The 2010 World Cup isn’t the only big news coming out of South Africa this July. The world of online ticket sales in South Africa recently received a boost with the announcement of a partnership between U.S.-based online ticketing site TicketBiscuit and South Africa-based Tixsa.
Aimed at moving in on the rapidly expanding ticketing opportunities within the Africa nation, both companies believe this partnership will help in boosting Tixsa’s presence in South Africa as well as opening up TicketBiscuit to more international expansion opportunities.
The two companies are facing a formidable challenge in country’s current ticketing landscape, which is dominated by a single ticketing option in Computicket. In addition to event tickets, Computicket’s Web site also allows consumers to book flights, hotel rooms and rental cars through its travel division. TicketBiscuit hopes its partnership, which will concentrate on attracting venues and promoters throughout South Africa, will offer “a solid, reliable, inexpensive alternative to Computicket,” officials said in a statement.
TicketBiscuit, which was founded in 2001, uses its software system to allow clients and venues to sell tickets to events through their own Web sites, call centers, and via TicketBiscuit’s own “Web-based box office interface.” Through their partnership Tixsa, which already has signed several high profile clients including the Alexander Theater and the Voortrekker Monument, TicketBiscuit will begin their plans to expand throughout the international market.
TicketBiscuit had begun exploring plans to expand into the international market, but according to TicketBiscuit’s Chief Marketing Officer Eric Housh, South Africa was not at the top of their list.
“South Africa wasn’t our first choice for international expansion, but the stars just aligned on this one,” Housh told TicketNews. “Tixsa contacted us and initiated the idea, providing a very compelling picture of the opportunity in South Africa.”
Amongst that compelling picture was a great deal of intricate research that made the partnership seem like the practical thing to do. “They not only had tons of information about the South African entertainment market, but they also knew a lot about us as a company. They had looked at several of our competitors, but TicketBiscuit stood alone as being uniquely adapted to take advantage of the opportunity in South Africa,” Housh added.
Under the current ticketing model in South Africa, tickets for events tend to be bought the “old-fashioned way,” according to Housh, with individuals queuing in line at grocery stores to make their purchases. But, through their partnership with Tixsa, TicketBiscuit is looking to move ticket sales out of the supermarket to online and mobile device sales.
“Most South Africans have mobile devices and are comfortable transacting on them,” Housh said, adding that Tixsa is looking to leverage TicketBiscuit’s expertise in mobile ticketing “to give venues and promoters a viable alternative, and to give ticket buyers a whole new level of access and convenience.”