There was a time if you wanted to attend an event like a concert or art gallery, you would head to the box office and purchase your ticket. Over the past couple decades, a lot has changed, with most services going digital, offering folks a barcode or QR code through email so it can be scanned at the gate upon arrival. While this is certainly convenient, it looks like Ticketmaster is looking to go beyond the digital representation of a ticket by offering an experience unlike any other.
In order to make this feat possible, Ticketmaster has partnered with Lisnr, a firm that specializes in "ultrasonic audio technology". The ultrasonic audio technology dubbed 'Smart Tones' is a "communication protocol that uses inaudible sound" that can transmit data to a number of different devices. By utilizing this, one device can easily transmit data to another without the use of cellular service, Wi-Fi reception or Bluetooth connectivity.
Using Lisnr's technology as a backbone, Ticketmaster has created its Presence system that can currently be found at a few venues across the world. According to the firm, the few locations where it has been made available experienced tremendous success. The new method has resulted in faster entry times for consumers, along with zero instances of fraud, mostly likely due to the fact that the tone being broadcast is not only tethered to an account but it is also unique to each device, making it harder to reproduce.
Beyond just offering show goers the ability to gain entry in an expedited fashion, it also provides Ticketmaster with an extra layer of data, since each beacon of Lisnr audio can be tracked. That means a venue can account for all of the people in attendance and can even pinpoint where they are in the location.The technology can also be used to personalize the show experience further by offering text-based interactions when in proximity to certain areas or allowing folks to purchase merchandise without the need for a credit card.
While there are a lot of benefits to both the firm and its users, one part that isn't quite clear is how this new system will impact resellers. Many higher profile events have easily sold out in a matter of minutes, only to be found moments later at much higher prices on reselling sites like StubHub. With this new system in place, and the ticket being attached to so many points of data, one can only think that Ticketmaster might have bigger plans in store when it comes to those that try to resell tickets purchased through its service.
As mentioned above, this is currently only in a handful of Ticketmaster's venues and is steadily rolling out to other locations. While it is unknown at this point how well this will take off, it is certainly a very different approach from what we have seen in the past.