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Tickets Cloud launches new smart ticketing tech

Cloud-based ticketing platform Tickets Cloud trialled an updated version of its crypto.tickets distributed ledger technology at electronic music festival Signal.

Tickets Cloud launched ethereum-based crypto.tickets in 2017, using the blockchain platform to sell tickets for a 6,000-capacity Kraftwerk concert in February 2018. The newest version of the technology debuted at Signal festival, which took place from 15 to 18 August in Nikola-Lenivets, Russia.

More than 2,000 tickets were transferred using the technology, increasing the data available to organisers by 15%. Festivalgoers were also able sell unwanted tickets through the platform, with organisers receiving a cut for tickets sold on for higher than face value.

Each ticket was distributed with a unique, dynamic QR code to a Tickets Wallet, available on Android and Apple smartphones. All transactions were recorded in a distributed blockchain registry, providing access to the ticket’s “history” and owner information.

“We wanted to save our customers from issues like fake tickets and scams happening around the resale of tickets, and we also wanted to streamline ticket purchase and admission, making it safe and convenient,” says Sergeev Fadeev, CEO and founder of Signal Festival.

“We like to implement new exciting technologies so we decided to experiment with smart tickets, and we were not disappointed,” adds Fadeev.

“We like to implement new exciting technologies so we decided to experiment with smart tickets, and we were not disappointed”

Festival organisers were able to send messages to attendees, notifying them of any schedule changes or sending greeting from artists. Data from the app allowed organisers to identify the most engaged fans, offering promotional opportunities for future events.

Over 250 valid ticket holders communicated with each other via a chat room, arranging meet-ups, exchanging gig photos and swapping performance opinions.

“Every festival, every musical event unites like-minded people, and that’s why we’re focused on the social component of our app,” says Egor Egerev, founder of Tickets Cloud and сrypto.tickets.

Tickets Cloud currently sells tickets using crypto.tickets technology to more than 30 local events in Russia and is preparing to launch the technology at its first events in Europe and the USA.

Crypto.tickets can be integrated with any ticketing system, with Eventbrite already offering the necessary integration, in addition to Tickets Cloud.

Speaking to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, Tickets Cloud founder and managing director of the Moscow Ticketing Forum, Katerina Kirillova, told IQ that crypto-tickets were the “antidote to illicit resale”.

 


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Party like a Russian: Trends in ticketing

The ticketing market in Russia has largely developed according to its own rules. While the era of electronic tickets didn’t begin until the late 2000s, the sector is now in the process of rapid formation.

According to news agency Intermedia, the turnover of the market for cultural events (excluding cinema and sports) in Russia topped US$1.2 billion in 2014, and experts estimate the size of ticketing industry to be around $2bn.

At the end of March, the first conference in Russia on ticketing solutions and technologies, Moscow Ticketing Forum, was held in the Russian capital. The conference brought together around 600 key market players from Russia and beyond to discuss the state and future development of the Russian ticketing market. While delegates showed a high level of expertise, our European colleagues can learn much from the Russian approach and experience.

I believe that Russia can undoubtedly become a trendsetter in technological development in the global ticketing market and in the entertainment industry.

Our European colleagues can learn much from the Russian approach and experience

Online vs offline
By the end of 2016, 65–70% of all tickets sold in Moscow and St Petersburg were paperless. While this percentage is obviously smaller in the regions of Russia, where it averages 30%, it is expected that sales of electronic tickets will continue to increase, reaching 80% in larger cities this year.

Electronic tickets in Russia are bought mostly by millennials, with paperless sales of up to 60–70% at youth-focused concerts and events. However, a majority of ticket sales in Russia are still offline.

Monopoly vs diversification
In comparison to international ticketing markets, there is no monopoly in Russia. While CTS Eventim dominates in Europe and Ticketmaster in North America, the Russian market is more diversified. Tickets for most events are sold through several major ticket agencies, including parter.ru (Eventim’s local operation), kassir.ru, ponominalu.ru, concert.ru and many others.

In Russia, as elsewhere, each ticketing partner is allocated a quota by the event promoter, with each selling only their own quota and taking a fee on any tickets sold. This means customers visiting a ticket agency’s website can only view that seller’s inventory.

Most experts in Russia consider the ‘quota’ system of ticket distribution to be obsolete

Imagine what would happen if airline tickets were sold on a quota model. Each aggregator would show only its own limited pool of tickets – with business-class tickets available on one service, tickets in the middle of the plane on another and seats closer to the tail on a third.

This distribution model is still used in both the Russian and international markets. Most market experts in Russia, however, now consider this approach obsolete.

 


 

Trend #1: Towards a global distribution system
The answer is a ‘global distribution system’, wherein all tickets are available for purchase through all possible channels, as it is in the aviation industry.

Through global-distribution technology, it is possible for promoters to open access for all tickets to be sold by all ticket distributors. Under a global distribution system, all distributors receive equal access to the ticket database in real time.

A transition to this model is beneficial for event promoters, who can connect to as many tickets distributors as they want. It increases sales – as every customer can have access to all tickets in their budget in one convenient place – and allows promoters to accumulate data, previously held by ticket agencies, about their audience.

One such global-distribution service in Russia is Tickets Cloud, a cloud-based platform that allows promoters to connect to an unlimited number of distributors – such as ticket agencies, social media sites and artists’ fan clubs – to sell tickets around the world.

More than 30% of Russian theatres are now utilising global distribution systems, as well as several concert venues in Moscow, including YotaSpace (1,500-cap.) and Crocus City Hall (7,500-cap.)

 


 

Trend #2: Social selling
As Steve Machin, CEO of Accent Media (.tickets), said at Moscow Ticketing Forum: “The amount of tickets sold via social networks is constantly growing, and we can not deny it.”

According to local experts, promoters who consciously rely on sales through Vkontakte – a Facebook-like social network, the most popular in Russia – sell an average of 30% of their tickets through the service, and this trend is set to continue.

 


 

Trend #3: Secondary opportunities
The Russian secondary market in its current state is still unregulated and largely outside the law, with ticket brokers paying no taxes. This niche, therefore, is ripe for technological innovation, and a number of Russian start-ups are working in this direction.

Enter Eticket4 – Russia’s first online ticket marketplace. This start-up was presented in a competition for ticketing technology at Moscow Ticketing Forum and was well received by delegates.

 


 

Moscow Ticketing Forum demonstrated that ticketing industry players, both inside and outside Russia, realise the importance of new technology in not only increasing sales but developing the entire live music industry.

Blockсhain, chatbots, tools for dynamic pricing… All are gradually penetrating the Russian market – and all are being welcomed.

 


Katerina Kirillova is general director of Euroshow Moscow and managing director of Moscow Ticketing Forum.