In its annual "year in live events" reports, StubHub likes to offer fun bits of trivia gleaned from its troves of ticket-sales data. Who had the top-performing US tour last year? Adele, naturally. What about the highest-selling, single-day music event of 2016? That would be Springsteen on March 28 at MSG.
Those are clever party tricks, but the world's largest ticket marketplace wants to make its data work a little harder. The eBay-owned company, which facilitates over $4 billion in sports and concert ticket sales yearly, on Thursday introduced a new pricing assistant tool to help sellers in North America set better prices with the help of data science. The feature crunches StubHub's 16 years' worth of historical ticket sales information, along with seat location, venue and other metrics, to provide a recommended price range. The algorithm powering the tool is updated regularly with new sales.
The pricing assistant is an early part of StubHub's plan to offer many more tools using its data to make shopping and selling on the site easier, such as adding more personalization for buyers. Creating these features should help StubHub sell more tickets on its marketplace, make more on commissions and fend off rivals like SeatGeek and TicketMaster. The changes should, hopefully, also draw in more first-time sellers and season-ticket holders, who account for a big chunk of StubHub's business. StubHub's success is especially important for eBay, since it's providing a revenue boost to its larger but slow-growing parent company.
"This is just a start for using our intelligence and there's much more that we can do," Mats Nilsson, StubHub's global head of product, said about the new pricing tool.
StubHub in the past provided historical sales information on its site for sellers, but Nilsson said that data wasn't easily digestible for casual sellers. Offering up the pricing tool also fits well with eBay's broader strategy of providing more useful information to buyers and sellers to try boosting sales on its sites.
For instance, eBay CEO Devin Wenig said in an interview with CNET this year that his company is developing image-recognition technology that could someday allow you to simply take a picture of an item you want to sell and then let eBay take care of listing and pricing for you.
Along with the pricing assistant, StubHub rolled out a new seller landing page, with tips and tutorials for selling, as well as email alerts to help sellers quickly adjust their prices when needed. Seller push notifications are coming soon.
The company is also looking to branch out into more services around live events, including hotel reservations, car rentals and merchandise sales, which should help it keep growing.
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