I was wondering when I would hear about AEG battling back in the ticket wars. There was no way they were going to let their competitor Live Nation control their tickets. In today’s Wall Street Journal there is an article about AEG getting into the biz.
AEG has teamed up with Outbox Technology to sell tickets in all of their venues. This is about 105 venues. Outbox is being led by Fred Rosen. For all you young marketers out there, he is the man who made Ticketmaster huge in the 80’s and 90’s. At the time, he was one of the most powerful guys in the live entertainment business. Looks like he is on his way back!
AEG teaming up with Outbox is a good thing. It is good for venues, promoters, and the public. This is what the Justice Department hoped would happen. Competition is always good. While I’m not sure how this will affect ticket fees and service charges, I do believe this will advance ticket technology. It will improve the way our customers can buy tickets. This world today is all about the customer experience. Anything that helps the experience is worth it.
Ticketing today is so different than the old days. When I first started in the business, most venues did not have Ticketmaster or Ticketron. Most used “hard” ticketing. This was paper tickets that were printed at a ticket printing company. Each event and performance had to be printed separately with every seat printed. You then had to count every single ticket to make sure they were all there. Then you “racked” them and sold them. Think about 10 performances of just one family show. You either sold them in person or on the phone. If you wanted to use an outlet, you had consignment tickets at the outlet. You hoped they would account for them correctly. At the end of every event or performance you had to count all the unsold tickets to make sure the money and the drop count matched.
Aren’t you glad with have today’s ticket technology?