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Ticketmaster tackles counterfeiting with digital ticket transfers

Ticketmaster has rolled out a new set of digital tools to let consumers legally transfer tickets to friends and family members.

Currently the digital ticket transfers program is only being rolled out across Ticketmaster’s Web site. The initiative will go into effect on Ticketmaster’s mobile applications and site later this spring.

“Today, via you can send tickets to your friends and to your mobile phone for enabled venues and events,” said Kip Levin, executive vice president of ecommerce at Ticketmaster, Los Angeles.

“Later this spring, Ticket Transfer is coming to Ticketmaster’s mobile products, including the iPhone app, Android app and the mobile Web site,” he said. “This will allow you to transfer tickets via your mobile device.”

“Mobile represents a significant area of growth at Ticketmaster, and we are focused on products and features that improve the fan experience on all platforms as well as features that can offer specific flexibility and convenience for the fan in the apps and on the mobile Web site.”

Live Nation Entertainment-owned claims to be the largest global event ticketing company and one of the world’s top five ecommerce site. The company brings in 27 million monthly unique visitors.

How it works
To transfer tickets, users first sign in at to pull up their account information.

From there, consumers pick the event from their order history that they want to send tickets to and enter an email address and name to send the tickets to.

Once the email is sent, the receiver logs into their own Ticketmaster account and accepts the transfer.

Per Ticketmaster, the program is based on the ability to reissue the bar codes that are printed on digital tickets. When users chose to transfer a digital ticket, the bar code on the original ticket is stripped and reissued on the receiver’s tickets.

Ticketmaster’s new program highlights the ongoing scalping challenges that live event marketers face with consumers increasingly buying tickets online.

As consumers buy tickets online, they also expect to be able to redeem tickets at venues from their mobile devices.

However, this often leads to big investments in mobile ticketing services that are expensive and difficult to roll out at scale.

Mobile ticketing
Ticketmaster’s digital ticket transfers program builds on the company’s continued investment in mobile.

Most recently, Live Nation launched an Android app that lets consumers search for and buy tickets directly from their devices (see story).

Ticketmaster launched its iPhone app in Feb. 2012 (see story).

Then later in 2012, Ticketmaster became one of first brands to link the app into Apple’s Passbook. Consumers with the Ticketmaster iPhone app can save tickets into Passbook that can be scanned at the venue. The technology is also location-triggered to alert consumers when they are nearby an event.

“Ticketmaster continues to improve the fan experience on all mobile products with features like Passbook integration in the iPhone app and on the mobile Web,” Mr. Levin said.

“Ticketmaster is already off to a quick start in 2013,” he said. “On January 29, Ticketmaster launched a new app-specific feature called push captcha, which utilizes push notifications to authenticate the Ticketmaster app and streamlines ticket purchase for the fan by completely eliminating the traditional type-in captcha process.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York