StubHub Global Survey Finds Live Experiences Hold the Keys to Happiness

People around the world say that live event experiences lead to greater happiness and human connection than the use of social media or mobile phones.

StubHub's new global study shows the benefits of live experiences to happiness and social connection. (Graphic: Business Wire)

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SAN FRANCISCO--()--StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, and consumer insights firm Trendera today released the results of a new global study that demonstrate the power of live experiences on happiness and social connection. Exploring the attitudes and behaviors of consumers in 20 cities around the world, the study highlights the extreme – and often surprising – lengths to which people would go to see their favorite acts, including giving up daily technology use, toilet paper, relationships and more.

Survey respondents offered compelling reasons for prioritizing live experiences over regular life routines, reporting that: Live experiences have a deeply meaningful impact on their emotions and memories; sharing live experiences with friends is increasingly important; and attending live events is a benefit that stretches across borders.

“One of the biggest trends we’re seeing at StubHub is that live experiences are an increasingly valuable way to enrich people’s lives, especially because of the incredible memories they create,” said Jess Tassell, StubHub Director of ’Think’. “Around the world, people are placing a premium on live events, participating more and more in the so-called ‘experience economy,’ and sharing a surprising willingness to give up basic human comforts for up-close-and-personal experiences with their favorite artists and athletes.”

Key findings from StubHub’s new study include:

1. Live experiences have a direct impact on our emotions and create lasting memories.

  • Musical magic. Survey results showed that music sparks the most positive emotions out of all types of events: 62% of all respondents said that attending a concert makes them happy, vs. 49% for sports.
    • Females more musically inclined. This is particularly true for women: 66% of female respondents said that concerts make them happy, vs. 58% of men.
    • Festivals draw a younger crowd. Young people responded similarly to musical happiness: 18-24-year-olds were more likely to say that going to a festival makes them happy than other age groups.
  • Memories add up. 75% of respondents cited making unforgettable memories as the best part about attending a live event.
    • There’s something to be said for the past. Respondents named their first concert as their best memory (35%), over their first job (33%) and their first kiss (32%).

2. Sharing live event experiences with friends is increasingly important, especially on social media.

  • Live experiences have become inextricably linked with social media and mobile, and nearly one-third (31%) of respondents said that sharing these experiences over social media was one of the best parts of attending an event.
  • Experiences are a new form of social currency. 83% of respondents would prefer to post on social media about a live sports, music, or theater event than about a purchased material good.
    • Social skews younger, too. Social sharing is most prevalent among young people: While all age groups ranked high for social sharing, 88% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 were more likely to post about a live event on their social media accounts than older age groups.

3. The inspiration of live experiences knows no bounds.

  • Outside the U.S. Fans from all corners of the globe care about sharing experiences with their peers: 80% of respondents from countries outside the U.S. said they prefer to tell their friends about an experience instead of a purchase (vs. 74% in the U.S.).
  • World travelers. International respondents were significantly more likely than those in the U.S. to travel internationally for an event: More than half (51%) said they were willing to travel outside the country for a major championship, mega-concert, or music festival, in contrast to only 27% of U.S. respondents.
  • Fútbol scores with international audience. Globally, fútbol (“soccer” in the U.S.) is the most popular sport, as respondents would choose the FIFA World Cup (25%) over the Olympics (24%), the Super Bowl (14%), or the NBA Finals (10%) if given the opportunity to attend any sporting event.

Fans’ affinity for live experiences proved to be stronger than a number of day-to-day human behaviors, needs and even hygiene.

The survey found that fans would go to extreme lengths for VIP experiences to see their favorite artist play live or to see their favorite sports team or player play in a championship game:

Classic – and somewhat concerning – behavior change:    

See their favorite MUSICIAN/BAND of all time play live


See their favorite SPORTS TEAM or PLAYER play in a title game


Work on a major holiday:

    45%     36%

Delete social media for a month:

    42%     31%

Give up mobile phone for a week:

    35%     28%

Give up drinking for a year:

    33%     27%

Go without sex for a month:

    26%     19%

Go without Wi-Fi for a month:

    26%     22%

Give up toilet paper for a week:

    11%     11%

Go without showering for a month:

    12%     15%
Break up with their partner:     7%     7%
  • Other things respondents were willing to give up for VIP experiences include: promotions at work, international vacations and favorite foods.

For more information and additional survey results, please visit the StubHub Press Box.

About StubHub

At StubHub, our mission is simple: help fans find fun. We connect fans with their favorite teams, shows and artists and introduce them to the ones they’ll love next. As the largest ticket marketplace in the world, we enable fans to buy and sell tickets to tens of thousands of events, whenever they want, through our desktop and mobile experiences, including our StubHub app for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Android. Offering a superior fan experience at its core, StubHub reinvented the ticket resale market in 2000 and continues to lead it through innovation. Our industry firsts include the introduction of the first ticketing application, the first interactive seat mapping tool and the first live entertainment rewards program, Fan Rewards™. Our business partners include more than 60 teams in MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and NCAA, AEG, AXS and Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement. With the acquisition of Ticketbis in August 2016, throughout the world, StubHub provides the total end-to-end event going experience. StubHub is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY). For more information on StubHub, visit or follow @StubHub on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or


Jess Erskine
Extension PR for StubHub
Maggie Hund

Release Summary

StubHub and Trendera today released the results of a new global study that demonstrate the power of live experiences on happiness and social connection.


Jess Erskine
Extension PR for StubHub
Maggie Hund