September 25, 2017 Last Updated 8:15 am

Traverse City publisher looks to localize ticket sales for fellow publishers with launch of GeoTix

The software-as-a-service solution assists publishers establish their own ticket sales business, assisting local events sell tickets, while keeping that ticket sales fee local

The business of event ticket sales is very large, and very national. Yet, most people who attend events learn about them through their local newspapers or magazines. Writing about local events is a big portion of the content created by local publishers, though unless those events decide to pay for advertising, the publisher receives no revenue tied to that content.

The founder and editor-in-chief of MyNorth Media, Deb Fellows, wants to change that, launching a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution called GeoTix.

GeoTix is an online platform for localized event ticket sales, and though the new company already has some publishers signed up and using the solution, the company is making this Tuesday its official launch date for the platform (see announcement below).

According to Fellows, the idea for GeoTix came to her as she was attempting to overcome the fiscal crisis of 2007-8 that adversely effected so many publishers.

“Like so many of us, we tried to figure out how to innovate our way out of that time period,” Fellows said.

“We have to learn as an industry, and I had to learn as a company, how to become less dependent on advertising as our sole source of revenue,” Fellow said. “I started asking ‘what can we sell our audience, based on the content they come to us for. What are they going to go purchase any ways?'”

As Fellows points out, while event discovery is local, ticket buying is generally from a national company.

Last month the new company received $1 million in seed financing from Boomerang-Catapult and strategic investor Casey Cowell, co-founder of U.S. Robotics, enabling the company to grow and begin outreach to publishers.

For local publishers who sign up, there is a licensing fee, and the expectation that they will dedicate at least one full-time person to sell events. Another person would likely also be needed part-time to handle the software side of the new business, with others added as the business grows.

GeoTix assists with system training, initial prospecting, branded sales collateral, as well as setting up a new website to support ticket sales.

How closely the publisher wants to brand the ticket sales site to their own publishing site is up to them. Fellows’s site for ticket sales is at MyNorthTickets.com, and so is fairly closely tied to MyNorth Media. Others may choose to create a new brand, such as DoorCountyTickets.com, which serves the Wisconsin peninsula and is run by a small, local publisher. Other existing ticket portals include 904tix.com and michtix.com, among others.

Publishers are always looking for ancillary revenue, and some have decided to get into creating their own events business. But helping existing local events, which their publication would normally create content around, and then keeping the ticket sales fee local, will probably seem like an attractive and very logical business to get into. Now these publishers will know who to contact to help them get started.

Here is the announcement for the launch of GeoTix:


Traverse City, MI – September 26, 2017 – GeoTix, a provider of SaaS solutions that generate new, non-advertising revenue streams for media companies, today announced the availability of its online platform for localized event ticket sales. The platform empowers local and regional media companies with an innovative means to grow both their digital portfolio and non-advertising revenue, while building their brand and role within their communities. This announcement follows on the heels of a press release issued in August announcing that the company has received $1 million in financing from Boomerang-Catapult and strategic investor Casey Cowell, co-founder of U.S. Robotics.

The GeoTix platform was designed to disrupt the current model of event ticket purchasing with national ticket sales providers, and keep local dollars within the community. The company’s customer base is rapidly gaining adoption with media customers in more than 20 cities across the U.S. – including Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville, Louisville, Minneapolis, Omaha, New York and more – who are achieving a significant increase in revenue, as much as 127 percent in just three years.

Media companies and publishers are increasingly faced with how to monetize content through new dollars while creating actual audience development. Even the largest publishers, newspaper networks, and business journals are feeling the competitive squeeze from social media behemoths like Facebook and LinkedIn. As more customers gravitate toward social media, it becomes more difficult for media outlets to increase audience development by capturing the attention of new viewers, create new revenue streams that aren’t advertising-dependent, and build their brand.

GeoTix addresses this challenge with a platform that enables media companies to leverage content they already produce – information about community events. Traditionally, audiences discover events from their local and regional media outlets. But to purchase tickets, they are redirected to a national ticket sales provider. The GeoTix platform connects event discovery with ticket purchase locally, reversing the trend of turning audiences over to national providers. Keeping ticket sales local creates new revenue for media companies, as well as an effective channel to capture email addresses and expand marketing databases.

According to a 2016 IBISWorld Industry Report, online ticket sales in the U.S. represent a $5 billion market opportunity. This research shows that the online event ticket sales industry has increased in part due to a significant shift toward digitized mobile ticketing, and away from physical tickets and at-home printing. Also fueling this trend is the fact that personal disposable incomes have increased over the past five years, and the music industry has continued its migration toward live performance.

“Media companies make an initial investment to produce local event content that serves their communities, but are losing out on a huge opportunity by sending their audiences away to a national ticket seller who then pockets a $3-5 per-ticket fee,” said Deb Fellows, CEO, Geotix. “By taking on a direct role in providing tickets to their own local events as well as events throughout the region, they can cut out the middleman to generate new revenue, build out their email databases, and make their brand more relevant to consumers and event organizers alike. Furthermore, rather than consumer dollars going to a small group of national ticket sales giants or social media behemoths, those dollars stay within the local community – a win-win for both consumers and the local media companies that serve them.”

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