ITY 2016 SL

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UMG, ReplyYes to sell tickets with chatbots

Universal Music artists now have another channel to shift tickets and merch, courtesy of a deal with conversational commerce pioneer and developer of 'good' bots ReplyYes

By Jon Chapple on 20 Feb 2017

Dave Cotter, ReplyYes, chatbots

ReplyYes CEO Dave Cotter

As predicted by ReplyYes CEO Dave Cotter last year, the chatbot-based ecommerce platform is to begin selling concert tickets as part of a new partnership with label giant Universal Music Group (UMG).

Cotter told IQ in that ReplyYes’s ‘conversation commerce’ technology, which makes personalised product recommendations through text messages, has the potential to transform live music ticketing following a successful launch selling vinyl records and comic books. (The Edit, ReplyYes’s daily vinyl recommendation service, has sold more than 100,000 albums via text in its first 18 months in operation.)

The company’s deal with UMG, announced on Friday, is described as “an exclusive agreement to create a host of new engagement and shopping opportunities for UMG artists and their fans worldwide”, including for tickets, merch and recorded music.

“At UMG, we want to empower our artists and labels to leverage new technologies that help them build deeper relationships with their fans,” comments Universal’s senior vice-president of consumer engagement, Peter Sinclair. “ReplyYes helps us accomplish exactly that.

“Our recording artists, songwriters and labels benefit from these exciting new forms of fan engagement and merchandising that are created by conversational commerce”

“Our recording artists, songwriters and labels benefit from these exciting new forms of fan engagement and merchandising that are created by conversational commerce. We are excited to work with ReplyYes, and even more excited for the millions of fans around the world who will experience this new and direct way of interacting with their favourite artists.”

The Seattle-based start-up has also announced it has raised US$6.5 million in series-A funding from a consortium of venture-capital investors.

A statement from Madrona Venture Group, one of the firms leading the funding round, says: “We believe that mobile messaging will play a major role in the future of ecommerce. ReplyYes is at the centre of major macro technology trends: ecommerce, mobile, messaging and artificial intelligence.

“With the success of their vinyl music store, The Edit, […] and by bringing on major partners like UMG, ReplyYes has proven that their ecommerce over mobile messaging platform has a huge opportunity ahead of it.”


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