Monday, February 11, 2013

(BN) Ticketmaster Seeks Mobile Growth With Digital Ticketing

(Bloomberg ) Live Nation Entertainment Inc.'s Ticketmaster will allow purchased tickets to be transferred digitally as it accommodates more customers using mobile devices to book shows and seeks to boost sales and advertising.

A customer buying tickets in North America to share with friends will be able to send the bookings directly to the recipients, providing a more convenient alternative than printing out the ticket stubs to distribute, Los Angeles-based Ticketmaster said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

A service for users on desktop computers will be made available before it is offered as a free feature in the first half on a mobile application for both Apple Inc.'s iPhone and devices running Google Inc.'s Android operating system. The feature will work for tickets purchased physically and electronically.

Ticketmaster, the world's biggest ticket retailer, is making transactions easier for the growing number of customers with mobile devices. Michael Rapino, chief executive officer of Live Nation, last month forecast mobile device bookings will increase this year to 10 percent to 14 percent of total sales from 7 percent in 2012.

"Now it's all about mobility," Rapino said in an interview yesterday. "This elevates the ease of buying on mobile and distributing to friends and takes that clunky process of mailing a printout to friends out of the equation."

To send tickets, customers log in to their Ticketmaster account, select the tickets for the event to be shared, enter the name and e-mail address of the recipients and click the "transfer tickets" button. After a transfer, the original ticket's barcode is invalidated and a digital ticket is issued with a new code, enabling a transfer whether it's a paper, print-at-home or digital format, the company said.

'Casual Buyer'

"For the casual buyer thinking of going to a show, debating whether to press the buy button, the shorter and faster we can make that process on mobile will be good for business," Rapino also said.

Ticketmaster is about halfway through a $50 million modernization that will reduce the company's costs in North America by 35 cents a ticket. The redesign also targets increasing Ticketmaster's 10 percent control of the $4 billion ticket resale market, dominated by EBay Inc.'s StubHub, Rapino has said.

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