The most powerful startups exist for one reason and one reason alone: to disrupt their industry.
Look at Uber, look at Medium, look at Spotify--all startups that are successfully disrupting their chosen industries. The most interesting of which may be Spotify.
Just look at trajectory of the music industry--first, disrupted by pirating sites like Napster and now disrupted by the likes of Spotify and Rdio to stream music. Now, with Apple joining the scene, the startups like Spotify who challenged the industry are creating industry norms.
Another industry showing promise for a shakeup is event ticketing. Most tickets purchased for a concert, event, party, etc. are through popular services like Ticketmaster, StubHub or Eventbrite. That $35 concert ticket can end up being $47 thanks to markup fees of more than 30%.
Enter the startups ready to disrupt the event ticketing industry. Some, like Ticktate allow users to shop for tickets via their phone and convert it to an electronic ticket. Though Ticktate charges a small service fee of about $3.00, it's less than outlets like StubHub or directly through Ticketmaster.
Other startups are choosing a "premium" model via Spotify. Startups like Ticketea, Tikly and Picatic offer freemium based platforms for event organizers to create, collect payment and promote their event.
"Trumped up fees have become accepted in our culture because we have had no other choice," said Jayesh Parmar, the CEO of Picatic. "People can pay for more services if they want to, and they shouldn't have to pay for basic ones or unnecessary fees."
In the ticketing industry, customer satisfaction is often something to be desired. Since event organizers only had a few options of ticket brokers to choose from, they (and their customers) have had no choice but to accept these fees as the norm, even when others have tried to fight back.
Twenty years ago, Pearl Jam filed a suit with the Justice Department on the claims that Ticketmaster set "service" or "convenience" fees at uncompetitive prices as it held a monopoly over the industry. The investigation was later dropped.
Today, the startups offering compelling options for event holders--and thus customers--are creating a competitive landscape for event ticketing. "We're trying to provide choices for event organizers," Picatic's Parmar said. "Just because something has been done one particular way for a long time doesn't mean it should stay that way."
Usually, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. But, then again, look at Spotify, which allows users to stream music for free every month. Now the music industry is bending around their rules to play the game. Soon enough, the same thing could happen in the event ticketing industry. With more event ticketing startups, major players may have to transition to where customers expect low mark up fees--or none at all.
Disrupting the status quo is a good thing--a young, hungry startup can fill in a marketplace that has a void to fill. Just like with Spotify, Uber and other disrupting startups, it's the consumers that sometimes benefit most.