What this affiliate wants in a ticket datafeed/api – besides clean data

I was asked recently to spell out what ticketing agencies and companies can do to help make our job easier for integrations, and after smiling (since nobody ever really ASKS how they can help), I started rambling on and on about data formats and relationships.

 

This was originally going to be a closed email, but instead I figure it will make a better blog post.

If you’re an event data aggregator, programmer, or just like to have an opinion, please make sure you read everything before posting comments. That said, if you feel I missed something or if YOU have a better idea, we’re always open to suggestions.

 

The Problem is always a lack of good data.

Every site and service we integrate with has certain oddities lurking in their data. It could be venues with missing or incorrect addresses, artists with incorrect names, or multiple different artist IDs representing the same act (I’m looking at you Ticketmaster/Livenation). These inconsistencies are oftentimes easy to see, but many times become apparent only after the integration is completed and are sometimes very subtle and hard to track down.

The first thing I’d ask for in a data feed or API from a ticketing partner is consistently good data. Don’t provide me with complete data on 99% of items and sometimes blank out a critical field of data, just give us the same stuff all the time and we will be very happy campers.

[Read more…]

Who’s Selling out their Fans?

I’m getting fed-up with emails from people you desperately want to buy tickets (mostly because we don’t sell tickets, BoxOfficeHero just points you in the right direction).

Here’s a short list:

  • Hannah Montana, aka Miley Cyrus
  • Madonna
  • Taylor Swift
  • Justin Bieber

These are just a few of the big names that I’ve personally seen screw the average fan out of any chance they *might* have had to get tickets for a concert, all in the name of bigger profits.

Did you know that less than 10 percent of tickets to a recent Taylor Swift concert in Nashville were made available to the public?

The rest went to tour management, american express cardholders, Swifts fanclub members, radio stations, record label and producers.

It’s no surprise that tickets for her latest RED tour have been selling for double, triple and even ten times their face value.

Clearly, people are desperate to see these big-name acts play and are willing to pay a small fortune for that “priviledge”.

Now, I believe in The American Way. Free Enterprise is a great thing, and if people want to make a buck by buying and reselling tickets – fine and good, but the public deserves to know what their odds really are – don’t you agree?

Just read this excerpt from this NPR article, I’ve added emphasis to certain points:

A few years ago, an investigative team in Nashville unearthed the “holds” list for a Taylor Swift show at the Sommet Center (now known as the Bridgestone Arena), a venue that held 13,330 fans. After Swift’s fan club, management, agents, record label and opening acts got ticket allotments; after a radio-sponsored presale; and after, yes, American Express card members had access to a presale, only 1,591 tickets were actually available to the public.

Clearly then – getting presale tickets is one way for the average fan to overcome the problem of quick sell-out shows – there are a few places online to find them, some eBay sellers have auctions for presale codes, while there are sites like WiseGuys Presale Passwords, which collect dozens of codes each day from newsletters, forums, fanclubs and make them available for a small fee.

These pre-sold tickets also would explain why there are so many tickets listed on StubHub before the regular on-sale date, and why, according to The Ticket Broker Guide, demand is highest right around the time of the on-sale.

BoxOfficeHero includes presales in our list of events going on sale – so IF you have the right kind of credit card (American Express, CITI and Visa all sponsor events, but AMEX is by far the largest promoter of concerts) you can buy tickets right away.
If the presale needs a code or a password, we recommend WiseGuys service (tmpresale.com) – they are reliable, quick to respond to customer service requests, and do refunds if you don’t get tickets, or even if you get stuck in a section you don’t like.

If you need a certain kind of credit card, you might want to start applying now, as it can take weeks for approval in today’s world.

As always, the best way to avoid getting screwed is to pay attention to what’s coming up, thankfully our members already know that.