Why 2020 will see a ticketing revolution
Live events will see a technological revolution in 2020, with breakthrough innovations in the event experience and ticketing platforms bringing transformational change to the industry.
These bold predictions are being made by FanDragon Technologies founding CEO Robert Weiss (pictured, centre), global director of ticketing strategy and innovation Steve Machin (right) and vice president of business development and ticketing partnerships Alan Rakov (left).
As FanDragon, a leading innovator in blockchain-powered SaaS mobile ticket delivery solutions, gears up for a year of expansion, the company’s executive team shares their vision for the future of live events and mobile ticketing as we begin a new decade.
RW: The year 2020 will be a pivotal inflection point. Technology will transform the live event experience, making it better for fans while unlocking more revenue for rightsholders – and those things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. These new revenues are predicted to be enormous, with the live music industry alone projected to be worth $31 billion by 2022.
I feel exceptionally lucky to have superstar executives like Steve Machin and Alan Rakov helping to lead FanDragon. Collectively, Steve and Alan bring nearly half-a-century of ticketing knowledge to our company. Their expertise will not only help us navigate this upcoming revolution – but ensure that FanDragon actively takes the lead in creating ticket delivery solutions for the future.
The year 2020 will be a pivotal inflection point
The mobile ticket will become a personalised hub powered by smart data
SM: The live entertainment market will capitalise on enhancements to the fan experience before, during and after an event. The ticketing industry is fully focused on improving platforms to power the next generation of fan experiences with smart, but secure data analytics.
The shift to mobile will continue to accelerate, providing increased personalisation, communication, security and monetising capabilities for event organisers and attendees.
Mobile tickets aren’t just a convenient way to get into a concert or game, they are becoming a hub for so much more activity – from serving up personalised promotions and offers, to receiving targeted communications ahead of an event. Digital tickets bring with them a whole range of benefits across ‘the three Cs’ – commercial, communication, community – and as we see more providers adopting a mobile-first mindset, we will see continued innovation around what a ticket can represent.
AR: Mobile tickets will power new fan engagement opportunities.
Ticketing giants and tech companies have the opportunity to put the needs of fans first by focusing on an area of the event cycle experience that hasn’t been explored – the time after a ticket is purchased through to the entrance to the show itself.
Organisers have a real chance to engage with fans during this time period and get them excited about what’s coming up. Tickets are their access to the show, and a mobile wallet application is their access to a myriad of opportunities relating to the event.
Mobile tickets aren’t just a convenient way to get into a concert or game, they are becoming a hub for so much more activity
The issue of ticket transferability will be addressed – but not by government regulation
AR: Ticket transferability will continue to be a hot debate in 2020. In 2019, we saw new government regulation on the topic with the reintroduction of the BOSS Act, including a clause that primary ticket sellers may not restrict a purchaser from reselling tickets. I believe this is a fixed mindset that will hinder the ticketing industry from protecting both fans and ticket rightsholders. Instead, the industry must focus on fixing technical issues to protect the integrity of tickets.
I personally think it’s the artist on stage, or the team on the field, that truly owns the ticket. They have the right to control the marketplace for their tickets. It’s not a product that you own. Rather, it’s a license to occupy a seat for a period of time in a venue where an artist is going to do something amazing to entertain you. What you can do with that license depends on who you are, your relationship with the artist and what experience the artist wants you to have.
Today, we’re facing a drastic imbalance of ticket supply and fan demand throughout the event sales cycle. To solve this challenge, the entertainment market must usher in a new era of smart ticket transferability. It’s on the rightsholders to collaborate – not compete – with companies that sell tickets and the technology providers that support these platforms. Simplifying and securing the ticket storing and delivery process will be critical to protecting fans and improving the overall event experience.
The industry must focus on fixing technical issues to protect the integrity of tickets
Say goodbye to barcodes, and hello to blockchain and RFID
SM: The industry will continue to innovate and enhance the technical components of next-generation mobile wallets, starting to get rid of the anonymous barcode for more advanced RFID technologies. I believe these advancements will change how fans access mobile tickets.
The anonymous barcode will start to become much less prevalent in 2020. We will definitely begin to see alternative technologies such as NFC (near field communication) take shape and become widely deployed for improved access to tickets.
AR: Technical innovations will disrupt the ways consumers use their mobile devices at shows – from storing their tickets to making payments at events, and more.
Blockchain and RFID will continue to make their mark on the ticketing space in 2020, with innovative companies using smart contracts to create a safe and secure ticket marketplace. Going back to the importance of transferability, these technologies will empower artists, teams and performers to set their own rules for how their tickets are obtained and shared.
In addition, RFID will expand with cashless payments to provide a seamless fan experience from entering to exiting the building. Finally, mobile hardware developments will force us all to reconsider what we know about what people can – and want to – do with their devices during the entire event process.
The anonymous barcode will start to become much less prevalent in 2020, with alternative technologies such as NFC (near field communication) becoming widely deployed
In the coming decade, the fan will rise again
RW: The live events market will undoubtedly undergo continued transformation throughout the decade to come. The overarching takeaway from these ticketing and live event industry predictions is that the fan will regain a sense of control when making purchases in the marketplace.
Multiple factors are merging – from the growing sophistication of mobile ticketing and the rising importance of data privacy to an inevitable curve bending towards transparency in the ticket lifecycle – that will result in the balance of power tilting back towards consumers, perhaps not entirely by 2020, but certainly within the next decade.
In the meantime, other fan-friendly developments such as the recent announcement of FanDragon’s Fan Experience Index Fan Forum will give consumers a stronger voice in the marketplace. Ultimately, smart people using new technologies will enable the live events industry to fix these issues and create better outcomes for everyone – keeping people in seats at shows while creating new revenue opportunities – a true win-win situation.
Robert Weiss, Steve Machin and Alan Rakov are executives at FanDragon Technologies, a blockchain-powered mobile ticket firm.
The innovators: 2019’s ticketing pioneers
Technology and ticketing go hand-in-hand and, in recent years, an increasing number of companies have developed innovative solutions to make the ticketing sector more secure and sophisticated for event organisers, venue operators and fans alike.
As part of the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019 (ITY), IQ talks to ticketing companies Oxynade, Tixserve, Protect Group, Activity Stream, Queue-it, Ticketline, Ticketplan, Gigantic, the Ticket Factory, Ticketmaster, Tickets.ie and FanDragon Technologies to gain a deeper insight into the most significant technological advances affecting the industry today.
The white-label ticketing partner offers an all-round system that includes a fully equipped back office, box office and specialised features covering a broad range of verticals, meaning ticketing companies don’t need to take on the cost and resources of setting up their own platform. The company’s eTicketing as a service (eTaaS) solution launched in 2017 and already has a global clientele.
Recently the Belgium-based company has invested heavily in improving its offer from an UI and UX perspective, with clear flows for ticket-buyers. It has also updated its API integration to enable clients to use their own Payment Service Provider (PSP). This means people can not only pay using their preferred PSP, but ticketers can offer bundles such as merch, food coupons or travel services, which can drive up revenues. Furthermore, the upgraded API offers ticket-buyers the opportunity to complete purchases using other forms of payment, such as gift vouchers, pre-charged cards or even ‘event currency’.
In September 2018, the firm launched its inaugural eTaaS Summit in Germany, which drew almost 50 delegates from 14 countries for networking and insightful panels. The event will take place again in April 2020, with a new approach. “We want to go really in-depth,” says company spokesperson Hannah Coekaerts. “We’re inviting international clients and top-notch speakers.”
The Belgium-based company has invested heavily in improving its offer from an UI and UX perspective, with clear flows for ticket-buyers
The B2B, Software-as-a-Service, white-label, ticket fulfilment company enables its clients to deliver secure digital tickets to their customers’ mobile phones.
Tixserve launched in the UK in 2017, and managing director Patrick Kirby says that its focus on solving problems for clients and doing trials with potential clients is now delivering strong growth for the company.
In April 2019, the company announced a partnership with UK entertainment retailer HMV to help with its diversification into live events. Tixserve worked with HMV to deliver signing sessions with US band Twenty One Pilots at six stores. The events took place during the UK leg of the band’s Bandito tour and were fully digitally ticketed. Passes were sold by HMV as part of a bundle with the band’s fifth album, Trench.
In the run-up to the events, touts were advertising yet-to-be-activated Tixserve tickets online for up to £200 – a mark-up of more than 1000% on the album/ticket bundle. When fans alerted HMV of these cases, organisers were able to disable all ticket transfer functionality, unless authorised, on a case-by-case basis, by using Tixserve’s technology.
In July 2019, Tixserve announced a multiyear agreement with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for the provision of secure digital ticket delivery services for Twickenham Stadium, the home of England Rugby. The competitive tendering process involved extensive trials with full system testing at numerous events to validate the Tixserve digital ticket fulfilment solution, which included the ability to operate with the existing infrastructure at Twickenham Stadium provided by Ticketmaster and Fortress.
“Tixserve will be announcing a number of other high-profile client deals in the second half of 2019, in the music, theatre, and sports segments of the live events market”
Speaking after the deal, Kirby said: “Tixserve will be announcing a number of other high-profile client deals in the second half of 2019, in the music, theatre, and sports segments of the live events market. We are excited by the scale of opportunity of working with the RFU and the momentum of this success has already opened up business development opportunities for Tixserve not just in the UK and Ireland but in Europe, the USA and Asia.”
Market interest in digital ticketing has significantly increased over the last 12 months, to the extent that Tixserve is now handling a large volume of inbound enquiries from potential clients. Kirby says: “We are not in the business of selling ‘technology’ to clients but instead we focus on understanding the needs of potential clients and solving their business problems with a software platform that uses proven, high-performance and cost-effective enabling technologies.”
He also cautions against the hype associated with many start-up, technology- led companies setting out to ‘disrupt’ an industry such as the live event ticketing sector. “Tixserve’s mission is to add value to the live events industry by enabling its clients to gain business benefits from the adoption of digital ticketing including convenience for customers, security, authorised ticket exchange, lower costs, ‘know your customer’ data capture, and new digital commerce revenue streams that have the potential to transform the ticket into a profit centre.”
Protect Group provides innovative event cancellation protection and refund protection to all sizes and types of ticketing companies, platforms, events, venues, sports teams and more.
“We developed our solutions to not only provide the broadest and most comprehensive protection to our members and their ticket buyers, but also to generate new revenue streams to tackle rising costs and reduced margins for events,” says Ben Lenighan, head of commercial partnerships at Protect Group.
Protect Group first experienced success with Event Protect, their event cancellation protection, which was primarily for ticketing companies but also allowed organisers to reduce their financial risk and be assured their events were protected. This was due to increasing cancellation risks globally, as well as demand for a quicker and a more cost-effective insurance solution of this type.
Soon after, Refund Protect was created after the company saw the chance to create a more consumer-centric refund protection product for ticketing companies.
Ticketing companies integrate Event Protect and Refund Protect via a simple API, which allows sales transactions to be underwritten by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Tokio Marine HCC and Swiss Re – three of the largest insurance providers.
“We developed our solutions to not only provide the broadest and most comprehensive protection to our members and their ticket buyers, but also to generate new revenue streams to tackle rising costs and reduced margins for events”
Protect Group says this means events and attendees have the best protection in place without admin work required from the organiser and/or ticketing company and with no upfront costs.
Since inception Protect Group says it has underwritten millions of transactions, handling the entire refund process for ticketing companies and events.
Lenighan continues, “The key is to refund attendees quickly and transparently, either if the event cancels or if the attendee themselves cannot attend the event due to unforeseen circumstances. We do this within seven days, with an average refund time globally of four days, to ensure that attendees are kept satisfied and negative social media impact is reduced.”
Based in Leeds, UK, Protect Group has members in over 25 different countries. It is opening international business hubs in North America, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Oceania as part of a global expansion resulting from an increase in demand.
The aim of Activity Stream is to make data accessible and valuable to the layman, so people can understand important information relating to ticket sales without needing a data science qualification.
When it comes to analysing data, most organisations are left with two choices: working manually with reporting tools and making lists and reports in Excel, or (for the major organisations only) investing in building your own data warehouse combining data from multiple sources. But that’s a multiyear project, costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and takes up key resources.
“We launched the company based on a middle way, a model of SaaS,” says Martin Gammeltoft. “We used AI, cluster analysis and weak-pattern recognition that you wouldn’t get by working in Excel, and built an AI model to predict ticket sales.
“Our AI is trained on multiple data sets rather than solely based on the one organisation’s it’s plugged into, so it’s able to help people straight away.
“It looks at things like whether some categories are moving faster than others, are you attracting lots of first-time buyers to specific events; it combines the ticket sales information and the digital side of things so you can look at the effect of campaigns. You can see ticket sales in real time but also see where they are coming from – whether it’s a Facebook campaign or mail-out or from one of your partners.”
“AI is like someone who has 40 years’ experience in the industry at 16 different venues – they can’t specifically email one person, but they apply their knowledge to their latest job”
The resulting easy-to-understand platform gives powerful insights that help improve marketing, planning, saves time and improves revenues, says Gammeltoft.
“The nature of AI is that you can train the model on data sets, and then transfer the learning to other organisations. So you never see a competitor’s data or use it, but the AI has learned from many sets. It’s like someone who has 40 years’ experience in the industry at 16 different venues – they can’t specifically email one person, but they apply their knowledge to their latest job. The AI learns from patterns but it’s not bringing specific consumers’ information or sales or events.
“It can tell you things like 92% of your Facebook sales are a particular demographic, so maybe you need to adjust that, or that a particular high-value customer hasn’t bought a ticket in 16 months but has suddenly come back.”
Gammeltoft, who has a background in economics, believes these AI-assisted insights will have a profound effect on the industry because they can identify things a human might not notice.
Clients include AXS, The Shubert Organization and London’s Barbican Centre.
Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of ITY 2019, or subscribe to the magazine here
Authenticity, AR, facial recognition: The future of ticket tech
From methods of tackling fraud to improving the visitor experience, ticketing firms are exploring a variety of tools.
High on everyone’s minds is the rapid rise of mobile tickets – as frequently reported in the market profiles throughout ITY 2019. But this is just the start of a mobile-first paradigm shift.
“We’ve got a generation of new consumers coming through now and they don’t just expect their services to be on mobile, they expect them to be mobile first,” says industry veteran Steve Machin, global director of ticketing strategy and innovation at FanDragon. “People are buying tickets now who don’t ‘go online’ to do something, they just use their phone. This move to mobile will make the shift away from CDs look like a slow meander.”
Security is the top priority, says international ticketing consultant Tim Chambers. “Unfortunately, prevention of fraud costs time and resources and all too often organisations fail to plan for worst case, without any regard as to how to recover post-incident, and assume they’ll continue to get away without specialised focus.”
He adds: “Related to this is the issue of combatting automated bots that impact site availability (DDoS), on-sale queueing, event webpage reload, ticket purchase and other operational factors. Unfortunately, as an industry, too little has been done with shared expertise, best practice or market intel.”
Maureen Andersen, president and CEO of the International Ticketing Association (Intix), thinks ticket authenticity is a significant focus for companies when considering how new technology can help them.
“As an industry, too little has been done with shared expertise, best practice or market intel”
“Tickets delivered to your mobile is well established, but what will be more important in this matter is that the distribution is tied to your mobile, for example, by using a barcode that’s refreshed frequently. Ticketmaster has now released SafeTix, which is not unlike other technologies out there, but that the largest ticketing company in the world has done this shows how important authenticity is.”
Launched in May 2019, SafeTix uses a barcode that changes every few seconds, meaning it can’t be copied or screenshotted. Fans can transfer tickets to friends or family using mobile phone numbers or an email address. A new digital ticket is tied to the recipient’s account and phone, each time a ticket is transferred or sold, making the journey of each ticket visible to organisers.
Of course, knowing who all the attendees are provides venues and companies with a rich source of data – an opportunity to track what experiences are valuable to any given consumer.
Generation Z is more comfortable with being tracked in exchange for a fast service, says Andersen. “They know they leave a digital footprint, but they want information right in their hand and they want it immediately. They understand they’re being tracked and they’re okay with it because they get served options and they’re all about options.”
She points to statistics showing that in Las Vegas while 68% of visitors attend a show or event, two thirds of them decide what to see after their arrival, and 60% of event tickets are sold within 72 hours of event. “This is because people are waiting to look at all the options that are fed to them before they make a decision. They’re in the moment. It’s only the older generation that’s worried about being tracked.”
Nonetheless, we are moving towards a world where consumers will have more control over their data. That will affect not just the ticketing industry but all sectors of public-facing commerce, from the motor industry to travel.
“People are waiting to look at all the options that are fed to them before they make a decision”
“This means we will need to be able to deliver hyper-relevant services to individuals even when you don’t know who they are,” says Machin. “You’ll be tracking behaviour in an anonymised way. This is one of the benefits of blockchain.”
FanDragon’s ticket-wallet feature means while the person owning the wallet remains anonymous, their behaviour can be analysed. For example, if a wallet buys tickets every time a certain artist comes to their town, but suddenly stops, that sort of information might be interesting to the client. Similarly, if a wallet has 600 tickets in it, it’s a scalper.
“Tickets are no longer simply ‘a revocable licence to attend the event listed on the front,’ they are a personal communication hub,” says Machin. “Once you buy a ticket, you can have experiences, messaging or content delivered to your phone because the organiser knows you’re going and who you’re going with. It means the event experience can start much sooner. It’s a much deeper relationship but that requires greater responsibility not to impinge on people’s privacy and data.”
My face is my ticket
Using your face to unlock a smartphone has been commonplace since Apple launched FaceID in 2017 (other earlier phones used facial recognition but it could be easily hacked). But when Live Nation Entertainment invested in biometric company Blink Identity in 2018, the prospect of being able to walk into a venue without needing to get your phone or paper ticket out took a step closer to becoming reality.
Justin Burleigh, LN-owned Ticketmaster’s global chief product officer, says: “We didn’t want to have a database of millions of customers’ faces, so instead this technology uses the same mechanism as the facial recognition tech that unlocks many smartphones. By scanning a face and converting that information into code, it negates the need for storing images of people’s faces.
“Facial recognition will be able to create some really compelling experiences for backstage, or VIP personnel control. For example, if you’re carrying some beers and food it will mean you don’t have to reach into your pocket for your phone or ticket to gain access.”
“Facial recognition will be able to create some really compelling experiences for backstage, or VIP personnel control”
However, he adds, “We have a lot more to do in the lab before this gets rolled out. We want to get it right because we know if we get it wrong we won’t be given a second chance.”
It’s not just the world’s biggest ticketing company that’s interested in the technology. Former Ticketmaster CEO and later head of commerce at Twitter, Nathan Hubbard, recently announced a facial recognition-powered ticketing platform of his own, Rival. Its first client is Kroenke Sports and Entertainment, owner of Denver’s Pepsi Center (20,000-cap.), although migrating from AXS had some teething problems.
And while there may be what Machin calls some “ickiness” around the idea of facial recognition at music events at the moment, the technology’s use at airport security is commonplace. And as people become more comfortable with it in this context, that will smooth the path for its arrival in entertainment.
Enhanced real life
Augmented reality is becoming increasingly sophisticated and more common in live entertainment, so how will the ticketing industry respond to that? Andersen reckons the answer will be driven by how much consumers want to buy into these things and what they want to experience.
“Whereas a 50-year-old might want to come into a venue and sit down, buy a hot dog and watch the show, somebody younger wants to engage with technology that recognises them as an individual. You could be watching the game from your seat but also see it from the players’ perspective by looking at your device.”
Other examples include creating 3D virtual venue models that can be expanded using AR. This could mean being able to see a model of the venue before you go to a show and finding out where everything is, as well as seeing sponsorship activations, and even connecting it to a Facebook account to see where your friends are sitting. You could find out where the bar queues are shortest, or where to get your favourite pretzel.
“SafeTix is not unlike other technologies out there, but that the largest ticketing company in the world has done this shows how important authenticity is”
That’s the present situation. But what nascent tech or business models might we see in the near future?
Ticketmaster’s Burleigh says he is excited to see new hardware come online, such as more powerful NFC tech, which would mean people don’t have to take their phone out of their pockets to scan on entry. He would also like to see more powerful cashless opportunities across venues. Andersen suggests a subscription-based model could have potential in the future.
“Like a Netflix model, where you buy something today and have access to it later – for example, if you want to go to a big game or play-off you can get access to early booking because you’ve paid a subscription.”
It’s not without precedent. In the cinema industry, MoviePass allowed people to go see films for a monthly subscription fee. Currently, the venture is in difficulty as the company behind it struggles to control its cash burn. However, US cinema chains AMC Theatres and Cinemark are also running subscription models with some success. AMC’s programme, which allows customers to see three movies a week for $19.95 a month, has over 900,000 subscribers. Could that model be transferred to live? While it’s unlikely to work for the largest companies and artists, it could be more viable for grassroots-level venues and promoters.
Whatever the future holds for ticket tech, Chambers predicts that the fragmented nature of all the options means there will need to be open-API schemes to ensure that a seamless customer delivery service is provided: multiple backends but unified consumer experience.
“This is increasingly evident in [London’s] West End theatre or with the NFL ticket retail and distribution agreements, and will inevitably spread to other sectors and territories to become much more commonplace,” he says.
For more insight into the state of the global ticketing industry, read IQ’s International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.
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Ticketing start-up FanDragon makes senior hires
Mobile ticketing firm FanDragon Technologies has announced three new hires, including ticket industry veteran Steve Machin as global director of ticketing strategy and innovation.
Machin is joined by chief business officer/general counsel Mark Weiss and chief of staff Jason Black, with all three reporting director to FanDragon’s CEO, Robert Weiss.
“Seasoned executives like Steve, Mark and Jason will help inform our market strategy and push the limits of innovation,” says Robert Weiss. “These key hires bring decades of ticketing, business and tech expertise to FanDragon. I’m excited to continue building out our roster of industry experts who will fuel rapid company growth and reimagine the ticketing experience for all events.”
The appointment of Machin, Weiss and Black comes after FanDragon’s official launch late last month. According to the LA-headquartered company, the three will oversee FanDragon’s “efforts to deploy its full portfolio of SaaS services across the entire ticketing ecosystem”, including sports, music, theatre, cinema, family entertainment and more.
FanDragon provides software solutions that can be integrated into existing applications, and has been designed to commercialise the Aventus digital assets-focused blockchain protocol.
“These key hires bring decades of ticketing, business and tech expertise to FanDragon”
Steve Machin’s industry experience comes from several senior corporate roles, including at Live Nation, where he developed the UltraStar fan-club business. At Ticketmaster, Machin served as head of European music, introducing several new services, including global presales, following a spell overseeing acquisitions in corporate development.
More recently, he has worked as an independent entrepreneur and consultant on various ticketing and tech businesses. He also chairs the popular annual new tech session at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London.
Mark Weiss, meanwhile, spent 18 years at Staples, where he closed over US$15 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions, and recently worked at private investment firm Cerberus, while Black’s experience includes spells at MTV, Fuse and EMI Music Publishing.
“With our proprietary SaaS [software-as-a-service] tech, FanDragon is setting a new standard for mobile ticket delivery,” continues Robert Weiss, “from tackling fraud head on and simplifying ticket transfer to putting the digital ticket at the heart of fan engagement.”
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FanDragon eyes mobile ticket revolution
FanDragon Technologies has launched with US$12 million in funding to spearhead the development of secure ticket delivery solutions for mobile ticketing. The company has simultaneously announced veteran technologist and entrepreneur Robert Weiss as founding chief executive officer.
FanDragon does not sell tickets, but rather provides software solutions that can be integrated into existing applications. The technology has been designed to commercialise the Aventus digital assets-focused blockchain protocol.
The company claims that rights-holders and fans can experience a more secure ticketing event experience and eliminate counterfeiting and unauthorised ticket resale. At the same time, rightsholders can engage directly with fans through FanDragon’s unique wallet feature, provide ticket purchasers with information about the event, and better understand the fans who attend multiple shows.
A FanDragon spokesperson says the company is unable to disclose its investors, but provided IQ with the following quote from Weiss: “At FanDragon Technologies, we’re focused on transforming ticket delivery. Our mission is to provide innovative, secure technology to any organisation that sells tickets helping them to delight their customers with a truly agnostic mobile-first experience.
“Our blockchain-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) [platform] empowers anyone from venues to ticket vendors, and all points in between, to acquire visibility and regain control while unlocking new revenue streams through audience engagement. We’re targeting businesses across the full spectrum of ticketing markets, including sports, music, theatre, cinema, family entertainment and theme parks.”
“We’re targeting businesses across the full spectrum of ticketing markets…”
The FanDragon and Aventus teams have been collaborating for the past several months to design a next-generation blockchain-powered SaaS platform.
In a joint statement, Aventus founders and IQ Trailblazers Annika Monari and Alan Vey comment: “We created the Aventus Protocol with the goal of addressing consumer frustration, giving talent and venues the option of enforcing pricing, and improving confidence around selling and buying tickets.”
FanDragon’s board of directors consists of Weiss, Monari, Vey and Mike Jones, the former CEO of Myspace and current CEO/co-founder of start-up Incubator Studio and the Science Inc. fund.
Before being named CEO of FanDragon Technologies, Weiss served for nearly five years as the CEO of the Arpanet Group, a technology and digital media advisory and investment firm.
The convergence of secure ticketing and blockchain technology saw the acquisition of Upgraded by Ticketmaster in October 2018, the company which also added anti-counterfeiting service SafeTix to digital tickets in May. The Aventus Protocol, meanwhile, launched its solution in 2018, after raising more than $18m in an ICO (initial coin offering) and recruiting the likes of promoter Bernie Dillon, ticketing consultant Michael Waterson, tech guru Andrew Ford and former Eventim UK MD Rob Edwards.
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