Insight Flash: StubHub set to IPO this summer, Consumer Edge data reveals demographics essential to its launch

StubHub, a longtime player in the event ticket sales industry, is reportedly going public this summer. The Event Ticket Sales sub-industry saw rapid growth in the wake of the pandemic, as consumers craved experiences they missed out on during lockdown. While inflation continued to pinch consumers, individuals chose to spend on “fun” rather than goods through 2023, but data shows that this trend may be slowing.

Using CE transaction data, investors and companies can assess StubHub’s performance relative to its competitors as well as uncover which demographic segments are driving its growth.

StubHub IPO Leading to Growing Market Share

While the Event Ticket Sales sub-industry has more than rebounded since the global pandemic, up +61% (2023 vs. 2019), StubHub has steadily been growing its share, +3% (2023 vs. 2021), as the sub-industry recovered.  This positive momentum could continue, should top competitor Ticketmaster’s antitrust suit gain traction, creating more avenues for StubHub to grow.

“Funflation” Driving Spend Growth

As demand for live experiences grew rapidly in the years after pandemic lockdowns and social-distancing restrictions, so too did ticket prices, rather astronomically.

Economists have referred to this as “funflation” as individuals yearned for communal experiences after being stuck indoors and alone for so long. Looking at yoy growth, StubHub has outperformed both Ticketmaster and the broader sub-industry, partially driven by its higher average ticket.  Its positioning as more of a ticket reseller platform suggests that resold tickets come at a higher price than an initial sale.

When compared against 2019, average tickets for the sub-industry were more than 40% higher for both 2022 and 2023, and StubHub’s 2023 average ticket was up over 60%. While growth skyrocketed in those first years after the pandemic, it does appear that the first 3 months of 2024 are starting to normalize against 2023. In addition, StubHub’s renewed partnership with the MLB as an authorized ticket marketplace may have boosted sales, especially as yoy spend peaks during the baseball season.

Consumers Aged 35-44 Key to StubHub Growth

Stubhub has the highest spend exposure to individuals aged 35-44, whereas many of its competitors are over exposed to those aged 18-24. While TickPick’s disruptor mentality and Vivid Seat’s loyalty program and sport betting platform may especially appeal to younger demographics, StubHub is most dependent on older individuals.

According to a national study, this cohort was most likely to respond as an “avid sports fan” while individuals 28-43 had the highest likelihood of watching sports at a live venue.  This may demonstrate their outsized performance in the overall ticketing industry and an area for StubHub to continue to lean into to grow.

Strong demand for live entertainment appears to have positioned StubHub well, but tight competition and lingering inflation pose threats to both the sub-industry’s and brand’s prospects looking out into 2024 and beyond.

Consumer Edge is the leading provider of alternative data for consumer spending behavior, and the only provider of global revenue signals. If you’d like to benefit from using CE Transact US, CE Vision, or other products for event ticket sales insights, retail data, and other industry data year-round to track trends like these, reach out to schedule a demo.

About the Authors

Katherine Bjorkman is the Director of Insights for the CEIC. Explore more of her insights here and follow her on LinkedIn.

Rachel Zucker is an Insights Analyst for the CEIC. Follow her on LinkedIn.