Live Nation and Ticketmaster announce the future of ticketing – and it’s mighty creepy

Written by Poppy Reid on 10th May, 2018
Live Nation and Ticketmaster announce the future of ticketing – and it’s mighty creepy

Concert-goers might soon be able to walk into a venue without waiting for a ticket to be scanned.

That’s according to a new partnership between Live Nation and Ticketmaster, who have invested in Blink Identity. Through its face-recognition technology, Blink Identity claims to be able to identify people walking by in “half a second”.

“We will continue investing in new technologies to further differentiate Ticketmaster from others in the ticketing business,” Live Nation told investors last week.

Blink’s military-style technology will allow fans attending Live Nation-promoted shows to associate digital tickets with their image, enabling them to simply walk into a show. It could also alert security if a “bad actor” shows up at the venue and prevent them from entering.

“[I]dentity-based ticketing has been a core area of investment for Ticketmaster over the past 3+ years,” a Ticketmaster representative told Fast Company.

Co-founded by Mary Haskett (CEO) and Alex Kilpatrick (CTO), Blink Identity cut its teeth on large-scale biometric identification systems for the military. Following their run through involvement in the Techstars Accelerator program, Haskett and Kilpatrick are turning their focus to the commercial market.

Live Nation is expected to roll the technology out at its owned and operated venues first, which include Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam, House of Blues Las Vegas and the Palais Theatre in Melbourne. Live Nation took over the lease to operate the historic St Kilda venue back in 2016 with a 30-year agreement.

According to reports, the promoter and ticketing giants are working on a pilot program that implements the tech into several Live Nation-owned venues, along with the e-ticketing system, Ticketmaster Presence.

If Melbourne’s Palais Theatre was used for the pilot, it wouldn’t be the first time a large international conglomerate tested new technology in Australia. Spotify has been known to test new features here, tapping in to the benefits of a smaller market for soft-launch style testing.

Meanwhile, Citibank, AOL, and Germany’s Priori Data have all used Australia as a test market for product and service offerings.

Palais Theatre in St Kilda, south Melbourne.
Palais Theatre in St Kilda, South Melbourne

The pilot program will be used to gain deeper data on who is in attendance at the event, how they received their tickets, and the ability to communicate with them while they are in the venue.

A Ticketmaster representative told Fast Company:

“Knowing not just who bought the tickets, but who is sitting in each and every seat, can dramatically change the live event industry in a variety of ways.”

Expect personalisation, honing fan interactions, and a “dramatically deeper level of safety and security,” apparently.

Don’t expect facial recognition to enter the live music industry too soon

In order to utilise Blink Identity’s technology, concert venues would have to be outfitted with surveillance equipment and Ticketmaster will need to develop a platform to collate a database of all its concertgoers’ faces. And even if that’s implemented with ease, they’ll still have to convince fans to use it. Not everyone is going to be comfortable with a ticketing company and a promoter having their image on file.

The article was originally published on The Industry Observer