Live & Touring

Ticketmaster’s Social Ticketing Deal With Facebook Radically Shifts Competitive Terrain

Live-nation-ticketmaster-logo Ticketmaster's move to more deeply integrate their interactive seat map with Facebook is not only a great competitive move for both companies but is also a real step forward in the concept of social ticketing. Given the increasing competition in the ticketing space, this move helps differentiate Ticketmaster/Live Nation's services in ways that will tilt the balance with direct competitors while giving their combined brand a much needed boost.

Ticketmaster Delivers Social Connectivity Into Interactive Seat Maps

Until now, social ticketing simply meant that ticketing services offered as many ways to allow for communication via social networks regarding ticket availability and purchase as possible. Bands could publicize their shows and fans could spread the word. This week's unveiling of a deeper integration of Ticketmaster's interactive seat map with Facebook features goes beyond anything else offered to date.

Available via both and, this new step radically improves the already successful interactive seat map that allows fans more decision making information and control while boosting the already successful use of Facebook for social features.

Now fans can reveal where they're sitting or seek out seats near where their friends or even publicly identified strangers are sitting.  A related tagging feature, similar to photo tagging on Facebook, also encourages ticket purchases.

The seat map without these new capabilities was already boosting sales with a "third of customers using the map…actually buying more — and pricier — seats." And given that sharing planned attendance with Facebook friends also boosted sales, generating "$5.30 in additional ticket revenue", a whole new level of revenue growth may be in the offing.

When one considers this possibility, along with Ticketmaster's presence in Walmart stores, Live Nation's deal with Groupon for unsold inventory and the enormous reach of the Ticketmaster/Live Nation empire, these guys are looking much stronger than they did a year ago.

Prior to these developments, TicketMaster's long-standing brand problems (i.e. people hate them) and the emergence of such direct competitors as along with disruptive innovators such as GigsWiz and EventBrite suggested an ongoing process of death by a thousand cuts.

If Ticketmaster/Live Nation can strongly increase ticket sales for their clients, which seems inevitable at this point, the companies that are situated to use their services will be much more likely to go with them as opposed to other companies. For Facebook, which consulted on this new level of integration, it means increased revenue as well as a very clear demonstration of what they can offer their clients at a time when they too are facing a wide range of competitors.

Given the major traffic ticketing companies are seeing, Ticketmaster/Live Nation may be poised to eat the lunch of numerous companies while heading for major growth.

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He is currently relaunching Flux Research to pursue his long-standing obsession with web business models. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. it’s definitely a nifty new feature, but I’m not sure it “Radically Shifts Competitive Terrain.” TM has been slow to add any significant or innovative social features to their service. It’s a step in the right direction for sure, and it’s cool to see them do something others have not yet done.
    That said, I think they could do a lot more to simply get people to share concerts they plan to attend. I made this argument with a dig at their confirmation page a while back. It includes a whole lot of wasted space and crappy ad units that don’t serve concert fans.
    I would love to see them integrate some other services that concert fans use for these purposes (or at least replicate them). Why not add the “I’m going” or “I might go” buttons that Songkick has on all of its event pages? Seems like low-hanging fruit with potential for a great social return (and much less dev. work!). They could make it even more viral by adding some rewards components to give fans more incentives to share.

  2. I hear what you’re saying, especially about the confirmation page, but it is a big move and they’re the first to do it. And they will make more money off it, especially as groups of people start to use it.
    The group aspect is something that I haven’t really seen exploited by ticket companies except for buying batches of tickets. But this sets up a variety of psychological incentives for moving people to purchase tickets when groups are involved.
    Of course, other major ticketing companies may be working on similar projects with Facebook which will even things out with more direct competitors.
    The innovative disruptors, as opposed to disruptors in the everyday sense, will continue to undermine big companies like Ticketmaster in ways they’ll find difficult to handle. Though that might lead to acquisitions of smaller ticketing firms that are more appropriate to smaller events.

  3. I certainly see the potential of this improving the group dynamic for ticket-buying in the future, but I don’t see it being all THAT useful as it exists right now. From the demo video, it just looks to me like you can see other friends that already bought tickets to the same show. It’s definitely fun, but in practice, will it really add that much value? How many of your friends do you really expect to find at an arena show?
    Also, you said “And they will make more money off it, especially as groups of people start to use it.”
    How? It’s not group-buying. They might find some ways to incorporate that concept at some point, but that’s not what this does.
    Overall, I recognize that adding virality to ticketing process can def. help boost sales. Ticketfly and Eventbrite have been proving that concept for years. But TM could achieve that goal in many easier ways (as I stated above). Plus, this feature doesn’t really seem to add that much virality unless there’s some kind of auto-posting feature for your purchase.
    So, again, it’s fun and kinda nifty, but doesn’t seem all that useful in practice.

  4. I also wonder how often my friends will be going to the same event I want to go to. Even if they are and I know where they are sitting what are the odds Ticket Master will still have tickets any where near them?

  5. Thanks for the comments. I think what you’re both saying, whitperson and Maybe Interesting?, relates to why I think this is a great step forward.
    By the time a group does arena shows, they have a pretty intense following and it will include some people that might want to connect at shows or use shows to reconnect, especially as time passes.
    So let’s say someone’s been connecting with old friends through Facebook and a band that everyone loves in that network is doing a tour that might inspire some road trips for, say, New Year’s at Red Rocks.
    This feature allows them to at least target the same section of the stadium or venue so that it’s easier to reconnect and, ideally, to even sit together and party together.
    Given that it’s not a block of tickets, that puts extra pressure on everyone to buy tickets as soon as possible and increase the likelihood of being able to all be together.
    That’s one example of the kind of psychological encouragement to buy as early as possible that is built into this product. And that would also give people less time to think of reasons not to go!
    Considering that situation, I’m sure you could come up with other examples of groups that might want to buy seats together from longtime college sports fans to folks attending an event with an affinity group, including sororities, drinking buddies and church groups.
    I’ve been in bars more than once that are frequented by regulars with similar musical interests when someone has piped up that a certain band popular with that scene is coming to town. Often a few of those folks started making plans to go together. This new feature will encourage and probably increase such activity.

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