Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it comes as TodayTix has been on an acquisitions kick. The company, which is best known for selling mobile tickets to Broadway shows and other cultural events, has made a series of deals even as the COVID-19 pandemic has upended in-person entertainment and shuttered theaters for months. Since 2020, the company has purchased four companies including Show-Score, a Rotten Tomatoes-like service for live theater; Encore, a London-based ticketer; and Broadway Roulette, a service that helps selects Broadway shows for users that specify a date and preference between musicals or plays.
“We are focused on unlocking as much potential as we can so when the industry returns we can be a big part of its recovery,” Brian Fenty, the company’s co-founder and CEO, told Variety. “We are live events purists through and through. We really do believe that despite the toll of the pandemic, there’s going to be a Roaring Twenties. We believe that people are desperate for arts and culture and are eager to get back into theaters.”
Goldstar will continue to operate as an independent brand and Today Tix said there will be no staff reductions. The combined companies will sell more than 8 million tickets annually. It will also enable Today Tix to reach markets where it does not have a presence and to broaden the types of live events that it offers customers. Goldstar sells tickets to theater, concerts, and dance, as well as film screenings and sporting events. The company serves such major markets as San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Miami.
The deal comes as the omicron variant has once again imperiled Broadway’s recovery, leading to weaker ticket sales and the early closure of shows such as “Jagged Little Pill” and “Ain’t Too Proud.”
“It’s heartbreaking, but it’s not unexpected,” says Fenty. “Pandemics don’t just disappear, so we anticipated that this would continue to crop up.”
Early in 2020, Fenty had a meeting with staff in which he told them that they should brace themselves because theater might not return until fall of 2021, a prediction that proved accurate.
“At that meeting, I told everyone, ‘I need you to know that you all have jobs and you all have paychecks, but I need you to show up every day knowing that there are going to be highs and lows, there are going to be peaks and valleys, and it’s going to be very emotional for our peers and our partners in the industry,'” Fenty remembers. “‘But we are a change agent and we have to stay focused on our conviction that live events are beloved.”
In addition to the acquisition, TodayTix Group will become an investor in Stellar, a streaming service that delivers premium interactive online shows to paying audiences. The service was launched in October 2020 and was created by Goldstar to help theaters and cultural venues generate revenue during the pandemic. Several members of the Goldstar staff, including co-founder Jim McCarthy, will be moving from Goldstar to focus on growing Stellar.
“We started Goldstar because we knew people wanted to go out more and we knew venues and promoters wanted those people at their shows,” said McCarthy said in a statement. “It’s simple, but not easy, to make a marketplace that brings both sides together. Over the years, few have managed it, but TodayTix Group does it extraordinarily well in a way that works for ticket buyers and show producers alike. That’s why we’re proud to become part of the TodayTix Group family. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”