News is breaking about Viagogo buying StubHub in a deal that reports being around $4B in cash.
Having been running around the world and having people ask me about the secondary market over and over, I’ve got a few hot takes on the deal for people that are wondering what this means to the secondary market and the global ticket market.
Viagogo is great at driving traffic:
You can say a lot about Viagogo, but one indisputable fact is that they have been consistently great at driving traffic to their site all around the world.
Of course, when Google has put the clamps on some of their practices, we’ve seen significant drops in their traffic.
Now we will see if their site traffic makes a rebound due to any deals with Google or using the StubHub platform.
Viagogo is notorious for being especially irksome to consumers:
Let’s put this on the table at the jump: most countries aren’t as friendly to the secondary market as the United States is.
That out of the way, Viagogo hasn’t won any converts with their business practices.
This has played out with their thumbing their nose at Parliament in the UK and avoiding accountability at many turns.
I’ve never seen a company have a dedicated consumer uprising like Viagogo.
StubHub sold for less than I initially thought, but more than they maybe should have:
The sales price of StubHub has been a guessing game for months.
Initially, I would have imagined that StubHub would have gone for a little more. Less than the $10B that people like Jim Cramer might have suggested, but still a little more than the $4B that is being reported.
But in the lead-in to the sale, I think StubHub wasn’t doing themselves a lot of favors to maintain the price premium that might have been there at the beginning of the sales process. Over the last few months, there have been a lot of complaints from brokers about changes to their policies and from a consumer point of view, the brand seems to have taken a hit due to what seems like a reduction in ad spending and branding.
Will the brand of StubHub be maintained or get folded into Viagogo, or vice versa:
This is the most interesting question to me.
Is a $4B price tag worth whitewashing the Viagogo name?
It could be.
I don’t really see a good reason to dump the StubHub name for Viagogo in any market.
Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster should get a bounce:
During the period that it takes for the deal to close, I’m sure that this will give StubHub’s competition an advantage.
I would expect that under the circumstances of an investigation into ticket practices happening, the DOJ or FTC, or both, will look at this deal and have some questions. Which may slow the process down.
But, more than anything else, with the way that StubHub’s market-leading has fallen lately, I would imagine that business would mostly stay the same and that will be a win for Vivid Seats and Ticketmaster.
I’ll have a few more thoughts, I’m sure. But these are my initial thoughts.
What say you?
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