Fred Rosen, the influential former CEO of Ticketmaster and AudienceView Ticketing, is joining Montreal-based Outbox Technology to launch the company’s subsidiary that will compete in the U.S. ticketing market, Outbox announced today, October 11.
Outbox Enterprises LLC will operate out of Los Angeles, where Rosen lives, and concentrate on developing “new ideas and approaches to keep up with the dramatic changes in the ticketing industry.” Currently, Outbox offers ticketing solutions for Cirque du Soleil, the Montreal Canadiens and the Bell Centre, and the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
“I look forward to working with Fred in the rapidly changing, dynamic world of event ticketing and building and expanding our business,” Outbox Technology founder and CEO Jean-Françoys Brousseau said in a statement. Like Rosen, Brousseau is a former Ticketmaster executive, too, having served as the company’s chief technology officer from 2000 to 2005, when he left and created Outbox in partnership with Cirque du Soleil. Rosen was CEO of Ticketmaster from 1982 to 1998.
Most recently, Rosen was CEO of Toronto-based AudienceView Ticketing, but he left there in the summer of 2008 after roughly a year, and neither he nor AudienceView would comment on the reasons why he left.
Five-year-old Outbox is one of a host of ticketing companies that believe that Ticketmaster is potentially vulnerable to losing some market share, in part due to the company’s merger with Live Nation, which has not yet gone as well as the two companies had hoped.
Outbox’s ticketing system differs from Ticketmaster’s in that the company sells a white-label solution that allows venues, teams or others to sell tickets from their own Web sites, instead of from Ticketmaster’s centralized system. Some of the other smaller ticketing companies operate in a similar manner to Outbox, including AudienceView.
“The middle-man model is dead. You have to evolve,” Rosen told the Wall Street Journal.
Rosen, who has been a keynote speaker at Ticket Summit, essentially created the business model that Ticketmaster operates under, including the often-criticized practice of charging convenience fees that Ticketmaster shares with venues. He is unapologetic about that business model, he told the Wall Street Journal, in part because he believes charging a small fee for a service is fair.
He also explained how the modern ticketing operation came into being in a series of interviews in 2006 with Stagehandspace.com.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for me to have Jean-Françoys as a partner,” Rosen said in a statement. “His knowledge and expertise creates a very unique business partnership: his technical expertise is unparalleled.”