What they did: When Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation merged last year, Brown Paper Tickets CEO Steve Butcher saw opportunity. He reckoned that some venues might not want to sell tickets through Ticketmaster because its parent owned some of their competitors. So Butcher's Seattle-based website, which started in 2000 by serving customers that other sellers overlooked (like community theaters), began branching out to bigger events, such as conventions and film festivals. Brown Paper says it has sold tickets to more than 250,000 events since launching, and that net sales were $6 million in 2010, up 225% over the prior year. The easy-to-use site offers extras like event consulting and mobile-device ticket purchase and delivery.
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