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Amazon planning to “disrupt” global ticketing industry

By | Published on Wednesday 23 November 2016


Amazon seems set to ramp up its operations in the ticketing space, given a series of job ads spotted by Recode, one of which said the new appointments were part of an effort to “position Amazon Tickets as the world’s premier destination for purchasing tickets”.

Amazon first started dabbling in ticket sales in the UK last year, initially selling theatre tickets and subsequently moving into music and comedy events. The new recruitment drive seems to be part of a bid to expand the ticketing business into other European and Asian markets, while some new ticketing hires at the firm’s HQ in Seattle could also mean ambitions in the American market too.

Recode notes that one posting outlines an ambition to shake up the ticketing business, saying: “Our vision goes beyond just selling tickets as we aim to disrupt the entire live entertainment experience, including what happens before, during and after the show. The ticketing business is ripe for innovation and improvement, as much of the industry has not fundamentally changed since the 1970s”.

There have been plenty of start-ups in recent years seeking to shake up the ticketing market, of course, usually by providing a more user-friendly experience, especially on mobile, as well as offering consumers recommendations and added value extras, and concert promoters better data and anti-tout services.

Though taking on the big traditional ticketing companies is tricky, partly because of long-term relationships between certain venues and promoters and certain ticket agents, not to mention the fact the biggest promoter Live Nation – which is also a key player in venue and artist management, of course – happens to own Ticketmaster.

Plus many promoters of bigger shows, while liking data and a user-friendly sales platform, often like more the ticket agent with the biggest mailing list, or the one willing and able to advance the most money on unsold tickets. Which gives the advantage to ticketing companies with long histories and big pockets.

That said, Amazon has a very big mailing list indeed, and great data about those consumer’s music purchases, and if necessary pretty big pockets too. Plus it seems likely the company could integrate its expanding ticketing operation with its Prime membership scheme and its new Music Unlimited streaming service. So, maybe it could cause some disruption after all.