Entertainment junkies flock to Ticketmaster, Fandango and StubHub


Image from: Ticket Image / Shutterstock

With the summer concert season upon us, and lots of great shows coming to Compete HQ’s hometown of Boston in the next few months, there’s a ton of buzz online about the best shows, and the best venues.  I wouldn’t mind checking out some of my favorite artists this summer, and maybe catch a Sox game or two.  Where does a fan go if they absolutely must have front row Bieber tickets?  If you’re looking to find seats close enough for Biebs to be able to see your tears when he rips into the chorus of “Love Me”, (who wouldn’t!) you have some options.   I decided to take a look in Compete PRO, and do a little snooping to see which ticket sites consumers are heading to for their entertainment needs.

UVs to Entertainment and Ticketing

At Almost 10M unique visitors for the month of April, Ticketmaster.com has a nice lead on the competition, with Fandango in second in the Entertainment & Ticketing category.  While Fandango is strictly a movie site, and Ticketmaster has everything from sports to concerts, I did find it interesting to see Fandango’s traffic increases at such a huge rate in the summer, hitting a peak of more than 12M UV’s last July.  Apparently those folks in Hollywood know a thing or two about America’s appetite for movies, and summer blockbusters actually make a few bucks for them.  I can’t say I’ve never headed to the movies on a hot day to get out of the humidity in Boston!

A look into the category search referrals also shows a similar trend:

Daily Search Referrals to Entertainment and Ticketing Category

The keyword “ticketmaster” is driving 7% of the search referrals into the category, with “fandango” and “stubhub” also capturing a very respectable 7% combined.  Here we get some insight into how Americans actually search for tickets online, and it’s fairly clear most of them have some idea where they’re going to get them before they do a search.

Rather than search for “Bieber Tickets” sites like TicketMaster and StubHub do a great job keeping their brands top of mind, and when Beliebers see tickets go on sale, they’re heading directly to the brand site to buy the tickets, instead of searching by specific type of ticket.

Scrolling farther down the list we start to see more specific, longer tail keyword searches.  One Direction wields some serious search clout to ticketing sites, with two appearances in the top 35 terms.  I’m not exactly sure who they are…who has time for more than one boy band?  We also see a lot of sports activity with my beloved Red Sox ringing in with the 54th most referrals for the category.  That’s 48 spots higher than “Yankees Tickets”, for those of you keeping score at home.  The AL East Standings don’t look quite so great for The Sox, but the season is young…

Where does all this traffic come from, you ask?

Incoming Traffic to Entertainment and Ticketing

Not surprisingly, the lion’s share is coming from search, with Google, Yahoo and Bing responsible for about 20M visits last month.  MLB.com also makes a strong showing on the list, and it’s interesting to see how important baseball is to ticketing sites on the whole, with almost 2.5M visits a month from MLB.com alone.

With all these different options to find and buy tickets, it would be very interesting to see which sites are actually doing the best job converting shoppers into buyers.  What do you think?  Have you had a good experience buying tickets on one of these sites?  If you’ve shopped a bunch of them, I’d love to hear your feedback on which ones work best for you.  Hit me on Twitter @tkeene6, or shoot me an email at tkeene@compete.com.