StubHub, the world’s largest live event marketplace, released its 2017 Year in Live Experiences (YILE) report, unveiling the year’s top consumer trends for live events. Key findings include the role of technology and social media in event discovery as well as the year’s top live experiences. The report was supported by a new third-party consumer study of over 2,000 event-goers ages 18-65 throughout North America.
Notably, the study revealed consumer desire for the support of technology, social media, machine learning and AI to drive their path to live events. Emerging technologies are key next generation ticketing, with 60% of event-goers expressing interest in using AI and machine learning to purchase tickets. Though 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.
Outside purchasing, the report indicates that the discovery phase of event-going is ripe for disruption, with 66% of event-goers still relying on word of mouth as the top way to discover events. Social media is a close second, with 62% of respondents having found a new event through Facebook in 2017 – more so than from any other social platform.
YILE also showed 2017 to be a year of continued growth in the live event industry, with record sales numbers for both the Super Bowl and the World Series. U2's concerts were the year's most popular individual concert series and Bruno Mars was the top touring act. Demand for MLB tickets also trended up from one year to the next and, riding on the popularity of a touring Hamilton production, the theatre segment was StubHub’s biggest growth genre of 2017.
Additional findings from the consumer study include:
Social media is gaining ground. 62% of respondents surveyed said they used social platforms to discover live events in 2017. Though Facebook leads overall, Instagram and Snapchat are rising in popularity among millennials and Gen Zers.
Chatbots are 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. 79% of event goers say they post about live event experiences on social media. Gen Zers are the most inclined to interact with technology during live events at 87%, followed closely by Millennials at 86%.
Snapchat is here to stay. 63% of Gen Z snaps during events, compared to 40% of Millennials.
Investment in experiences continues to grow. 2017 was marked by record sales numbers for the Super Bowl and World Series on StubHub as well as the highest sales ever for the theater genre.
Festivals are peaking. While there are more festivals than ever, festival ticket sales did not grow at a comparable rate.
Read the full report for more details.
The 2017 Year in Live Experiences report marks StubHub’s third retrospect exploring consumer behavior as it pertains to live experiences and trending events of the year. Data provided throughout this release and in the report was compiled by StubHub’s Consumer Insights and Analytics team. Third party research on consumer behavior 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 with tickets outside of StubHub’s platform. Sales data from StubHub is used for insights on ticket-buying demand, and is taken from trends from the first week of November in 2017 using tantamount comparisons to previous years’ data across StubHub’s desktop, mobile web and mobile app.