Skiddle

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Skiddle Ltd
Type Private
Industry Live Entertainment
Founded 2001
Headquarters The Watermark, Ribbleton Lane, Preston, Lancs, PR1 5EZ
Key people Technical Director
Ben Sebborn
Ticketing Director
Richard Dyer
Products Ticketing technology, Ticket Sales, Ticket Resales, Marketing, Distribution of event tickets and information, Hotel Bookings, Restaurant Bookings, What's On Guides
Website http://www.skiddle.com

Skiddle is one of the UK's market leading leisure retailers. Focusing on online, mobile and social ticketing solutions as a primary ticket outlet/online ticket agency, the Preston based organisation deals with event bookings, registrations, promotion and ticketing systems and includes one of the UK's largest What's On Guides, as well as providing restaurant and hotel bookings and related editorial content.

History[edit]

Skiddle was launched in May 2001 by Richard Dyer and Ben Sebborn.[1] It was initially launched as a What's on Guide for Preston in Lancashire.[2]

The business evolved from an earlier project ran by Dyer called StudentWeekly, which he ran whilst studying at Cumbria Institute of the Arts and Skiddle.com was born after Dyer met business partner Sebborn, when Sebborn was setting up a student development group,[3] as he was studying Computer Sciences at UCLAN.[4]

The business has evolved to supply tickets for almost every venue in the UK, developed new ticketing technologies and is in regular attendance at most major UK festivals.[which?]

In 2008 the company had a turnover of £1.4 million which increased to over £3 million in 2011 and further grew to top £6 million in 2012, during this time, Skiddle has more than trebled its employed staff[5] not including the intern staff that Skiddle occasionally has.[6]

Skiddle was rebranded in 2011 to include the strapline: "Weekends Matter" reflecting the evolution of the business from an events tickets site and what's on guide to a website which covers a wide range of listings, tickets and other booking opportunities such as hotels and restaurants.[7]

After directing search marketing strategies for the organisation for a number of years prior,[8] Skiddle announced award winning marketer Simon Dalley would head up marketing and PR for the business.[9] Skiddle's marketing team also included Jamie Scahill who's known as the creative force behind Manchester event industry brands Twenty Twenty Two and Funkedemia.[10]

In November 2012 the company announced the further expansion of its senior management team with the inclusion of ex-Ticketmaster employee, Margaret Tinsley,[11][12] whilst in May 2013 Skiddle's team was further expanded with the appointment of senior music industry journalist Jimmy Coultas as News Editor.[13]

Many of Skiddle's staff events, including nights out and training days are turned into public events which are promoted through Skiddle.com. December 2012 saw Skiddle's Christmas party, attended by hundred's of members of the public and being DJ'd by artists such as Mistress, Ginny Koppenhol as well as internationally renowned DJ and son of Alex Wharton; Sonny Wharton.[14]

Skiddle reported receiving 1,322,484 visitors in December 2012 [15] and in January 2013 cited one in ten people used Skiddle.com in the UK in 2012,[16] whilst in Nov. 2013 Dalley mentions of his Linkedin Profile that the website will receive in excess of 10 million unique visitors in 2013[17] - this estimate was announced as being accurate in January 2014.[18]

Skiddle was ranked the 549th most visited website in the UK as well as the UK's second most visited ticket selling website behind Ticketmaster according to 2013's May/June issue of Lancashire Means Business.[19] These stats seem to be affirmed in an article in The Drum which discuss the site receiving over a million visitors a month.[20] Skiddle peaked at 277th most visited website in the UK in September 2013.

Dalley explained how important it is to convert new university starters to customers in the early months of their university career, explaining this is the period where more marketing is carried out, especially in Manchester.[21]

Whilst claiming to be the UK's largest What's on Guide, Skiddle also claims to have the largest UK-wide New Year's Eve What's On Guide[22] and reported their 2012 New Year's Eve sales proved live event industry pundits wrong regarding a perceived slump in New Year's Eve ticket sales.[23] whilst reporting in January 2014 that 2.5 million people in the UK had used the website to plan their New Year's Eve.[24]

In November 2013 Coultas featured in a music industry panel at the International Guitar Festival,[25] whilst Dalley became the first person to guest moderate the popular hashtag hour for event industry professionals on Twitter: #EventHour.[26]

In February 2014 Dyer announced Skiddle has bought a new premises in order to achieve further expansion of the business,[27] whilst in the Lancashire Evening Post Skiddle explained they had completed their final growth phase before they relocate to their new offices with the recruitment of Amy Horsfield and Rob Casson.[28]

News Content[edit]

As well as being the largest What's on Guide in the UK, Skiddle generates a significant amount of editorial content and is rapidly becoming one of the most respected sources of music news content. Predominately focusing on electronic dance music scene has seen Skiddle compete more directly with the market leaders whilst also taking traffic from broader music news publishers such as NME.

In an interview by Econsultancy, Coultas described getting around 200 pitches for news content a day, and discussed the importance of balancing the commercial aspects or being the editor of a website where editorial content isn't the main output.[29]

Technological Innovation[edit]

In an interview with umi Digital, Simon Dalley explained that being technologically innovative continues to be a core strategy of Skiddle's development which "keeps people coming back for more".[30]

As such, Skiddle was the first ticket selling website to offer promoters with online management of their events in 2001.[31]

In December 2013 Skiddle announced they had rebuilt the website to become the first of the major primary ticket outlets to offer a responsive mobile design.[32]

Social Media Ticket Sales[edit]

The company has also been innovative in the world of social media, being the first ticket outlet in the world to develop a ticket shop app on Facebook[33] and later become the first ticket outlet to integrate their ticket sales and news content with Facebook Timeline.[34]

Ben Sebborn Skiddle's Technical Director is well known in the live events sector and is noted for having championed early adoption of social media as a promotional tool for the events industry.[35]

In May 2013 Skiddle announced the release of the "most advanced festival search facility" available, providing users with multiple ways to find a festival based on advanced categorisation and also personalisation which uses data from Skiddle usage and social media profiling.[36][37]

White Label Ticketshops[edit]

Later in 2012 and increasingly through 2013 Skiddle has rolled out an innovative white-label ticket shop solution which has been taken up by key clients, thus increasing the capacity of their affiliate network with a number of well known brands in the electronic music sector utilizing this solution, these include Data Transmission, Gigs and Festivals and Mixmag.[38][39] In 2013 Skiddle announced their white label technology would be powering Debenhams Box Office.[40]

Venue management[edit]

Skiddle's system allows users to generate their own content which can then be added to their website. This has facilitated the growth of the company's venues database to around 21,000 venues listed in the UK.[41]

The entry management solution Rapid Scan is a bar code scanning system developed by the ticketing agency and in use since 2007, it is used by a wide range of events for venues such as clubs and festivals.[42]

The Skiddle Bus is often used as a green room, press area, canteen, chill out space or wifi internet point by UK festivals.

Festivals[edit]

In 2005 Skiddle sponsored its first dance tent at The Wickerman Festival and has gone on to sponsor a number of festival tents in subsequent years.[43][44]

At the 2010 RockNess Festival Skiddle introduced the SKIDDLEBUS, a multimedia broadcast bus for live coverage allowing festival goers to upload their content using the internet.[45] The SKIDDLEBUS is now a regular feature at UK festivals as well as being used by organisations such as the BBC.[46]

As an additional service Skiddle developed their own ticketing technology which has been used as the primary ticketing facility by numerous festivals in the UK.[which?]

Sponsorship & Charity Work[edit]

In 2011 Skiddle announced their sponsorship of the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (C.A.L.M)[47][48] and in 2012 Rich Dyer commented on the importance of supporting youth charities to Skiddle when discussing Skiddle's involvement with the BBC's Children in Need.[49] Other charities Skiddle has supported have included DEC Africa and event promoters have the opportunity to support a charity of their choice through the Skiddle checkout.,[50] Dyer has expressed his pride that Skiddle's platform encourages charitable giving.[51]

Skiddle also sponsors Preston based Parkour and Free Running organisation UK Street Monkeys.[52]

Early in 2013 Skiddle announced their sponsorship of Preston North End F.C..[53] leading to considerable speculation within PNE's fanbase about the potential of Skiddle becoming the clubs shirt sponsor.[54]

Skiddle sponsored the Fair Few Miles challenge which saw a team of seven cycle from John O'Groats to Lands End, climbing the UK's Three Peaks on the way and later kayaking the full length of the River Thames to Westminster in London.[55]

Skiddle.com was the main sponsor of 2013's Bass Music Awards which by their sponsorship agreement is referred to as The Bass Music Awards in Association with Skiddle.com,[56] commenting on Skiddle's market leading position in the electronic music scene, Richard Dyer said: "we knew we’d be ideally placed to help get the Bass Music Awards off the ground in its launch year".[57]

In 2014 Skiddle returned as a sponsor of the Preston Sports Awards, sponsoring the Team Performance of the Year, a category previously won by Preston Grasshoppers R.F.C.,[58] with the award being won by Preston Swimming Club Arena Team.[59]

Awards[edit]

Skiddle has been nominated, shortlisted and won a number of awards. In 2008, Skiddle was a finalist for the Be Inspired in Business Award category The Best Use of E-Business [60] since then, Skiddle has received a Hitwise Top 10 Award every month since 2008[61] and in August 2011, Skiddle was awarded the Hitwise Top 6 Award, making it one of the most viewed websites in the UK in its category.

In March 2012, Skiddle was awarded "Online Business of The Year" by the Lancashire Business Review's "Red Rose Awards".[62]

In January 2013, Skiddle was shortlisted by INTO for The Most Student-Friendly Website award.[63]

In April 2013 it was announced that Skiddle had been shortlisted for Prolific North Awards.[64]

In July 2013 Event Technology Awards were nominated for the category Best Use Of Technology To Build Event Attendance in reference to Skiddle's development of the first Facebook timeline integrated ticketshop and the only one to operate frictionlessly,[65] in September 2013 it was announced that Skiddle had been shortlisted for the award.[66]

In September 2013 Skiddle was announced as a finalist in the Digital Entrepreneur Awards.[67]

Press coverage[edit]

The company has been quoted in UK national newspapers, including the Daily Mirror[68][69] and the Daily Star.[70] It has also been mentioned in the Huffington Post[71] as well as a number of industry publications including Stand Out![72] and Events Industry News.[73]

In February 2013 Skiddle joined calls from the Metropolitan Police and other Primary Ticket Outlets by calling for regulation of the secondary ticketing market.[74]

In July 2013 ITV News[75] and BBC Cumbria reported that Skiddle was transporting a 15 foot tall replica of Jimmy Carr's head from Preston to the Wickerman Festival.[76]

In December 2013, Skiddle responded to the Which? investigation "Play fair on ticket fees" describing the breakdown of their booking fees and distribution fees.[77]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Skiddle Founders: Richard Dyer and Ben Sebborn in Pictures".  | Publisher= Skiddle Blog
  2. ^ "Preston's What's On Guide Launched". 
  3. ^ "Rich & Ben – The chaps behind Skiddle". Manchester's Finest. 
  4. ^ "Will Richard Lead The Way for Cumbria's Dot Com Millionaires?". News & Star. 
  5. ^ "Skiddle Case Study". High Growth Programme. 
  6. ^ "How to get a graduate job in the events industry". INTO Higher. 
  7. ^ "Weekends Matter". Skiddle. 
  8. ^ "Staying One Step Ahead With Skiddle's Head of Marketing Simon Dalley". Event Industry News. 
  9. ^ "Simon Dalley to head up marketing team". Skiddle Blog. 
  10. ^ "Jamie Scahill". LinkedIn. 
  11. ^ "Margaret Tinsley Joins Skiddle as Business Development Manager". Skiddle Blog. 
  12. ^ "Skiddle Appoints Margaret Tinsley As Business Development Manager". Events Industry News. 
  13. ^ "Skiddle Announce News Editor Appointment". Events Industry News. 
  14. ^ "Skiddle's Christmas Party". Skiddle.com. 
  15. ^ "Skiddle's Vital Statistics in December 2012". Skiddle.com. 
  16. ^ "Did you know, one in ten people in the UK used Skiddle.com in 2012". Skiddle Facebook Page. 
  17. ^ "Simon Dalley's Linkedin Profile". Linkedin. 
  18. ^ "Skiddle Has 10 Million Users in 2013". Google+. 
  19. ^ "Just The Ticket". Lancashire Means Business. 
  20. ^ "The Tab, Skiddle and Sick Chirpse added to w00t portfolio". The Drum. 
  21. ^ "Skiddle Makes Weekends Matter with Transport Media". ETransport Media Outdoor Advertising. 
  22. ^ "People welcoming in the New Year all over the World". Skiddle.com. 
  23. ^ "Skiddle Defies Pundits’ Predictions with Record Breaking New Year’s Eve Ticket Sales". Event Industry News. 
  24. ^ "Skiddle had their best New Year's Eve Ever". Media Agency Group. 
  25. ^ "Skiddle Editor to Sit on Panel At International Guitar Festival". Skiddle. 
  26. ^ "Skiddle's Head of Marketing to be the first guest moderator of #EventHour Takeover". Skiddle Blog. 
  27. ^ "A Place The Matters". Skiddle Blog. 
  28. ^ "Skiddle.com Expanding to Longridge". Lancashire Evening Post. 
  29. ^ "A Day in the life of a news editor". Econsultancy. 
  30. ^ "Interview with Online Marketing Expert Simon Dalley". umi Digital. 
  31. ^ "Skiddle's New Promotion Centre is Launched". IT News Online. 
  32. ^ "This week we announced that Skiddle is now optimised for your Mobile or Tablet". Skiddle on Facebook. 
  33. ^ "Viral Ticket Sales on Facebook with Skiddle". Econsultancy. 
  34. ^ "Skiddle Push Viral Ticket Sales Through Facebook For Event Organisers". DG Eventin on Facebook. 
  35. ^ "Ticketing Technology Forum 2013 Programme Final". Ticketing Technology Forum. 
  36. ^ "Skiddle Revolutionizes How People Pick Festivals". Event Industry News. 
  37. ^ "Skiddle Revolutionizes How People Pick Festivals". Press Releaser. 
  38. ^ "Skiddle Announce Strategic Partnership With Mixmag". Skiddle on Facebook. 
  39. ^ "Skiddle Inks Deal With Mixmag". Lancashire Business View. 
  40. ^ "Skiddle Affiliates Get Ready for NYE". Skiddle Blog. 
  41. ^ "Skiddle Statistics". Skiddle. 
  42. ^ "Entry Management Solutions for Festivals". Skiddle. 
  43. ^ "Skiddle At Wickerman Festival". Lancashire Evening Post. 
  44. ^ "Sonny Wharton Talks to Skiddle". Sonny Warton. 
  45. ^ http://www.responsesource.com/releases/rel_display.php?relid=57016
  46. ^ "BBC Radio Lancashire Introducing's Sean McGinty Supported by SKIDDLEBUS". Creative Lancashire. 
  47. ^ "Campaign Against Living Miserably Sponsored by Skiddle". SourceWire. 
  48. ^ "CALM Sponsors: Skiddle". CALMZone. 
  49. ^ "Help Skiddle Support Children in Need This November with the click of a button". eConsultancy. 
  50. ^ "Skiddle Customers Raise Hundreds of Pounds For Children in Need Through Skiddle". Skiddle Blog. 
  51. ^ "Skiddle Customers Raise Thousands for CALM". Campaign Against Living Miserably. 
  52. ^ "Skiddle Sponsored Street Monkeys Switch On Preston Lights". Skiddle Blog. 
  53. ^ "Skiddle Announces Sponsorship of Preston North End". Skiddle Blog. 
  54. ^ "Skiddle Sponsorship". PNE Online Forum. 
  55. ^ "skiddle will be backing fair few miles". Skiddle.com. 
  56. ^ "The Bass Music Awards Partners". Bass Music Awards. 
  57. ^ "Winners Announced for 2013 Bass Music Awards in association with Skiddle.com". IHOUSEU Ltd. 
  58. ^ "Will Preston Grasshoppers Win Again?". Preston City Council. 
  59. ^ "Preston Sports Awards 2014 Community Sports Heroes Honoured At Ceremony". Blog Preston. 
  60. ^ "Skiddle celebrates seventh birthday". Lancsahire Evening Post. 
  61. ^ "Top 10 Hitwise Award for Skiddle". Hitwise. 
  62. ^ "Red Rose Awards Shortlist". Red Rose Awards. 
  63. ^ "Into Web Awards". INTO Higher. 
  64. ^ "The Prolific North Awards 2013: the short list announced". Prolific North. 
  65. ^ "The Event Technology Awards Industry Vote". Event Technology Awards. 
  66. ^ "ETA Shortlist Announced". Access All Areas. 
  67. ^ "Finalists of Digital Entrepreneur Awards 2013". Digital Entrepreneur Awards. 
  68. ^ "Thursdays Taken Over From Saturdays". Daily Mirror. 
  69. ^ "The Weekend Starts at 15:13". Daily Mirror. 
  70. ^ "Weekend Starts Here". Daily Star (United Kingdom). 
  71. ^ "The Weekend Starts At 3.13pm On Friday". Huffington Post. 
  72. ^ "Ben Sebborn Don't Miss A Twitter Trick". Stand Out Magazine. 
  73. ^ "Skiddle Appoints Margaret Tinsley As Business Development Manager". Events Industry News. 
  74. ^ "Police Call for Regulation of Ticket Sales Industry". Skiddle. 
  75. ^ "The Most Bizarre Carr on the A75". ITV News. 
  76. ^ "Unusual Traffic Report from BBC Cumbria". BBC Cumbria. 
  77. ^ "Which? Investigation into Booking Fees". Skiddle Blog. 

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