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QUICKFIRE Q&A: Brian Fenty, TodayTix

TodayTix is an international theatre-ticketing platform that connects the next generation of arts and culture audiences to one of the world’s largest performing arts networks. By using partnerships, mobile products and access technologies, the company has attracted more than five million millennials to its network of 1,200-plus arts organisations.

TodayTix recently expanded its services in Australia by launching in Sydney, having already provided a service for shows in New York City, London’s West End, Toronto, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Boston, Washington DC and Chicago.

TheTicketingBusiness.com caught up with TodayTix co-founder and chief executive Brian Fenty for a quickfire Q&A about his take on the evolving ticketing sector…

Q: Sum up today’s ticketing industry in three words…

A: Innovation through transparency!  

Q: What’s the best thing about the ticketing industry? 

A: The passion for what we do always inspires me. Whether it’s large-scale venue teams, presenter organisations or independent producers, I’m always amazed at the level of commitment and passion at all levels of the team. We come to work every day dreaming up ways to engage the millennial audience, and it’s the last thing our team thinks about before bed.  

Q: And what’s your biggest bugbear?

A: Healthy competition. And by that, I mean that we should have smart, young competitors coming into the market and pushing us to do better. I’d love to see us, as an industry, embrace best practices from other consumer industries with greater speed and flexibility, finding ways to collaborate to expand margin rather than collapse it.

Q: Five years from now, will ticketing have gone completely paperless? 

A: Unfortunately, with unions and regulations in many markets, paperless won’t catch up to all theatres globally. We will see a majority though, I think.  

Q: What are the most important issues for the ticketing industry over the next five years? 

A: Navigating inventory, allocation and transparency. How we tackle security, bots and ensuring that the right audiences get to the right seats will take brilliant technologists, product designers, and partners.

Q: How do you expect the live experience for fans and spectators to change in the coming years? 

A: More of them! We’re seeing some exceptional expansion into new types of fan experiences through VR, AR and experiential programming. We compete with Netflix, happy hours and free time. Finding engaging ways to speak to consumers is key.

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the ticketing business sector? 

A: Perception and transparency. We have to be brands and services that create loyalty, not necessity.

Q: What do you think will be the most important technological change in the industry over the next five years? 

A: Oh boy, that’s a tough one. Maybe not be the sexiest, but, in terms of importance: Master APIs, fraud protection, seating map innovations and payment expertise.  

Q: Prediction time: for the ticketing industry, 2019 will be the year of…? 

A: The merging of content creation and commercialisation.  

Q: If you could travel back in time and buy a ticket for any historic event in the sports and entertainment industry, what would it be? 

A: The Beatles at Shea Stadium in New York City. What a night!

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