Ticket Technology War Escalates

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• August 24, 2011

Touring is big business and filling the seats in a club or a giant stadium starts with one transaction—the ticket sale. The service charges that are collected from the sale of tickets is also big business. Ticketmaster, owned by Live Nation Entertainment is the big dog in this market, currently dominating ticket sales at venues worldwide. But AEG, another concert promotion giant is set to unveil its own offering, Axs Ticketing, in an effort to capture some of the lucrative ticket fees for itself.

The ticket market is sure to become a battleground as Ticketmaster and now AEG fight for marketshare. The competition began as a result of the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger last year when the Justice Department called for additional ticket outlets to be created as a merger condition.

AEG’s Axs Ticketing
This new service, according to the Wall Street Journal, is set to begin selling seats at two Denver venues, the Ogden Theatre and the Bluebird Theater. Soon, two AEG-owned theaters in San Francisco will be added and by the end of 2012 all 100 of AEG’s venues—such as the Staples Center in L.A. and O2 in London—will utilize Axs. The ticketing software was built by Outbox enterprises and has been about a year and a half in development. Axs will place tickets on its website and on venue websites.

Ticketmaster Gets Facebook Enhancement
Further raising the ticketing bar, Ticketmaster is set to introduce a new interactive Facebook-driven feature that allows ticket buyers to see where their Friends are sitting.

According to Mashable, “With the upgrade, Facebook members can now connect their accounts to view a Facebook-infused event seat map that highlights where friends are sitting with miniature Facebook flags. The feature is live for more than 9,000 events on Ticketmaster and Live Nation sites. The interactive seat maps experience is now designed to help Facebook users see where their friends are sitting, purchase nearby tickets, tag themselves into their seats, nudge their Facebook friends to do the same and share their seats with friends on Facebook.”

“We studied the way people bought tickets,” says Kip Levin Ticketmaster EVP of eCommerce told Mashable. “People said they would buy tickets …because they knew where their friends were sitting.”

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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