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US school ticketing firm adapts as revenues plummet

Ludus, the US high school-focused ticketing company, says it is confident about the future after refocusing its business amid the COVID-19 pandemic through the launch of a live streaming platform and a suite of tools to host socially distant events.

Like many ticketing firms, Ludus, which helps hundreds of clients sell tickets online and in-person through customised ticketing portals, saw a drop in revenue of around 95 per cent in Q2. The business has seen an uptick in sales recently as Q4 approaches and customers have adapted to new ways of doing shows.

After live events were shut down in March, the company helped customers retain around 20 per cent of their ticket sales revenue through its Ticket Donations feature, which allows patrons to donate their tickets instead of getting a refund.

In response to the market’s needs, Ludus quickly built a full streaming service called AnywhereSeat for streaming and selling tickets to live streams and on-demand videos.

Zachary Collins, chief executive of Ludus, told TheTicketingBusiness: “We have been very happy with the response, especially gaining customers who don’t want to be locked into a publisher-ticketing contract, which we set out not to do.”

In addition, the pandemic created a need for ticketing companies to support socially distanced events. The company rolled out Ludus Safety, which is a suite of tools helping event organisers host safe, socially distant events. This includes a Seat Buffering feature that automatically marks seats for social distancing as patrons purchase tickets in real-time. It has also released a public Safety Checklist with a list of items to mark off to ensure an event is up to standard with safety recommendations.

Ludus also rolled out Collections, a feature allowing its customers to collect payments for member dues, student fees, and merchandise, among other things. Collins said: “This has helped our customers earn money while facing uncertainty and is helping us financially as a company to offset the decrease in ticket sales.”

He added: “Overall, we all know how devastating the pandemic has been for the live events industry. In the end, we’re confident that we’ll come out stronger as we have been forced to adapt, reflect internally, and innovate to continue moving forward.”