Eventbrite has acquired Ticketfly from Pandora for $200 million.
The news comes after Pandora announced that it had raised $480 million in cash from SiriusXM, giving the satellite radio station controlled by Liberty Media a 16 percent stake in Pandora.
As part of the investment, Pandora offloaded Ticketfly to the company’s largest competitor at a significant writedown — Ticketfly was acquired by Pandora in October 2015 in a deal that was originally valued at $450 million but later reduced to $335 million. At the time of the 2015 acquisition, many in the live entertainment industry thought Pandora paid too much for Ticketfly, and the 38 percent drop in value in less than two years seems to affirm those fears.
Following the acquisition, Ticketfly spent most of 2016 integrating with Pandora, creating push notifications and email updates to notify users when artists they followed on Pandora were performing at nearby Ticketfly venues.
That work will continue, explained Ticketfly founder Andrew Dreskin in a blog post on Ticketfly’s site, writing, “While this acquisition will allow Pandora to focus on its core radio and streaming businesses, it isn’t abandoning its live events strategy, and the Ticketfly/Pandora integrations aren’t going away. In fact, Pandora and Eventbrite plan to enter into a partnership to build on the work we’ve done and take it to an even broader audience of promoters while offering listeners notifications for even more great live events.”
Dreskin will continue on at Ticketfly, he wrote, explaining, “I have agreed to lead the combined Ticketfly and Eventbrite’s music efforts and I am looking forward to the challenge.”
Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz released a statement after the sale that read, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and we see immense alignment and opportunity with this union, especially as we continue to expand Eventbrite’s global footprint in music.”
Dreskin founded Ticketfly in 2008, attracting dozens of independent promoters and investors as it took on competitors like Ticketmaster and Ticketweb — which Dreskin helped create in the 1990s, and is largely credited for selling the first online ticket. In recent years Ticketfly became a leader in music’s middle market, signing independent promoters and festival organizers in the U.S. and Canada.
Over the last few years, Eventrbrite, the San Francisco-based ticketing company started by Julia and Kevin Hartz, has become a prime competitor for Ticketfly, going after many of the same clients. Last year Ticketfly was able to poach the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas, one of Eventbrite’s biggest prospects for the year after an acquisition of EDM-focused firm Wantickets fell apart. The collapse of that deal, and the ongoing legal drama for Wantickets founders Barack Shurr and Diego Carlin brought much unwanted attention to the Wynn Casino, and the Las Vegas property ultimately signed with Ticketfly.