Cheaper tickets in a bid to boost live events

There’s a lot of buzz  right now around the news that LiveNation and Ticketmaster are due to lower their ticket sales in a bid to boost capacity. While this news will primarily affect commercial gigs and festivals, it’s acts as a reminder to the whole sector that having a good cultural offer only works when you have a good cost structure tied in. I also reckon it’s a sign that people are far more savvy when it comes to picking which events to go and see now- and probably a good opportunity for local authorities to organise more free festivals. Today’s news is also a reminder to ticketing agencies that he public have had enough of paying high ticket fees- a good reason for organisations with internal box office systems to publicise the fact that buying a ticket directly from a venue could be a cheaper option for arts goers.

Is ticketing the new secondary spend revenue for Apple and MySpace?

Since LiveNation and TicketMaster were given the green light in the States to merge back in January (with stipulations of course, read more here), it seems that some of the other players with strengths in the more independent and small label music promotion are making headway into the ticketing business. MySpace announced a couple of weeks ago that they were launching MySpace  Events, which will allow users to manage their upcoming events and buy tickets through third party providers, with the potential for MySpace to take a fee for the service, as long as they have a formal agreement with the ticket provider. Could this be the final part of the puzzle that saves them from the overwhelming Facebook tidal wave that’s been on the verge of englufing them?

Hot on MySpace’s heels Apple have released a patent for “Concert Ticket +” – an app which is a web based service for tickets – not only a step forward in eliminating paper based ticketing but a new dimension to the iTunes store. However, it’s been developed to have the potential to offer tickets to a whole host of events, not just music. Read more on the Patently Apple blog here.

Could these new services cross over with theatre, dance, classical music, exhibitions etc? Would these providers be interested in offering such a service to the arts beyond popular music or is someone going to go ahead and develop a rival for the cultural sector, and for the not for profit sector specifically?

With thanks to Tim Roberts and the Full Houses blog for the heads up on these stories.

Box Office help…

If you’re looking for advice, support, information etc. with your existing box office system, a new one or chosing a new one – there’s a network for you!

Boxsmart is the place for you – at just £75 a year it’s got to be invaluable… visit www.boxsmart.org – and it is incorporates all that was on Roger Tomlinson’s invaluable ticketing.org site which I think is now defunct…