How Does Eventbrite Make Money?

Eventbrite is a ticketing and event management platform which primarily makes money via ticket fees (service fees). Thus those are generated when paid tickets are sold via the platform. Those service fees are calculated according to the three levels of services (Essentials – 2% ticket fee plus 79 cents, Professional – 3.5% ticket fee plus $1.59, and Premium). Ticket fees are capped at $9.95 per ticket.

Origin story

Eventbrite is a ticketing and event management platform, enabling users to browse, promote, or even create local events.

The company was founded in 2006 by Kevin Hartz, Julia Hartz, and Renaud Visage as the first major player in the United States event management market. Both Kevin and Julia Hartz recognized that the event ticket industry was plagued by bad customer experience, high fees, and inefficiency caused by a lack of adequate technology.

Its mission is “to bring the world together through live experiences, and since inception, we have been at the center of the experience economy, helping to transform the way people organize and attend events.

As a result, Eventbrite was formed. In the ensuing years, the company has acquired several other ticketing services, including Vancouver-based Picatic and Spanish service Ticketea.

Users can search the platform to attend a multitude of events in categories such as education, music, sport, and charity. There is also functionality for non-commercial events including high school reunions and family gatherings.

Event organizers also have access to tools designed to assist them in event management. This includes page templates and a dashboard to monitor registrations and ticket sales.

Eventbrite mission and vision

Eventbrite mission is “to bring the world together through live experiences.”

As the company highlights “we believe live experiences are fundamental to fulfilling a human desire to connect.”

Eventbrite revenue model

Eventbrite derives most of its revenue from a percentage cut of the sale of an event ticket (service fee). Therefore, the platform does not make money on free events.

For every ticket sale, Eventbrite collects a fixed payment processing fee of 2.5% plus a service fee.

As Eventbrite explained in its 10K:

Our success in serving creators is measured in large part by the number of tickets sold on our platform that generate ticket fees, referred to as paid ticket volume. We consider paid ticket volume an important indicator of the underlying health of the business. We have previously referred to this metric as ‘paid tickets’ and we calculate and report paid ticket volume in the same manner as we calculated and reported paid tickets. Our paid ticket volume for events outside of the United States represented 39.2%, 36.1% and 34.1% for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

The service fee is calculated according to the three Eventbrite plans an event organizer can select from:

  1. Essentials – in the Essentials package, Eventbrite takes 2% of each ticket sold plus a further 79 cents.
  2. Professional – here, Eventbrite takes 3.5% of each ticket sold plus a further $1.59.
  3. Premium – prices are available upon request.

Note that regardless of the ticket price, the total service fee per ticket is capped at $9.95.

Organizer application

Event organizers who want to enhance the event experience can also use the Eventbrite Organizer application. Some of the functionality on offer includes the ability to sell tickets or merchandise at the door and QR ticket scanning.

The app itself is free of charge, but Eventbrite collects a 3% payment processing fee in addition to a service charge of $1 for every transaction. Using the app, organizers can also rent the necessary equipment to run the event with prices starting at $99.

Donation tickets

Eventbrite allows organizers to collect donations for the events they host. In other words, event attendees choose the price they want to pay for admission.

The company will take a percentage of this donation, based loosely on the transaction fee structure described above.

In the case of donations, however, no more than 2% can be charged per ticket sold. Depending on the payment method, a further 2.5% payment processing fee may be added.

The total fee collected for donated tickets is also dependent on the country where the event is taking place.

Key takeaways:

  • Eventbrite is an online ticketing and event management platform. It was founded in response to the expensive and inefficient event ticketing plagued with poor customer service.
  • Eventbrite makes most of its money by taking a percentage cut of each event ticket sold. The exact percentage is dependent upon the plan the event organizer selects. Importantly, the company does not charge for the creation of a free event.
  • Eventbrite also charges for increased functionality through their in-house application. Selling tickets or merchandise at the door and the hiring of event equipment are two such revenue sources.

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