Buy tickets for concerts on TV with the new Comcast and Ticketmaster feature

Comcast and Ticketmaster are rolling out a feature to let Xfinity X1 customers search tour dates and begin the ticket buying process directly through their televisions — using voice search on their remotes. The feature’s launch coincides with the first tickets going on sale for Kelly Clarkson’s new tour.

If users speak “Kelly Clarkson tour” into their voice remote, they’re sent to a dedicated Kelly Clarkson destination (which, surprisingly, isn’t a purgatory of bland pop power ballads).

To be clear, customers can’t actually complete an order using the voice tool. Instead they can get set to this destination where they will receive a prompt to buy tickets and then opt in to receive a text with a code that will enable them to buy tickets online. If that sounds like an incredibly circuitous and unwieldy process to find tickets to concerts nearby for artists someone likes, that’s because it is.
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British Airways breach caused by credit card skimming malware, researchers say

A security firm says credit card skimming malware installed by hackers on British Airways’ website a few months ago was to blame for a data breach of over 380,000 credit cards. Payments through the airline’s website and mobile app were stolen over the three week period, but a key clue was that travel information wasn’t affected. Yonathan Klijnsma, a threat researcher at RiskIQ, suspected it might be the same group that was behind the Ticketmaster breach, in which hackers targeted a third-party that loaded code on Ticketmaster’s various sites. From there, it could siphon off thousands of transactions. This time, Klijnsma said the group took an even more “highly targeted approach,” describing a wave of attacks that the “Magecart” collective has used to steal thousands of records from various sites in recent months. “This British Airways attack was just an extension of this campaign,” he said, prior to the
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Ticketmaster’s chatbot for Facebook is actually not terrible

 A lot of chatbots have launched on Facebook in recent months, but the Ticketmaster bot launching today is among the best that I’ve been forced to work with. Normally I avoid reaching out to businesses through Facebook (it still doesn’t seem like a natural channel to me), but there’s real utility in Ticketmaster’s bot if you’re willing to give up a certain amount… Read More

Ticketing’s distributed future is not only good for fans, it’s already happening

Mobile Boarding pass on a smart phone and ticket scanner at the airport. Photo: Thomas Winz/Lonely Planet Images Since the dawn of consumer history, tickets have been a product defined by scarcity and lack of accessibility. The result is an abysmal category user experience that’s most often talked about with undertones of anger, skepticism and distrust. For evidence of scarcity in action, look no further than the World Series between the Cubs and Indians, which is the most expensive we’ve… Read More

New ticketing technologies will open more doors to live entertainment

25545258533_886f91b068_k Teams and artists aren’t able to manage their businesses effectively, e.g. they cannot move prices in real-time in response to changes in supply and demand (closed ticketing systems don’t expose the APIs necessary for real-time pricing, a practice that is standard in other industries). It’s no wonder that when you add all this up, legacy ticketing is one of the most… Read More

Ticktate cuts out Ticketmaster to save you money on concert tickets

concert -- stubhub
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Remember the last time you went to a concert and you got irritated because you had to pay a $12 Ticketmaster fee on a $35 ticket? If only you could have made it to the box office yourself. A new startup called Ticktate from Berkeley, California is offering to make that trip for you. You shop for the tickets in the app, and then when the ticket is picked up, Ticktate converts it into an electronic ticket that can be scanned from your phone on the night of the show. Here’s a real-world example. Danzig is playing at the Warfield here in
Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 3.15.37 PM
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Ticketmaster responds to StubHub lawsuit, denies it forced NBA fans to resell tickets on its own platform

Ticketing titan Ticketmaster has responded to the anti-competition lawsuit initiated by rival StubHub, callling the case “baseless” and entirely “without merit.” News emerged yesterday that eBay-owned StubHub was taking action to stop what it calls “unfair and illegal anti-competitive business practices that prevent fans from deciding how they want to resell their tickets and which artificially drive up ticket prices.” The problem, according to StubHub, is that NBA basketball team the Golden State Warriors has inked an exclusive deal to push Ticketmaster as the official secondary ticketing platform, where fans who can no longer attend a game can sell their tickets. That in itself is fine, but StubHub says that the Ticketmaster and the Golden State Warriors have issued warnings and cancelled some fans’ tickets who have elected to use StubHub and “other competitive exchanges” to shift tickets they no longer require. “Ticketmaster and the Warriors’ front office broke the law by unlawfully threatening fans with cancellation to force them to use Ticketmaster’s resale exchange exclusively,” part of the complaint read. In response, Jared Smith, president of Ticketmaster in North America, denies that Ticketmaster has forced any customer to use a particular platform to resell tickets — and he even has a dig at StubHub, aligning the secondary-ticketing platform with scalpers and fraudsters. “We are disappointed that StubHub has filed a baseless lawsuit that asks the courts to help prop up its business against true fan-friendly competition,” says Smith, in a statement obtained by VentureBeat. “NBA teams like the Golden State Warriors have implemented ticket exchanges powered by Ticketmaster because they want ticket resale to be a secure experience, not an opportunity for scalping and fraud. The exchanges are growing in popularity because Ticketmaster and its partners have worked hard to make ticket resale much safer and more transparent, uniquely serving true fans. Ticketmaster does not force any customer to resell tickets on any particular platform and will vigorously defend these specious charges.” It’s interesting that Ticketmaster has specifically denied that it hasn’t forced any customer to use its own platform to resell tickets, rather than pointing to any contractual obligation that may stipulate that fans must use Ticketmaster to sell unwanted tickets. This perhaps partly acknowledges that if any such “forceful” actions had taken place, that it may indeed be in breach of anti-competition laws. But it also serves to direct any existing blame back towards the NBA team itself, which will have to issue a separate rebuttal of StubHub’s allegations itself.  

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Stubhub files lawsuit against Ticketmaster and NBA basketball team over ‘anti-competitive business practices’

Stubhub, the eBay-owned secondary ticket marketplace for live events, has announced that it’s filing a lawsuit against fellow ticketing company Ticketmaster and NBA basketball team the Golden State Warriors. The suit seeks to stop “unfair and illegal anti-competitive business practices that prevent fans from deciding how they want to resell their tickets and which artificially drive up ticket prices,” according to the Stubhub statement. As the official primary and secondary ticketing partner of the NBA since 2007, Ticketmaster has tighty aligned itself with U.S. basketball for a while already. But it’s the secondary element to the deal that is key here — it means that basketball fans who buy tickets on Ticketmaster but subsequently can’t attend the game, can sell their tickets through the team’s website using Ticketmaster’s Ticketexchange service. Founded out of San Francisco in 2000 by former Stanford Business School students and investment bankers, Stubhub became a major force in the online ticketing space throughout the noughties, which led to its acquisition by eBay in a $310 million deal back in 2007. Its core raison d’être is the “secondary” market — a place for people to resell tickets to any live events. While Stubhub is used legitimately by people to reclaim their money for events they can no longer attend, it has also garnered a reputation as a platform for scalpers — ABC recently said it has become the “ticket scalper of the digital age, the ultimate middleman to shake up the way people interact to buy and sell tickets to almost any concert, theater performance or sporting event.” And this is where the crux of the problem sits for Stubhub in its gripe against Ticketmaster and Golden State Warriors. As per the lawsuit, which you can read in full here, Ticketmaster and the Golden State Warriors cancelled fans’ season tickets and playoff-game tickets when they elected to use Stubhub and “other competitive exchanges” to resell their tickets. “Ticketmaster and the Warriors’ front office broke the law by unlawfully threatening fans with cancellation to force them to use Ticketmaster’s resale exchange exclusively,” the complaint reads. In effect, Stubhub is accusing Ticketmaster of being monopolistic — and this isn’t the first time such accusations have been levied against Ticketmaster. Before its merger with venue operator Live Nation, many bodies voiced their concern that it would reduce competition, and also lead to Ticketmaster favoring Live Nation venues over ones that elect to use alternative ticketing companies. Such actions were forbidden, however, as part of the eventual green light this deal was given in 2010.
It will be interestig to see how this one plays out. On the one hand, the Golden State Warriors does have an exclusive secondary ticketing deal with Ticketmaster, but on the other Stubhub points to anti-competition law which it says is being broken here. It’s likely there will be many more twists and turns before this arrives at an amicable conclusion.

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Eventjoy’s New App For Event Goers Adds Real-Time Chat, Live Announcements And More

app-preview Eventjoy, the event management platform and Y Combinator graduate that was quickly snatched up by Ticketmaster last fall, is today releasing a new version of its mobile application for event attendees that’s more of an overhaul than an upgrade. The new application introduces a number of unique, new features, including the ability for event attendees to chat in real-time with event… Read More

Y Combinator-backed Eventjoy joins Ticketmaster

Y Combinator-backed Eventjoy joins Ticketmaster
Image Credit: Live performance image via Shutterstock

After acquiring Belgian ticketing company yesterday, Ticketmaster has bought one more: Eventjoy, a little startup that provides do-it-yourself tools for event organizers. Although it’s joining Ticketmaster, the company will continue to operate and support its products. In its announcement, Eventjoy writes:

With this partnership, we’ll have access to more resources so we can develop Eventjoy even faster and empower a larger number of people to put on their own events.

So what does this mean for you? You’ll have more tools and an even better product to organize and experience amazing events. We’re going to continue focusing on building a mobile and social events platform and are excited for you to continue along with us throughout the journey.

Back by Y Combinator, Eventjoy built a mobile-first suite of tools for event organizers that includes online ticketing, event websites, event mobile apps (iOS and Android), analytics, social media, and attendee communications. It’s bit like a cross between Eventbrite and Bizzabo, if you will. In turn, the custom websites and apps that Evenjoy creates can make an event’s experience much more enjoyable for attendees as they can find maps, agendas, and so on from a quick and easy point of access. They can also communicate with other attendees. Eventjoy got its start during a Startup Weekend, and after catching that organization’s attention, was subsequently used for 14 Startup Weekend events. Eventjoy was founded by Karl White and Todd Goldberg, and is based in Menlo Park, Calif. It participated in Y Combinator’s Winter 2014 batch.

The story of Live Nation Labs: how the event giant got its very own startup to prep for music’s future

How do streaming services with millions of tracks impact live events? And what about folks that don't have time for concerts, but still love live music? LiveNation has its very own startup to find answers. The story of Live Nation Labs: how the event giant got its very own startup to prep for music’s future originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014.
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Ticketfly Cuts Deal With Top Canadian Concert Promoter And Buys Prime Box Office To Go International

Ticketfly Canada

Ticketmaster has a new challenger in Canada. U.S. ticketing platform Ticketfly today entered its first international market by striking a deal with Canada’s largest independent concert promotion company Union Events, and acquiring Canadian ticketer Prime Box Office. Ticketfly’s CEO and co-founder tells me the moves will bring lower service fees and better tech to Canadian ticket buying.

Ticketfly’s platform provides venues and concert promoters with a stable platform for selling tickets that can handle huge traffic spikes when popular shows go on sale. It also lets them cheaply market their shows on multiple social networks simultaneously and monitor analytics to make sure their concerts sell out.

The startup was co-founded by Dreskin who previously started TicketWeb, built it into a serious U.S. player, and then sold it to Ticketmaster. Now he’s back at it with Ticketfly, and is relying on efficient software to go head to head with his old employer. Ticketfly grew its total funding to $37 million by recently raising a $22 million Series C to enter the sports ticketing market, prep for an IPO, and pay for its expansion beyond the United States.

Dreskin says “We’re certainly interested in international. Canada is a logical first step.” When pressed where it might look next, Dreskin said there was room in South America and Asia but declined to lay out a roadmap, noting “We’re examining all international opportunities.”

Handling ticketing for Union Events, one of the world’s top 50 concert promoters and the largest independently-owned one in Canada, will certainly get Ticketfly’s foot in the door. The Calgary-headquartered company has a solid presence in the rock and dance music scenes. Ticketfly has also partnered with another promoter, Toronto’s Collective Concerts, who handles all of top Canuck band Arcade Fire’s Canadian shows.

Union Events’ director Harvey Cohen says “Ticketfly’s integrated platform and detailed analytics help us to save time, better market our events and sell more tickets.”

To bolster its connections with venues in Canada, Ticketfly also acquired regional Calgary ticketing company Prime Box Office. Its president Greg Stephenson is now Ticketfly’s director of sales for Alberta. Also joining the Ticketfly team is Bruce Morrison, former head of sales for  prestigious Toronto venue the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts.

Despite Canada being a highly wired nation active on social networks who will buy and share tickets online, Ticketfly has a tough road ahead. Dreskin admits Ticketmaster is a “well-entrenched incumbent competitor.” He says convincing venues to go with Ticketfly’s software which he considers more modern and flexible “will be a process of education.” Ticketmaster’s long venue contracts and connections to musicians through Live Nation Entertainment who it merged with 2010 make it hard to disrupt.

Ticketfly has one weapon for winning the hearts and minds of Canadians, though. Dreskin says “The service fees for Union Events and Collective Concerts will both be cheaper than they were before.”

Ticketfly Challenges Ticketmaster, Tackles 3X Bigger Market By Now Helping Venues Sell Reserved Seats

Ticketfly ticketmaster Done

Ticketmaster could get away with high service fees because it’s one of the few ticketing options for huge venues, but not anymore. Ticketfly can now power sales for any reserved seating venue, not just general admission shows, with today’s relaunch of its ticketing platform. Considering 70% of advanced event ticket sales in North America are for reserved seats, this triples Ticketfly’s addressable market.

Along with the freedom to ditch Ticketmaster, Ticketfly’s social tools for efficiently marketing tickets on Facebook and Twitter are now available to concert halls, arenas, and sports stadiums that are too big for GA free-for-alls. And this could all mean lower ticket service fees for you.

Ticketfly considers itself a software company first — and a high-performing and fast-growing one at that. The 500 venues it powers saw a 17% increase in their tickets sold last year compared to the industry average of 3% growth. It doubled its client base in 2011 and is up another 65% so far in 2012 with only around 100 employees.

The Ticketfly software-as-a-service lets venues quickly map out a visual model of their general admission or reserved seat floor plans.  Venue managers can set different prices and whether fans can pick their seats or only buy the “best available, and instantly put their show up for sale on stable platform that won’t crash when hundreds of thousands of people rush to purchase Radiohead, Lady Gaga, or Rolling Stones tickets.

Rather than having to rebuild their seat map for each show, venues can reuse templates. Ticketfly clients can also edit prices and add seats on the fly (har har). For comparison, Ticketfly’s co-founder and CEO Andrew Dreskin says his competitor Ticketmaster’s platform takes days to create an event, and venues have to start from scratch to change prices and seating options. I’m awaiting a response from Ticketmaster on that claim, though Dreskin should have good insight considering he sold his last company Ticketweb to Ticketmaster a few years ago.

Reserved venues that partner with Ticketfly and pay it a fee per ticket will also get access to its social marketing tools. These let venues automatically create Facebook events for their shows, schedule tweets to promote them, and quickly generate email marketing blasts.

The Facebook integration includes deep hooks into Facebook’s Open Graph so a user can automatically RSVP to the Facebook event, publish to the Ticker and Timeline that they’re attending, or Like artists on the bill. Ticketfly clients also get analytics about which channels are driving sales so they can spend their marketing dollars in the right place.

Ticketfly still has a lot of work to do. It can’t handle season ticket sales, ticket subscriptions, or donations which it will need to serve performing arts and sports events. It also lacks Ticketmaster’s  awesome concert recommendations based on your Spotify and other music streaming listening habits. And it doesn’t yet allow buyers to see where their friends are sitting so they can buy seats next to them, which you can do on Ticketmaster. Expect that in an upcoming Ticketfly product update, though.

It’s going to be an uphill battle to displace the domineering Live Nation / Ticketmaster. Most huge venues have signed three year contracts with Ticketmaster, so Ticketfly will only get a shot to steal 1/3 of them away each year. But if it can focus on efficiency, affordable rates, and powerful marketing tools that let venues sell more tickets at lower prices, event promoters will hopefully pass the savings on to their customers. It might even force its Ticketmaster to lower its fees to compete.

So if you don’t feel gouged the next time you buy a concert ticket, you can thank technology!

PRO: Social media in Q1: commerce and discovery dominated

Media issues like advertising and discovery along with commerce dominated the activity in social and real-time Web technologies during the first quarter of 2012. Google raised some hackles, Facebook responded to demands from traditional advertisers, and Yahoo got a new chief executive. The quarter also saw Pinterest, the newest social media star, showing signs of staying power; it is starting to be a force in content discovery. This report examines these trends and more, as well as provides a near-term outlook for the next 12 to 18 months.

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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