Buying a ticket to a live event, be it sports, music, or theater, is a piece of cake on the Web. There are online services galore that help users find and purchase tickets at their desired price. But does the price you pay actually equate to the true value of the ticket? Put differently, could a ticket for a different location in the same venue for the same price (or even less) be the better one? Say hello to SeatKarma.com which believes that the true value of a ticket is a combination of its price and its location in the venue. The company’s tagline: “No two tickets are the same!”
SeatKarma’s search engine covers 99% of tickets available for purchase online by retrieving live ticket information from a couple of hundred secondary market ticket brokers. The cost comparison is then augmented with venue mapping available for approximately 1600 venues. 1300 of these are “live maps” which place a marker on the section where the seat will be located. The remaining 300 are small venues such as bars where seat mapping doesn’t apply. The company claims it now has more live maps than any other comparison engine on the market.
SeatKarma has a really cool feature where 140 venues in its system have actual “Court View” photos of the perspective you’ll have of the court or field from your desired seating location. These 140 venues include all the US professional sports venues for the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, as well as the some of the top NCAA football venues.
There are also twenty 3D maps that were custom drawn for theater venues with complicated seating arrangements (balconies, Mezzanine levels, etc). More will be added over time. Eventually SeatKarma plans to have all the major venues drawn in 3D as well. Baseball stadiums are also currently being mapped in 3D and are due to be available on the site in time for the start of the new baseball season April 1st.
The company’s business model is based on affiliate commissions generated by selling tickets through brokers. Ten percent of the revenue will be given to charity every month.
Here’s the killer part: SeatKarma is just a couple of MBA graduate students from Texas A&M University—Ohad Nezer and Chris Nicolaysen—that pulled all of this off for only $30K… You just gotta love that!