StubHub’s Third Annual Year In Live Experiences Report Finds Consumers Desire the Advancements of Machine Learning and AI to Support Their Path to Live Events

 2017 Sees More Event Records With The Most In-Demand Super Bowl, World Series and Theatre Season; Bruno Mars Tops Tours; Concerts Hit Saturation Point

StubHub, the world’s largest live event marketplace, today revealed its third annual Year in Live Experiences (YILE) report, featuring findings from a new third-party consumer study showing that consumers desire the support of technology, social media, machine learning and AI to drive their path to live events and the discovery phase of event-going is ripe for disruption. The report, which marks StubHub’s third retrospect exploring consumer behavior as it pertains to live experiences and trending events of the year, reveals a continued growth of attendance for theatre shows with the theatre segment being StubHub’s biggest growth genre of the year, riding on the popularity of a touring Hamilton production. Other sales trends from StubHub demonstrate that consumers investment in live experiences is growing with record sales numbers for the Super Bowl and World Series.

With U2 garnering the most popular individual concert events, Bruno Mars as the top touring act and MLB demand trending up from one year to the next, YILE shows that 2017 is a year of continued growth in the live event industry. On the other hand, festivals are starting to hit a saturation point with the same legacy, perennial festivals accounting for the highest sales, but nominal or zero growth amongst newer festivals.

The report includes research from a new study of event goers’ behavior as it pertains to event discovery, ticket purchasing and use of technology within the event. The study was conducted by Trendera, who surveyed 2,007 respondents ages 18-65 throughout North America who have attended at least one live event within the past year, including tickets outside of StubHub’s platform. Findings show a continued tendency toward the use of social media when it comes to sharing experiences, especially on Facebook where 62% of respondents surveyed said they used social platforms to discover live events. Amongst millennials and Gen Zers, Instagram and Snapchat are rising in popularity, rivaling Facebook which has been the leading platform for event discovery in recent years.  While technology and social media are utilized once at the event, many are still relying on word of mouth with 66% relying on word-of-mouth as the top way they discover events. However, when it comes to purchasing tickets to an event, there is an interest – by  60% of respondents – to be able to utilize AI and machine learning for tickets purchases.

Additional key findings from the consumer study included in the report:

  • AI and NEXT GEN TICKETING: Emerging technologies are poised to become the next tool for ticket access. While only 42% of event-goers are aware that they can buy tickets via a smart home device, 60% indicate they would be willing to use one.
  • SOCIAL IS GROWING FOR DISCOVERY – 62% of respondents found a new event through Facebook, more so than any other social platform.
  • CHATBOTS ON THE RISE: Event-goers are tapping artificial intelligence to complete purchases, with 63% willing to use a chatbot for answering a customer service query, purchasing a ticket to a live event or updating their personal or financial information.
  • EXPERIENCES ACT AS SOCIAL CURRENCY, ENHANCED BY TECH: 79% of event-goers say they post about a live event experiences on social media. Gen Zers are the most inclined to interact with technology during live events at 87% followed closely by Millenials at 86%, both generations are significantly more inclined than the 75% of Gen Xers or 57% of Boomers who do so.
  • SNAPCHAT’S HERE TO STAY: Think Snapchat is dying amongst the younger generation? Not so! 63% of Gen Z Snaps during events, while only 40% of Millennials do.
  • WORD OF MOUTH IS KEY : 66% of event-goers most frequently discover live events through word of mouth
  • INVESTMENTS IN EXPERIENCES IS CONTINUING TO GROW: 2017 was marked by record sales numbers for the Super Bowl and World Series on StubHub as well as highest sales ever for the Theatre genre
  • FESTIVALS ARE PEAKING: While there are more festivals than ever, the sales are not growing at a comparable rate

The full report and additional details can be found here.

Data provided throughout this release and in the report was compiled by StubHub’s Consumer Insights and Analytics team. Third party research, conducted by Trendera, is included for consumer behavior and sales data from StubHub is used for insights on ticket-buying demand and trends. Event sales data from this report was analyzed as of the first week of November in 2017 and uses tantamount comparisons to previous years data across StubHub’s desktop, mobile web and mobile app.

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