Ticketfly Locks Up Middle Market With Jam Deal

Andrew Dreskin isn’t just a fan of “Understanding the Innovator’s Dilemma.” The Ticketfly CEO says the treatise laid out by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen has become the playbook for his 8-year-old ticketing company.

The book was one of the first things Dreskin mentioned when describing his latest deal with legendary concert promoter Jerry Mickelson and Jam Productions, bringing Chicago’s  and to the Ticketfly platform.

“This is just another example of executing against the strategy” laid out in Christensen’s 1997 book, Dreskin told The Real. “Our playbook has been to dominate the middle market and use that as a launching pad to move upstream into larger venues and promoters.”

The book’s complex treatise boils down to this: large companies tend to misunderstand disruptive technology because they don’t see a practical way to scale it across their business. That paves the way for smaller companies to develop and refine innovation in smaller markets, eventually deploying it to bigger and bigger customers and eventually disrupting the large incumbents. So what was the innovation or disruptive force that encouraged Mickelson to sign on to Ticketfly?

“It was the Pandora component,” Mickelson told The Real, explaining that the streaming giant’s purchase of Ticketfly in December created “an opportunity for us to market our shows like we haven’t been able to in the past.” With Mickelson and Jam on board, Dreskin and Ticketfly have the biggest share of North America’s independent promoters like I.M.P.  and Bowery Presents’ two prized nightclubs, the  and .

In the coming weeks, the company is expected to announce that they have signed a well-known indie venue in Seattle, sources tell The Real. Dreskin said Ticketfly is now “arguably the most dominant middle market provider in North America.”

It’s remarkable growth for a young company in a mostly mature space like ticketing, and Dreskin attributes his success to the strategy laid out in Christensen’s book – innovate, sneak up to the front of the market then utilize a disruptive force that propels your company far ahead of everyone else.

Many ticketing companies are waiting to see how the Ticketfly/Pandora integration plays out before making their move. That wait-and-see approach comes at significant risk; if Dreskin is able to deliver the audience and client sales growth he’s predicting, it’s going to be very hard for competing ticketing companies to catch up.