Broker-owned ticket exchange company Ticket Evolution, in a nod to existing exchanges that base fees on performance, is asking potential members whether they would support a broker rating system.
In a multi-question survey on its Web site, organizers ask potential members for feedback on what type of affiliate program the company should offer and how it should implement the rating system and the fees it will charge, among other questions.
“We want to introduce a simple rating system to determine the percentage of the fee that will be assessed to each order based on two criteria, 1.) Percentage of confirmed orders and 2.) Amount of time to confirm orders. (You will not be penalized for time during non regular business working hours.),” the site states.
Depending on a brokers’ rating, Ticket Evolution is proposing fees of 4 percent (1 percent plus 3 percent for credit card processing), 6 percent (3 percent plus 3 percent for credit card processing) or 9 percent (6 percent plus 3 percent for credit card processing), which it says are similar to fees imposed by TicketNetwork.
Organizers said the fees are being proposed “for the company to be profitable and without putting too big of a financial burden on the brokers.”
Since its official introduction earlier this month, Ticket Evolution has quickly ramped up its outreach to brokers in an effort to move the operation along. And, in addition to the survey, the organizers have launched a private, online community for potential members where the founders can control their message.
Neither Ram Silverman, Steve Parry or Drew Gainor, the company’s founders, returned a message seeking comment.
The company has set a deadline of August 13 to raise $4 million to launch and operate the exchange, which organizers say will be one of the most technologically advanced in the secondary ticketing industry.
“Build and design software applications for the ticket community that will enable sellers to operate more efficiently while maximizing profit margins,” read the mission statement, according to the founders.
The company plans to use Ruby on Rails and the Amazon Cloud computing initiative for the effort, and Gainor, who is spearheading the technology rollout, wrote that he believes Rails offers brokers an innovative alternative to other exchanges.
“The productivity gains for which Rails is known, the automated testing that it facilitates, and the ability to run it in a cloud computing environment which eases scaling are just a few of the reasons [Ruby on Rails] was selected for Ticket evolution,” Gainor wrote. “You may have heard of a company called Twitter, which has built its platform on ROR. Another company that may sound familiar is yellowpages.com.”
Yet, while ROR offers several snazzy features, the platform is only being used to run Twitter’s front end interface, according to a 2009 interview with Twitter developer Alex Payne on Artima.com. Twitter ported its back end operations away from ROR to the Scala platform.
“Over time we found that although Rails works great for doing front-end web development, for doing heavy weight back-end processing, Rails had some performance limitations at runtime,” Payne told Artima.com. “And I think that—and this is more my personal opinion—the Ruby language lacks some things that contribute to reliable, high performance code, which is something we’re very interested in as we’re growing as a business. We want the code we write to be correct and maintainable. We want to keep our costs down—all the things most businesses want out of their stack. So that’s why we started looking at Scala.”
In addition to ROR’s limitations, Ticket Evolution’s cloud computing platform could have some issues with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliance, which both StubHub and TicketNetwork have attained. According to Amazon Web Services, a cloud architecture cannot achieve certain levels of PCI compliance, unless a separate, encrypted platform is utilized for credit card processing. Amazon offers such a separate program but it costs more.
How Ticket Evolution will deal with these issues is unknown, but the company has not yet launched its exchange. And, to tackle those issues, the company will have Gainor exclusively.
Today, July 30, Gainor announced that he is leaving his current company to join Ticket Evolution full-time, and in his resignation letter from National Event Company, he said he wants to follow his passion of creating technology “to better the ticket industry”:
After ten great years working along side all of you great ticket brokers and learning everything I possible can about the secondary ticket industry, it is time for me to pursue my true passion in technology.
It is with great enthusiasm and honor that I resign from my duties at National Event
Company and commit my expertise on technology and tickets to better the ticket industry.
As of August 13th, 2010, Ticket Evolution and the community it seeks to support and bring together, will have my full dedication and commitment as we begin this amazing journey together.
I have always imagined a community so unified and powerful yet truly driven by the voices and opinions of every broker involved. That time is now and that is exactly what Ticket Evolution stands for.
Ticket Brokers deserve a truly cutting edge software platform that will enable them to operate more efficiently and return more money to their bottom line. It is my goal to provide this platform to all of you, especially in a time where margins have shrunk so much and there are so many outside forces looking to affect our incomes.
We are in a technological age where there is no excuse for platforms that are not truly seamless and intuitive. We are an industry that relies heavily on B2B transactions and we deserve a secure and reliable environment where this can be done without much effort or cost involved.
Please keep in mind our goal is not to replicate or rebuild another exchange…it is to take a completely fresh and new approach based on the feedback from the community.
I look forward to an extremely exciting and successful future with all of you!
TicketNetwork is the parent company of TicketNews.