By opening up its application program interface to Bandsintown (the first of several planned integrations with different partners), Ticketmaster hopes to solve the industry’s nagging problem, which North American President, Jared Smith, said was ignorance of an event.
“We’ve been partnering with a bunch of people like Bandsintown to drive that awareness,” of events, said Smith.
Bandsintown now reaches 23 million registered users with about two-thirds of that audience in North America, according to chief executive Fabrice Sergent.
“We have awareness problems in all those key categories so we partner with sites that have audiences that are complimentary to our own,” said Smith.
The Bandsintown ticketing integration is going to make the process of buying a ticket much easier, according to both men, by integrating Ticketmaster’s payment options with Bandsintown’s discovery platform for local shows.
“We believe this integration is a big step forward by allowing users to stay within the app,” rather than have to navigate to a website to complete their purchases, said Smith.
“Being mobile first and enabling the transaction to happen one-click away from the app is a key progress,” said Sergent. “That will have a significant impact and a positive impact for the app users.”
By Ticketmaster’s rough estimates (based on early beta testing the company did with the app) conversion rates could jump by 5 times, Smith said.
Sergent said the app serves up 7 million local would-be concert goers to local venues, but that conversion of those browsers could be better.
The Bandsintown integration is the first, but not the last, of the API integrations that the events ticketing company has planned.
“We’re not opening the floodgates all at once,” said Smith. “We’re going to roll out those partnerships incrementally.” Down the road, a user could see a TicketMaster integration with something like GoldStar or Groupon, according to Smith.
“From a TicketMaster side, we’re looking at it in two ways,” Smith said. “Historically we’ve been a single channel seller and this is a way to be an open channel seller. Roughly 75% to 80% of fans are using their mobile device to discover the events that they want to go to. So this is a big bet on the commerce side.”
On the other side, it also opens up new channels for TicketMaster to communicate with customers. “We’ve been doing a lot of investments in our own applications and SDKs for delivering the ticket through the mobile device and identify and engage with fans as they go on to concerts.”
Down the road, TicketMaster could be a one-stop shop for the concert-going experience handling sales of everything from tickets to concessions to merchandise.
“Ticketing is largely anonymous,” says Smith. “Jon buys four tickets and I don’t know if Jon is even the one who has come to the event or not.” Using mobile ticketing, TicketMaster wants to know whose phone is at the door and how TicketMaster can shape a personalized experience based on that knowledge.
Here’s how the new service will work:
Users simply open up the Bandsintown app in Android or iOS. Find the event details for whatever show you want to see (from Beyonce and Bieber to Yanni and Zamfir — Master of the Pan Flute) and then tap to buy a ticket. For now, users still need to enter their credit card information, but there’ll be integrations with all of the various wallets out there to make checkout even easier, according to Smith.
The verified ticketing feature will start appearing on Bandsintown listings before the end of this month, and the two companies expect to add multiple artists as time goes by.