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The Rise of Millennial Spending Plays Right Into Eventbrite's Hands

By Motley Fool Staff – May 3, 2019 at 9:34AM

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The event and ticketing platform is a great way for investors to ride the millennial wave.

Eventbrite (EB -3.95%) is a platform that provides event organizers with everything they need to plan, promote, and produce live events. The company has grown rapidly over the years and should continue to thrive as millennial spending picks up.

In this segment from Industry Focus: Technology, host Dylan Lewis and contributor Brian Feroldi discuss how Eventbrite makes money and why it is so well-positioned to grow for many years to come.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on April 26, 2019.

Dylan Lewis: All right, Brian, we have talked about how millennials date. We've talked about how millennials work. Why don't we talk about where millennials are spending their money? We queued up experiences earlier. Our last business for this basket is a company that capitalizes on that.

Brian Feroldi: Yeah. This is another company that me and you have talked in detail before. It's Eventbrite. Eventbrite is a leader in middle-market entertainment. They like to say that basically, they do any type of gathering, they help to organize it, that's bigger than a birthday party but smaller than Beyoncé. Anything that's in the middle market there. The very high end, the U2s, the Beyonces, the and Jay Zs of the world, that market is completely dominated by another company called Live Nation, which could be another good company to play on millennials. But Eventbrite is a very interesting niche one that's in the middle. People that are content creators who want to put on shows can go to Eventbrite's platform. They can get the thing up and running. They can charge tickets for it. They promote the event, they can process payments, they can even do analytics to help get the word out about that. Seven hundred thousand creators are currently on the platform, and they sold 200 million tickets at 3 million live events last year. This is a big company.

Lewis: Yeah. We think of Live Nation specifically in the concert space. I think why Eventbrite is interesting to me is that they have some concert businesses, but they really have a lot of other stuff out there, whether it's tours, special events, wine tastings, craft brewery tastings, that kind of stuff. There's a lot out there that currently isn't being captured by the giants. That creates a nice little space for them to work in.

Feroldi: Yeah, totally. What we've seen thus far is pretty good results out of the company. Again, newly public, but their most recent quarter, they reported 21% revenue growth. This is a company that hasn't, again, performed well for investors out of the IPO gate, because the guidance they gave in the last quarter was much lower than expected. They're saying that they're having a lot of trouble integrating a company that they bought prior to their IPO called Ticketfly, which is a company I know you're pretty familiar with.

Lewis: Yes. As a former Pandora shareholder, I was enthused when they bought Ticketfly, thinking, this is a company that capitalizes on that midmarket in the same way. You go out in D.C., so many of the midtier venues use Ticketfly. I thought that was a no-brainer acquisition for Pandora. They weren't able to make that work. I believe they actually wound up selling that stake for slightly less than they paid for it over to Eventbrite. It seems like a no-brainer business. If you are simply connecting people with a valuable platform and selling a digital product, that's pretty high margin. At a certain point, I assume the numbers will work, especially because Eventbrite, like Upwork, is one of the big players in the space. They benefit from that name recognition.

Feroldi: Yeah, totally. If you believe the company's market opportunity here, they essentially think they can grow 10X just within their current markets, just through organic growth and getting the Ticketfly acquisition working. There's still a lot for investors to look forward to here and to like about this business for the long term.

Lewis: If you want a proof in concept, look at Live Nation. It's been a very successful company. I know Nick Sciple, host of the Energy show, is a huge fan of Live Nation. Where else are you going to go? If you want to go to an event and there's only one way to get the tickets, you have to pay them. As consumers, we might not love that. As investors, it's a pretty good business opportunity.

Feroldi: Yeah. I think that both Live Nation and Eventbrite are great ways to play the rise of spending on experiences over things. These products definitely appeal to millennials that want in on some special experience. Both of those companies are totally great stocks for investors to look at.

Brian Feroldi has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Dylan Lewis has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends LYV. The Motley Fool recommends UPWK. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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