Technology / 02.19.18
The New, 21st Century Ways of Buying Tickets
Cash, check or charge? That may one day be a thing of the past when purchasing tickets. That's because new currencies and technologies are enabling consumers to buy tickets in different and innovative ways.
For example, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently announced that fans of his pro basketball team will be able to purchase tickets for the 2018-19 season using cryptocurrency. Cuban's revelation was in response to a Twitter user, who asked the billionaire when it would be possible to buy Mavericks game tickets with Bitcoin. After Cuban tweeted back "next season," he went on to confirm to Fortune magazine via email that his team would accept Bitcoin, Etherum and tokens "from companies we have business relationships with."
The Mavericks are not the first NBA franchise to welcome cryptocurrency as a method of paying for tickets. The Sacramento Kings started accepting Bitcoin near the end of 2014's first quarter. At the time, Kings Co-owner, Vivek Ranadive, told ESPN, "When I sold the NBA on keeping the team in Sacramento, my pitch included using the sports franchise as a social network to push the technology envelope."
To be sure, the Mavericks expect to deal with a few problems now that the franchise will be permitting such payments. Chiefly, the cryptocurrency community is continuing to struggle with high transaction fees and volatility that comes with Bitcoin and its ilk. The latest BitInfoCharts data shows that the average Bitcoin transaction fee has increased to $26.
Other entertainment businesses are embracing 21st century methods of payment, too. Fandango, for instance, is now accepting Google Pay as a new digital payment option for movie ticket purchases across its mobile, online and social ticketing platforms. The popular movie ticketing service is one of several companies that joined in the launch of the recently rebranded Google Pay, which brings together the Internet search giant's various payment platforms — including Android Pay and Google Wallet — under one unified service. Other launch partners have ranged from Airbnb to Hungry House and Instacart.
Deadline.com recently described accepting Google Pay as a "no-brainer" for Fandango, as a recent survey of more than 1,000 Fandango users showed that 81 percent use some form of digital payment option. Additional research showed that almost 75 percent of Fandango ticket sales came from mobile devices in 2017. Google Pay just presents another convenient and trusted payment option. And to commemorate the launch, Fandango and Google have offered $5 off movie ticket orders to fans using Google Pay on the Fandango Android app and entering the "GooglePay2018" promo code.
Mark Young, a senior vice president at Fandango, was recently quoted by Variety as stating, "Google Pay provides a simple, intuitive option for Fandango customers to speed through checkout with just one tap. We look forward to working with Google as they grow this exciting new payment platform."
Meanwhile, Apple Inc. in early January announced that it is partnering with Fandango to offer a $5 discount to consumers using Apple Pay to purchase movie-theater tickets on Fandango's app or website. The promotion has helped Apple Pay highlight its various use cases. Instead of pushing users to try Apple Pay at the in-store point-of-sale, the promo has demonstrated Apple Pay's app- and browser-based functionality. "Engagement via habit formation" is the goal, the tech giant reports. If customers like the Apple Pay experience with Fandango, they might continue to use the product to make other purchases and help the wallet grow its user base.
Finally, certain venues are getting into the alternative payment act. For instance, late last year, Wembley Stadium in England announced contactless ticketing for future events. This means a consumer can add tickets to Apple Wallet when purchasing them from the stadium's own ticketing website. The tickets will work on both iPhone and Apple Watch devices. Beginning with the England vs. Italy game in March, the ticket buyer will have the option to select "electronic delivery" when purchasing his/her tickets, which are then added to Apple Wallet on all of the purchaser's devices. Contactless ticketing will be rolled out for all sports and entertainment events at the stadium in 2018 and beyond and, if successful, is expected to become an option at other venues.
Dive deep into new tech trends and advancements in the live event ticketing sphere at the INTIX 40th Annual Conference, taking place Jan. 29-31, 2019, in Texas. Connect with your industry colleagues for a three-day event that includes a comprehensive educational program highlighting industry trends and innovations, an exhibition featuring companies that offer a wide range of ticketing products and services and opportunities to network with peers and business partners.
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Tags: Paperless , Blockchain , Mobile