Every now and then a business concept captures your attention and conjures up the question, "Why didn't I think of that?"
In the case of SeatGeek, "The Farecast for sports and concert tickets," I wouldn't know where to begin. Utilizing coursework knowledge beyond my quantitative learning capacity, SeatGeek crunches numbers to help consumers predict future ticket prices at an 85% accuracy rate.
I recently caught up with co-founder, Russell D'Souza to get more insight on SeatGeek, a TechCrunch50 Finalist, and find out what's next.
Here's the transcript of our conversation.
PRC: In 140 characters or less, what's SeatGeek?
Russell D'Souza: SeatGeek is the smart way to buy sports and concert tickets. We forecast how ticket prices will move and display tickets from all markets
PRC: How do you forecast ticket prices, and how reliable are those forecasts?
Russell D'Souza: For those who are not familiar with the industry, the secondary ticket markets are online resale markets like Stubhub, Razorgator, and Ticketsnow. We gather millions of listings and transactions from all these secondary ticket markets and study how these prices move. In addition, we analyze how factors like the pitching match-up, weather forecast, team records, and the day of the week affect ticket prices. We use Ph.D. level econometrics to build a model that outputs with 85% accuracy how ticket prices move. There is an enormous amount of price variation on the secondary ticket market, and by using our forecasts users can save hundreds of dollars.
PRC: What If SeatGeek's wrong?
Russell D'Souza: We're right 85% of the time. We can't profess to be completely prescient, but by using our forecasts users are likely to save money.
PRC: How has the secondary ticket market received your service?
Russell D'Souza: Secondary ticket markets love us. We send these markets thousands of buyers every month.
PRC: What one tip would you give to ticket buyers using your service?
Russell D'Souza: If SeatGeek forecasts ticket prices are projected to fall, take advantage of our email alerts. We'll ping you at the optimal time to buy tickets. Let us do the math to save you money.
PRC: What's next for SeatGeek?
Russell D'Souza: Our forecasts are so cool that they shouldn't just be on SeatGeek. We've built widgets for bloggers and content sites. These easily-embeddable widgets show upcoming events for a team or artist and our patent-pending price forecast for the event. What's more, bloggers can earn revenue every time users buy a ticket on SeatGeek through these widgets. We announced these widgets a few weeks ago and have a waiting list of interested bloggers. But we're giving preferred access to Huffington Post readers! If you want a widget, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the words "Huffington Post' in the subject line.