Eventbrite staff bear the COVID-19 brunt


Eventbrite staff bear the COVID-19 brunt Image: dribbble.com/Eventbrite

US-based event management and ticketing platform Eventbrite recently gave the marching orders to 45 percent of its employees triggered by the coronavirus scourge. Among the staff getting laid off are employees from its music division.

COVID-19 has impacted the music industry too causing massive revenue cuts, with ticketing sites pulling out all stops to stay afloat. Media reports stated that the cuts are expected to reduce the company’s annual expenses by $100 million. Many executives within the company will see unspecified cuts to their compensation as well.

As per sources, Chief Executive Julia Hartz reportedly made the layoff announcement recently during a companywide meeting and said that employees will receive phone calls. Around 450 people in Eventbrite’s San Francisco office will be impacted by the cuts, along with many employees in their Nashville office.

Eventbrite confirmed the layoffs and noted that the decision was made in light of the ongoing coronavirus global pandemic which has left US badly bruised.

The company said in a statement, “As a company whose mission is to bring the world together through live experiences, Eventbrite has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic, alongside the entire live events industry. To ensure the long-term durability of our mission, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our global workforce by 45 percent. This is a harsh reality to face and we are saddened to see many of our team members depart the company.”

The statement added, “We are committed to taking care of impacted employees during this already difficult time and in addition to severance, we are providing extended health benefits and dedicated job replacement support. This is a challenging time for communities all over the world and while we can’t predict when the pandemic will pass, we are committed to providing a strong platform to help creators rebuild their businesses and enable the return of live events when it’s once again safe to gather.”

Three years back, Eventbrite purchased Ticketfly from Pandora for $200 million. Although Pandora tried to incorporate Ticketfly into its streaming app, its efforts proved futile and sold the company. The site since faced a hacker, which took Ticketfly offline for more than a week, causing tensions between venues and Hartz. Although Eventbrite launched its IPO in the Fall of 2018, the company revealed that it lost about $40 million a year in both 2016 and 2017, along with a closing of $68.7 million in losses in 2019. Ticketfly founder Andrew Dreskin has quit as President of Eventbrite Music but will still act as a consultant for the company.

Pandora is an American music streaming and automated music recommendation Internet radio service powered by the Music Genome Project and headquartered in Oakland, California.

Eventbrite is the latest to announce massive cuts across the company; earlier this month, American ticket exchange company StubHub revealed that it would furlough 67 percent of its workers as it grapples with the COVID-19 epidemic. Media sources said that the layoffs are expected to last until “at least June”.

StubHub is an American ticket exchange and resale company. It provides services for buyers and sellers of tickets for sports, concerts, theater and other live entertainment events.

Media reports stated that the live event industry is going to take a major hit due to the coronavirus outbreak and the revenue for the industry could be down as much as $9 billion in 2020.

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