As the pandemic slowly dissipates, ticket demands for live events have begun to explode, according to Angeline Chase Priefer, Vice President of Client Services for Lyte, a San Francisco-based reservations technology platform “reimagining ecommerce” for festivals and tours.
“We were fortunate to be working even before the lockdown on solutions for problems that were applicable during that time,” she says. “We took our platform and continued to create flexible options for clients and fans, allowing them space and time to make more solid decisions on the future.”
Lyte was founded by former Princeton basketball player Ant Taylor, who came up with the idea when he was in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he saw fans milling outside supposedly sold-out events looking for tickets while the arenas themselves were only half-full.
Chief Strategy Officer Lawrence Peryer describes Lyte as “a web-based, mobile-optimized solution, a co-branded white label experience for ticket re-sellers that mirrors the promoter’s own graphics and interface, much as an e-commerce partner might power their online store.”
Lyte started out as a pure ticket resale site that offered a waiting list for fans, an official marketplace to sell back or buy at a price below the secondary market, but often slightly higher than face value. It has since evolved into a way for promoters to gauge demand even before tickets go on-sale, with what Peryer calls “actionable insights... It’s not just a data dump, but a way the promoter, venue operator, artist manager can make informed decisions that impact pricing, scaling, the fan experience or other offerings.”
Lyte has so far made its mark in the festival world, with such clients as Pitchfork Music Festival, Under the Big Sky, Newport Folk Festival and Life Is Beautiful, having just completed a $38 million Series B round and recently partnering with Jackson Browne to create a priority waiting list for his next tour.
“Lyte offers promoters to see the kind of data and analytics ahead of locking in an event,” says Angeline. “That is what sustained us during Covid. We were able to provide a wider set of information than just the actual ticket buyers.”
Peryer explains that Lyte’s re-sell program doesn’t compete with the elephant in the room as long as the Ticketmaster Resell button remains an option for buyers. “We’re not taking tickets out of the system,” he says. “The two can sit side by side.”
Based in San Francisco, with offices for engineers in Minsk, Belarus, Lyte offers “real tickets at the best prices,” to make sure every possible seat is occupied, to maximize attendant sales of merchandise, food, drink, parking and everything else that generates income at a live event.
With Lyte’s “waiting list” technology, it allows the fan to opt in early, knowing there’s a place to safely and easily sell tickets if something else arises. “I(t’s not about making the most money from a ticket,” says Peryer. “But filling the venue.”