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Fans continue to vent their anger online about being unable to get face value tickets for many concerts, sporting events and popular shows and most of their disdain is directed towards scalpers (or ‘touts’ for our UK readers). However, is it fair that professional scalpers selling tickets in the resale market should be singled out for criticism by the fans?
Event ticketing can be an emotional subject for many fans who are willing to pay huge premiums to see their favorite sports teams or music artists.
The rapid development of technology over recent years has seen the numbers of consumers with smart phones soar, which in turn has led to the rise of mobile ticketing applications such as StubNut and a rise in the use of e-tickets.
Since 2007, New York state law has allowed the resale of tickets for profit; however, the law that legalized such resale expires this month, forcing the state legislature to reexamine the rules governing the secondary ticket market.
Harry Truman famously expressed a desire to consult only with "one-armed economists". Our 33rd President wasn't fond of counsel that began "On the one hand, this…" and was followed by "On the other hand, that…" Truman wanted straight talk without equivocation.
So, here is a bit of economic straight talk from the data vaults of TRG Arts. Forget everything you learned in that Econ 101 class you took in undergraduate school. You can also forget what you learned at Business School. It doesn't apply to tickets.
A few years ago, my husband and business partner returned from a networking meeting charged up about what he called "Facebook Bucks." He'd spoken with a leading credit card loyalty program provider, who was in early discussions with Facebook about moving their stream of commerce and points-based purchases to the social media giant. He's a true visionary, and he said, "This is where it's going. People are going to spend billions in that environment within the scope of several years."
It was at least a year later that we launched our Facebook Ticketing application that allowed for ticketing sales to happen on Facebook — not a link, or an iFrame, but an application, like Farmville — that is fully branded to the company, directly interfaced with the ticketing system, and secured. We watched with interest as other companies scrambled to launch their own version, and chuckled a little when Ticketmaster, the venerable ticketing giant, announced their version at INTIX this past January 2012.
Earlier this year, consumers were surprised and enraged when Uber, a company that allows users to order car services through a smartphone application, charged many times the standard rate on New Year's Eve ("Disruptions: Taxi Supply and Demand, Priced by the Mile," The New York Times, Jan. 8, 2012). This practice, commonly called "dynamic pricing," is expected when you book airline tickets, hotel rooms and is increasingly common in sports ticketing; however it is quickly moving beyond those core industries to enter segments such as electricity consumption, car services, parking spaces and toll lanes.
In professional sports, dynamic pricing means that a weekend game against a league leader will likely be more expensive than a weekday game against a lesser opponent. For electricity, dynamic pricing means that energy consumption in the middle of a hot summer afternoon will be more expensive than at night when most people are asleep. For Uber, dynamic pricing means that a ride on a major holiday is more expensive than your average weekday. Prices can rise and fall multiple times a day or week, based on the market.
It's been coming for weeks and the signs have been everywhere - commercials on TV, appropriately themed baked goods, shelves lined with more cards than anyone could ever possibly read, and of course, heart shaped objects as far as the eye can see.
After weeks of anticipation, Valentine's Day has finally arrived.
In 2012, I see so many opportunities for the ticketing industry that I barely know which one to go after first. Between the rapid explosion of mobile technology and the almost immediate upgrades cloud-based systems can offer, there's almost no limit to what is possible in the next 12 months.
For my first prediction, let's start with mobile ticketing. According to Yahoo, "iPhone" was the No. 1 most-searched term in 2011. Approximately 44 percent of Americans already have smartphones, according to data recently released by Nielsen, and I don't think it's going to be long before most Americans have smartphones.
I think we can all agree that the use of social media as a marketing tool cannot be ignored. After all, word of mouth is the number one way that people hear about events, and Facebook is the most used social media platform.
Here are some statistics, according to Facebook: The site has more than 800 million active users, more than 50 percent of active users log onto the site in any given day, and the average user has 130 friends.