Weighing in: My Ticketing Predictions for 2016


I’m not sure that anyone could have accurately predicted all the action in ticketing in 2015. Just to jog your memory:

AXS buys Veritix. Shubert buys Choice. Ticketmaster buys FrontGate. Vendini buys CrowdTorch. Pandora buys Ticketfly. Etix founder returns to CEO position and Joe Kustelski is out. Brian Arnone is out at TicketFly and in at ShowClix. Fred Mangione is in at TopTix.

I’m pretty sure I missed some but even so – the theme seems to be shifting sands.

Meanwhile, what did we do as an industry to serve the fans and venues? What new technologies came to the market to really make things better?

Sigh. Nada. Nix. So we go marching on to 2016, where this is what I think will happen – or in some cases, wish.

  1. More consolidation. There will be more companies discovering that it’s just damn hard to deliver good ticketing solutions and do it profitably. So yes. We’ll see a few of the mid-range players get swept up and even more paltry players will call it quits and go away. This is actually good for the market. There are empty promises and poor delivery causing problems for everyone.
  2. Paciolan will start its roll out. I think we’ll see this powerhouse release components of the new stuff, but the road to a new version is never as swift or beautiful as we imagine so I don’t see it completed this year.
  3. Fan Club ticketing will lose its battle with Ticketmaster. While I am all about fans getting tickets at fair prices, ticketing companies invest much in equipment, technology and people to equip a venue to handle big ticket shows. Ticketmaster – nor any of us – should give up more than 10% of the cream of the best shows to a sub-system. Think I’m wrong? Just consider Adele’s Songkick disaster across the ocean.
  4. Brian Arnone will be bored at ShowClix. Okay – this one may just be envy that we didn’t snag him up. But I’ll be watching this time.
  5. Kustelski will stay out of ticketing. I’ve always seen Joe as more of a marketing guy and I think he’ll happily stay out of the cray.
  6. Service will win. Those companies who don’t, won’t or can’t offer equipment, site support and marketing will not increase their market share substantially. There are a lot of good platforms available; many less who can deliver it successfully. Those will be the winners.
  7. RFID wristbands will not break into venue-based ticketing – yet. They will continue to be the standard at large festivals. But outside of that, the cost of implementation and other hassles will keep them out of venues – for now. The success of mobile pay and integration at all points of sale at a venue will continue to be a hot item of talk this year.
  8. But, mobile pay will remain sluggish. Hell, we can’t even get chip readers right in the USA – many are facing backorders on equipment, the cards aren’t all ready yet, and they don’t work half of the time. Mobile pay is ready to go – but won’t be widely adapted this year for the same reasons.
  9. Mobile everything else will continue to grow. Ticket purchases, mobile delivery and apps for interaction will continue to grow and I predict mobile will represent over 50% of all ticket purchases by year’s end.
  10. Email will begin its slow decline. As we learn to harness the other digital methods for selling more tickets, we’ll see a slow decline begin in emails generating ticket sales. Social, digital and mobile push notifications will continue to climb, edging out the method of notice despised by the millennials.

That’s it for ticketing.

But 2016 is a fun year no matter what happens – leap years are always lucky! The Summer Olympics are a fabulous distraction from everything else and this year in Rio!

And my final prediction? We’ll make presidential history for a second time and elect the first woman president of the United States. And that’s the one I’m really sure about.

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