormous success – resulting in the sale of over £100,000 worth of tickets in the week leading up to the event.
The plan has been, and continues to be, to strike more deals of this nature. There is an enormous long tail opportunity here, with hundreds of event organisers across the UK and beyond seeking such a service every year. Creating these partnerships results in a substantial development of both user numbers and access to inventory.
Achievement of the second objective will be reliant on the implementation of a CRM programme, as well as the continued optimisation of the platform’s usability. Online retail success is dependent on getting users to move from initial trial (i.e. their first purchase) to a second transaction.
On a predominantly P2P service such as Twickets, it’s also important to recognise that a “transaction” could just as easily mean offering a ticket for sale as it is to mean buying one.
Four main secondary ticketing services have been established in the UK, with the stated aim of connecting fans to fans – so that those with tickets, but who cannot attend, can sell to those who want tickets and are prepared to buy them. However, the result has been ever more extortionate ticket prices.
These services’ trading policies are based on achieving the highest price possible for sellers, from which the services themselves derive a cut of 28%.
What’s more, they are allowing themselves to be abused by touts and unscrupulous elements within the live entertainment industry. In short, profiteering and deception are rife, and it’s far from the free and fair ‘open market’ declared by some.
Meanwhile fans are growing restless. One of the most raised issues by fans with artist management companies is ticket resale prices. Premier League football clubs are also finding themselves being lobbied (successfully) by supporters to drop their secondary ticketing partnerships with such platforms.
There is a backlash against these services and a clear desire for a fair solution to resale.
Importantly event owners, too, want an alternative to the big four resellers. Many wish to outsource the reselling function but need to retain control of their pricing and ticket allocation strategies.
The continued abuses of ordinary fans and event owners provide the perfect conditions for market disruption. There is a clear opportunity for a transparent, trusted secondary ticketing service to seize market share.
Twickets is perfectly placed to be that service.
Offering the same resale function as the competition, with the key differentiator of ensuring ticket prices are held at their intended level, we are able to work hand in hand with the entertainment industry.
And for the fan we not only enable them a second chance to buy at face value but also charge standard booking fees whilst offering them protection against fraud.
No other resale platform is able to satisfy both industry and fan.
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