The 2018 edition of INTIX proved once again to be an amazing experience with tons of learning, insights into new trends and technology and of course, new friendships forged during the offsite events and afterparties.
Here at AudienceView, we’ve taken the liberty of distilling our insights in case you missed the conference. In this blog post, we’re focusing on the top three trends impacting revenue in the ticketing industry from INTIX 2018.
Trend #1: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is defined as the ability of machines to take information inputs and use that information to guide decisions. With the plethora of data made available through digital interactions, artificial intelligence presents a great opportunity for the ticketing industry.
"We are no longer in a mobile-first world, we are in an AI-first world.”
Mike Lorenc, Head of Industry, Ticketing & Live Events at Google and closing keynote speaker at INTIX 2018
AI provides the ability to automate marketing to make it more targeted, and therefore, more effective.
In the future, AI will automate most marketing campaigns at Google. This will enable advertisers to target in real time and serve different ads to audiences based on their preferences, what the weather is like outside or even let them know which bathroom at a venue has the shortest lines.
One example of AI in practice is Lea (an acronym for ‘Live Events Assistant’). Lea is a bot that takes data from users’ preferences, shows users events they may be interested in through Facebook Messenger and allows them to purchase tickets without going to a third party website.
Lea currently only works with secondary markets, but will be available to primary listings soon. Prices are set by the seller and all transactions occur through the ticket exchange. Tickets are then sent to the fan and removed from the exchange, ensuring that two people never receive the same ticket.
Such technologies are a boon to the ticketing industry because of the smooth user experience they provide. By providing an easier, simpler ticketing option for audiences and communicating with them based on their preferences in a more convenient channel, live event venues can increase ticket sales and revenue.
Trend #2: Smart Speakers and Voice Activated Devices
Smart speakers and voice activated devices, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, are seeing massive adoption rates and are having a significant impact on several industries. According to a recent report from NPR and Edison Research, 1 in 6 Americans (39 million) now own a smart speaker, up 128% from January 2017.
One of the biggest things about voice activation is that it levels the playing field for both old and young users. The concept of talking to a device to get it to do something is easy to understand. This has reduced barriers to entry regarding usage and has contributed to the meteoric rise of voice activated devices.
This technology has great implications for the ticketing industry. Devices are now able to ask questions and guide people through the ticket purchasing process, allowing them to find shows, choose a performance and determine seat availability.
Voice activated devices are yet another channel for venues to sell tickets, and one that makes the purchase process easier. These two traits combined make smart speakers a significant revenue opportunity for the ticketing industry.
One of the most important things to remember as a marketer is to be in the places where your audience spends their time. With more and more people using voice activated devices to organize their lives and make purchases, it only makes sense that you make this option available at your venue as well.
Trend #3: Ticket Buying Bots
Passed by congress and signed by Obama in 2016, the BOTS Act prohibits purchase of event tickets by malicious bots. It also prohibits the re-sale of tickets that were purchased by such bots.
With 20% of ticketing industry website traffic coming from malicious bots, this is a problem that is not going away, yet growing broader. In fact, the Foo Fighters did an entire tour without online ticket sales because of this problem.
However, the industry and governments alike are doing their part to fight back. One year since the signing of the BOTS Act, numerous countries have introduced their own anti-bot legislations. Additionally, several US states have also introduced similar legislation, allowing state prosecutors to go after the bad guys themselves (rather than waiting for the FTC to do so).
Private lawsuits are also being filed, with companies like Ticketmaster filing suits against certain groups.
Despite this, this problem is growing, with malicious bot traffic increasing by 20% in the last year. New York state prosecutors alone have reported tens of millions of dollars worth of tickets purchased illegally. This does not account for cases which go unreported. In reality, we don’t know how large the problem actually is.
Companies are getting creative to solve the malicious bot problem. Some have created verified fan programs that only send tickets to authenticated fans. Certain venues have warned fans that they might require IDs at events or have resorted to using paperless options only. This is something that the industry has to be cautious of, so as not to create poor user experiences for audiences.
Regardless, with the growth of bots and the increase in legislation and tactics to combat them, this is a trend impacting ticket revenue that you will need to watch in 2018.
The ticketing industry is always changing and there are always exciting new technologies to take advantage of to grow and spread the love of our live events. At AudienceView, we're committed to helping your live events business grow with our OvationTix platform, an all-in-one ticketing, fundraising and CRM software to support your mission. Schedule a demo to see what OvationTix can do for you.