Jan 10, 2016 12:04 PM

Insider Q&A: StubHub's president on going mobile

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) StubHub, eBay's ticket reselling subsidiary based in San Francisco, hired Scott Cutler as its new president in April. He was previously head of global listings at the New York Stock Exchange. Since joining StubHub, he's worked to simplify its pricing and revamp its app to better compete in an increasingly mobile world. Here he discusses why he came to StubHub, what its users look like and how the company moved its service to mobile. Answers edited for clarity and length.

Q: Why the jump from the NYSE to StubHub?

A: I was hired to transform the (NYSE) brand and spent the next nine years rebuilding the platform. When I got there we had less than a 5 percent market share in tech and when I left we had 30 percent. ... What excited me the most about (StubHub) was it was a marketplace. ... It's not the same situation as the NYSE, but the need to develop relationships with the ecosystem - and for us that ecosystem includes leagues, teams, content holders, artists, performers, live entertainment and then the broader technology community - where you can take our e-commerce platform and introduce mobile and social and global aspects to it. It really was an exciting opportunity that I love being a part of.

Q: What are the demographics of the average StubHub user?

A: It's a pretty wide demographic depending on the genre. If we look at our business in simplified terms, half of it is sports and half of it is live entertainment, mostly concerts. The demographic in sports is very much an 18-35 year old male dominated market. In live entertainment, it's a wide range of demographic, male and female, that like to attend concerts. Our customers are a younger-skewed demographic but I'm still surprised at the number of people that are going to events, (when) this is their first mobile transactional experience.

I live in Los Altos, by Palo Alto. My next door neighbor is 80 years old and has been there for a long time. And I introduced myself and he said "Oh I love StubHub, I go to Giants games all the time, I sell my season tickets there and buy there all the time."

Q: Everyone is doing everything on their phone. What are you doing to make StubHub a great mobile service?

A: (Mobile) is now half of our business, so that has been a huge transition for us. Earlier this year, in the early summer we decided what we needed to do is have a mobile-first platform. What that meant is the interaction you have on that mobile device is the same if you're searching on the Web from a mobile device or if you are on the app or on desktop. So we completely redesigned our architecture to be multiscreen, but one platform, one common UI, one experience. It allowed us to simplify the workflows. You could really come in, find what you want, and get out in literally like four clicks. That makes for a great mobile experience.


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