"I'm stepping down, but I'm not stepping out altogether," he tells Billboard. "I've entered into a new multi-year advisory agreement with Eventbrite, which will allow me to stay involved and focus on the part of the job I cherish the most -- spending time with our clients," adding that he'll "continue to be the main point of contact for my existing roster of clients and I'll continue to deliver new clients to Eventbrite."
The ticketing entrepreneur turned 50 this year and said he's ready for a change after a long run in the entertainment business, first as a college-aged concert promoter in New Orleans and then later as a co-founder of TicketWeb in 1995, where he sold the first ever ticket over the internet and helped usher in the digital era in ticketing.
Dreskin sold Ticketweb to Ticketmaster in 2000 and went on to co-found Ticketfly with Dan Teree in 2008. After raising more than $100 million in five investment rounds, he sold Ticketfly to Pandora in a 2015 deal with a final value of $335 million. Two years later, Pandora sold Ticketfly to Eventbrite.
Dreskin is perhaps the most the successful ticketing entrepreneur of the decade and part of an elite group of ticketing executives who completely changed the ticketing business, joining the ranks of Fred Rosen (who turned Ticketmaster into a juggernaut in the 1980s) and Eric Baker and Jeff Fluer (who co-founded StubHub and forever changed the secondary ticketing business). His long running carer in music gave him a level of credibility in the indie music space that his competitors could not match, coupled with an ability to foster innovation and agile development that created one of the most technologically advanced platforms in ticketing.
Dreskin spent the last two years combining Ticketfly and Eventbrite into the world's largest middle marketing ticketing company, as well as North America's largest non-promoter-affiliated ticketing company.
The transition has not been without its challenges -- switching clients to Eventbrite has been more complicated than expected and the company's stock has fallen more than 50% since its IPO last September. Company officials say the transition should be completed in the second half of 2019 and free up the company to focus on growth. The San Francisco ticketing company led by CEO Julia Hartz has made significant investment in building out Eventbrite's global infrastructure and signed a $25 million payment processing deal with Square in 2017. The company's self-sign-on ticketing solution grew ticket sales by 21% last year while international revenue was up 15%.
"We're in the throws of bringing the Ticketfly and Eventbrite platforms together, but there will be a world after that and I absolutely believe that Eventbrite will be well-situated with the best music ticketing product on the market and a bunch of crappy competitors to compete with," Dreskin tells Billboard, saying he foresees another period of consolidation in ticketing with Ticketmaster and Eventbrite emerging as the long term players.
Dreskin says he plans to take some time off in the short-term and focus on his investments in the music industry, adding that exiting the board makes it easier to pursue new projects without having to vet them for conflicts with the Eventbrite legal team.
"This will most likely be my last operating role," he tells Billboard. "I'll continue to make minority investments and perhaps a majority investment and I will most likely continue to start new businesses. At my core, I'm an entrepreneur, but I don't foresee myself being the CEO of another business," adding that he told Teree, his business partner in Ticketfly, that he didn't plan to be the CEO of that venture either.
“We’re grateful for Andrew’s dedication to leading Eventbrite’s music division since Ticketfly and Eventbrite came together nearly two years ago, culminating in the release of the Eventbrite Music platform late last year,” Hartz tells Billboard. “Today’s news does not change our fervent commitment to the independent live music community both in North America and globally, and our clients and the team that serves them remain our highest priority.”