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Tickets Goin' Mobile

09:01 AM Thursday 4/2/09 | |

Three new services promise to take ticketing to the next level by delivering ducats directly to cell phones.

Ticketmaster Entertainment, Tickets.com and Canada’s Rogers Communications have each developed mobile ticketing operations for the consumer-on-the-go.

Starting this month, U.S. and Canadian BlackBerry users will be able to purchase tickets from Ticketmaster on their cell phones, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, Tickets.com will hook up baseball fans with tickets starting with the April 10 home opener for the Oakland A’s.

Then there’s Rogers Communications and its Wireless Box Office, a new service delivering tickets for Live Nation shows to the company’s cellular customers in Canada. Clearly the days are numbered for hold-in-your-hand tickets.

Why mobile tickets?

The short answer is the smart phone, as in Blackberries and iPhones. With more people opting for smart phones over basic mobiles, suddenly there’s a large chunk of the cellular market using their handsets for things other than making phone calls. With larger screens and more interactive capabilities, smart phones are just the thing for mobile e-commerce, as in buying tickets.

Furthermore, according to the Journal, mobile ticketing is just what Major League Baseball needs. With more than 81 home games on sale, the MLB is looking toward cell phones for making many of those day-of-game, last-minute sales.

For Rogers Communications customers, the procedure is simple enough. Using your cell phone’s Web browser, access the Wireless Box Office, find the concert you want to attend and buy the tickets. Moments later, a ticket will arrive in your phone’s message area.

That’s right. One ticket. Specifically, one Mobile Ticket, which represents your purchase, regardless of how many tickets you actually buy. Purchase two tickets for, say, Travis at the Sound Academy in Toronto on April 21 through the Wireless Box Office and you’ll receive one Mobile Ticket good for admitting two for the show.

Wireless Box Office users never print out a ticket. Instead, they bring their cell phones to the Rogers Preferred Ticket entrance at the venue where an agent will scan Mobile Tickets on the handhelds. Ticketmaster and Tickets.com are expected to have similar operations where neither users nor ticket takers actually touch a physical ticket.

“The challenge is not all the digital technology in delivering the ticket,” Forrester Research Chief Analyst Charles Golvin told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s getting through the gate.”

Click here for the Wall Street Journal article (subscription may be required).

Click here for Rogers Communications' Wireless Box Office.

Comments

  1. angie wrote:

    10:34 AM, Apr 03, 2009

    I do love my phone, and I do live for purchasing concert tickets until my white-knuckle grip on finances is devastatingly dry, but like astan51 said... What happens if you delete the message? Will the tickets be easier to get than they have been? I, too, keep my ticket stubs and wouldn't want to lose that.

    I dunno, sometimes technology thinks it's doing well, until it crashes and burns. The only way I'll even consider this, however, is if the fees go down significantly. Let's see what happens....

  2. Kansashillbilly wrote:

    08:45 AM, Apr 03, 2009

    The question I have is, "How do you deal with the exceptions when the people arrive at the door and the ticket doesn't scan?  How are you able to prove it WAS actually purchased?  Where does it show up anywhere else on the system?  Does it create a separate line at the ticket office just to deal with problem cases.  Sounds like it will make every venue very hard line about admittance.  Customer service may suffer along with the individual patron, whom everyone needs to cultivate.  Should be interesting.

  3. ilinds wrote:

    02:05 PM, Apr 02, 2009

    I'm definitely down for purchasing tickets on my phone.  However, like astan51, I like to keep my stubs as a memento.  I have concert tickets dating back to my first one in 1990.  I would be willing to take part in this if there's an option to also have it sent to email for printing/saving...especially if ticket fees are reduced.

    I just spent $600 on four sets of tickets on Saturday and 40% of that is fees.  By the time I would drive to the major outdoor ampitheater, I would have eaten the money I would save by purchasing at the box office in gas for the drive itself!  Live Nation is killing my 2009 concert season.

    ...and if my phone is stolen or lost.  Does the person who finds it get a free admission to the show on my dime?  ...and ticket brokers-what about those who buy in bulk and jack up the price to sell for sold out shows?  I guess this would be good as an OPTION for concert-goers...those who plan to keep their phone affixed to their body, are completely able to not accidentally delete the message and who don't care to keep the memento.

    But it's not for me.

  4. astan51 wrote:

    10:24 AM, Apr 02, 2009

    this sounds like a cool idea but what about this concerns:

    1. you mistake or mishap the msg with the ticket info is deleted

    2. scalpers will not go for this and since artist now sell to scalpers i dont see how this will work

    3. will fees go down since there is no printing or shipping?

    4. i like to keep tickets as a momento, this ruins that



Artists Mentioned in this article