StubHub and Ticketmaster are two of the biggest players in the secondary ticket market. They both allow fans to buy and sell tickets to sports games, concerts, theater shows, and other live events. However, there are some key differences between the two services.
Overview of StubHub
StubHub was founded in 2000 as a marketplace for fans to resell tickets they couldn’t use. It was acquired by eBay in 2007 and operates as a subsidiary. Some key things to know about StubHub:
- Allows users to buy and sell tickets to events in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, and more.
- Charges sellers a commission fee when their ticket sells. This ranges from 10-15%.
- Offers buyers a 100% refund if their ticket turns out to be invalid.
- Has mobile apps, web browser access, and a customer service team.
- Mainly focuses on the secondary resale market, not primary ticket sales.
Overview of Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster is a much larger player in the live events industry. It was founded in 1976 and provides primary ticketing services for many large venues and promoters. Here’s an overview:
- Primary ticket provider for many major sports leagues, concerts, theaters, etc.
- Charges service and delivery fees on every ticket sold through its platform.
- Owns and operates TicketExchange, a resale marketplace for fans.
- Ticketmaster verifies all tickets listed for resale on TicketExchange.
- Also provides venue management software, fundraising software, marketing services, analytics, and more.
Comparing StubHub and Ticketmaster
Now let’s directly compare and contrast some key aspects of StubHub and Ticketmaster:
Types of Inventory
StubHub focuses almost entirely on the secondary ticket market. Most tickets are posted for resale by fans and other ticket holders. In contrast, Ticketmaster dominates the primary ticket sales market as the official provider for many major venues, artists, teams, and events. However, through its TicketExchange platform, Ticketmaster also has a large resale ticket inventory.
Fees and Commissions
Both StubHub and Ticketmaster charge fees to ticket buyers and sellers/resellers:
|10-15% commission on sale
|15% commission on resale
|10-20% on top of ticket price
|Service fees and shipping fees
In general, StubHub fees for sellers are lower, while Ticketmaster tends to have lower fees for buyers.
Both platforms offer buyer guarantees or protections, but StubHub’s is more generous:
- StubHub – Offers buyers a 100% refund if their ticket turns out to be invalid for any reason.
- Ticketmaster – Refunds buyers if event is canceled or venue has a restricted view. But no blanket refund guarantee for invalid tickets.
StubHub and Ticketmaster both offer mobile apps on iOS and Android for buying and selling tickets on the go:
- StubHub – Provides a seamless mobile experience. Easy to find events, purchase, and manage tickets.
- Ticketmaster – Also offers user-friendly mobile apps. But some users complain of glitches and crashes at high traffic times.
Verified Resale Marketplace
Through TicketExchange, Ticketmaster operates a verified resale marketplace where all secondhand tickets are verified as legitimate prior to listing. This provides buyers with extra peace of mind. StubHub, however, does not verify ticket authenticity upfront. But they do guarantee buyers a refund if issues arise.
That said, StubHub remains very popular as a safe, trusted secondary ticket marketplace. It has 16 million unique visitors per month in the US alone. Both companies have strong brand recognition.
As major players in the live events industry, both StubHub and Ticketmaster bring in billions annually in ticket sales and revenue. Here’s a snapshot of their finances:
|$4 billion (estimate)
|$10.4 billion (2018)
|$4 billion (acquisition by viagogo)
|$16 billion (market cap)
While exact details aren’t available, Ticketmaster appears significantly larger and more profitable. However, both companies are multi-billion dollar players.
Looking ahead, StubHub and Ticketmaster will likely continue dominating the secondary ticket market, while competing aggressively for market share.
StubHub will keep focusing on peer-to-peer ticket resale as its main business. It could potentially expand into primary ticket sales one day to better compete with Ticketmaster.
Meanwhile, Ticketmaster benefits greatly from its deep partnerships with promoters, venues, teams and artists. It will leverage these to keep securing exclusive ticketing rights. TicketExchange also gives it a major leg up in resale.
Both companies will continue enhancing their mobile experiences and exploring emerging technology like blockchain and biometrics to improve ticket delivery, authentication, and entry.
They also may occasionally face PR backlash and investigations related to alleged anti-competitive practices or excess fees. But their market positions seem secure for the foreseeable future.
In summary, while StubHub and Ticketmaster both enable event ticket resales, Ticketmaster is much larger due to its hold on primary ticket sales. StubHub is a secondary marketplace only. However, StubHub offers lower seller fees and better buyer guarantees. Ticketmaster provides ticket verification through TicketExchange. Ultimately, fans benefit from having both major players competing in the industry.