Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) will begin selling its own tickets on its new consumer ticketing Web site this weekend, as it begins a major branding effort to distinguish itself from rival Ticketmaster.
The new Web site, called axs.com, is part of Axs Ticketing, which was created by the partnership of AEG and Outbox Technology. The new site will initially start selling tickets to Denver’s Bluebird Theater and Ogden Theater, both of which are operated by AEG, and the company will roll out ticketing operations at more of its venues in the coming months. AEG plans to have all of its 100-plus venues on the system before the end of 2012.
Fred Rosen, the former CEO of Ticketmaster who now heads Outbox Enterprises, the division that launched the AEG effort, told TicketNews that the consumer site is part of AEG’s branding effort, and it will serve as another way for fans to learn about events and purchase tickets. In addition, the axs brand is expected to eventually include an entertainment television channel or network.
The AEG/Outbox ticketing effort will also utilize a “white label” ticketing model, where the company will create individual Web sites for venues so that those facilities can sell their own tickets, too.
Rosen sees the approach as providing flexibility for clients, and it places tickets in front of the most fans.
“There’s an entry point through the venues, and an entry point through axs,” Rosen said. “They can build the overarching brand of axs, while also building the local brand through the venue, so consumers can easily find the attraction they want.
“This is all about AEG building its brand and having a direct relationship with their consumers,” Rosen added, stressing that data generated through the new site by AEG is only for its venues; individual venues will be the only ones accessing their own data.
That last point is a direct shot at Ticketmaster, which, along with its parent company Live Nation, has access to client data, a fact that concert promoters and others complained about to the Justice Department before and after the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger was approved. Ticketmaster even launched its own data analytics venture to provide clients with information on industry trends and benchmarks.
In addition, when fans buy tickets from axs.com they will see the whole ticket price, including fees, and it will not charge customers to print their tickets at home. Ticketmaster has begun listing total ticket prices, and has also begun moving away from print-at-home fees, which can cost $2.50 per ticket or more.