August 30, 2005

Ticketing Kiosks Are Leading Vertical

Forrester Research estimated that sales of tickets online reached $5.4 billion in 2004, which analysts believe is 40 percent of the overall ticket marketplace. Ticketmaster is still the dominant force in the industry, but it is seeing competition in many areas. It serves 9,000 clients worldwide and sold 98 million tickets valued at $5 billion in 2004.

Getting Into Getting In


By Rick Redding

The new frontier for self-service technology is a multi-billion dollar gorilla in the midst of profound and everlasting change. Venues, teams and organizations who sell tickets are increasingly taking their operations in-house to take advantage of lower costs and better marketing opportunities, thanks to advanced hardware and software offerings.

Ticketing has the need and opportunity to change with self-service technology, said Brian Sikorski, president and CEO of Ticketrends.com, an online portal for ticketing professionals with a growing list of more than 6,000 members. New systems are capable of operating on kiosks and can operate at remote locations.

Sikorski, who started the site in 2002, believes its a crucial time in an industry that could mimic changes already accepted in the airlines and cinemas industries. He said there are 18 different categories, from amusement parks to zoos, in which self-service technologies can have an immediate impact.

Sikorski will serve as chair of the upcoming KioskCom.com Customer Self-Service Technology Summit, Sept 26-29 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Speakers at the event include executives from JetBlue Airlines, NetBank Inc., America West Airlines, Hilton Hotels, Intel, Ticketmaster, Continental Airlines, Earthlink and Dow Corning. Information on the Summit is available online.

Despite their success in industries such as airlines and cinemas, kiosks are relatively rare in the ticket industry. A notable initiative occurred this year in Puerto Rico, where the national ticketing agency, Ticketpop, installed its first self-service kiosk at a national arena. That kiosk, built by Georgia-based Pro-Tech, was placed outdoors at an 18,000-sear arena.

In addition, Tickets.com has installed self-service kiosks at several major league baseball parks. There have been other pilots at venues, but the adoption level of self-service for will call and purchases still has a long way to go, Sikorski said.

More importantly, however, is a recent surge in announcements from companies like Cygnus eTransactions Group Inc., which has signed a number of new deals with amusement parks and other attractions to offer online and self-service ticketing. Cygnus offers a kiosk solution that resembles those used by airlines, while incorporating proprietary software customized for box offices.

Just this month, America Online announced an initiative into ticketing for concerts, shows and sporting events.

Its a significant business. Forrester Research estimated that sales of tickets online reached $5.4 billion in 2004, which analysts believe is 40 percent of the overall ticket marketplace. Ticketmaster is still the dominant force in the industry, but it is seeing competition in many areas. It serves 9,000 clients worldwide and sold 98 million tickets valued at $5 billion in 2004.

Sikorski said the opportunity for self-service providers exists for venues that see that creating ticketing systems of their own can result in lower costs and additional marketing opportunities.

Read rest of article on kioskcom.com

Posted by keefner at August 30, 2005 04:46 AM