Industry News

End is nigh for paper tickets – Ticketmaster exec

Ticketmaster’s executive vice-president of product, Justin Burleigh, has suggested that the industry will be “well on our way” to becoming 100-per-cent ticketless in a year’s time.

In an interview with Pollstar, Burleigh said that although “relatively disruptive” initiatives or products take time to be fully adopted, the sector has reached a “tipping point” when it comes to ticketless technology.

He also referred to the growth of his own company’s Presence platform, which replaces traditional paper tickets with digital passes, and said that a shift to completely ticketless technology would be beneficial “as soon as possible”.

“Do I think all paper tickets will be gone in the next 12 months? That’s an interesting statement,” he said. “I think we will be well on our way by then to the genesis of that transformation.

“I think now you have children of aging boomers and grandchildren of aging boomers, and they’re all connecting through those digital surfaces whether it’s Facetime or the messages they send back and forth, or texting or Instagram or Facebook. They almost teach each other how to coexist across those generational barriers. It’s fascinating to watch, at least for me.”

Burleigh also said that Presence would continue to evolve to adapt to consumer behaviour.

“We’ve had it on the market for over a year now,” he added. “We started ramping into some very large venues in our ecosystem.

“There’s certainly a business component, which is a platform that our clients count on to know the entry instrument the patron is presenting, which in the past would be a paper ticket or PDF printed at home. Our clients want to know if what the patrons are presenting at the door is valid and verified.

“Presence started as an iteration of the same paradigm that’s existed for 20 years: Go up to the door, show someone the ticket, they point a Star Trek gun at it, a laser comes out, it goes beep and you’re on your way. Presence was the next generation that we refer to as ‘access control’. We started with the original paradigm, rewrote it from the ground up.”