AEG Create Ticket Platform to Challenge Ticketmaster
August 23, 2011
Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) has taken its first step in establishing itself as a major player in the ticketing market and rivaling Live Nation’s Ticketmaster by launching a website for its new ticketing platform, axs ticketing.
On Monday evening (Aug. 22), sports and entertainment giant AEG officially rolled the new ticketing site axs.com. The platform is the first initiative under Outbox Enterprises, a joint venture involving AEG, Cirque du Soleil’s Outbox Technology ticketing business and former Ticketmaster CEO Fred Rosen.
AEG (which owns global events promoter AEG Live) plans to introduce axs Ticketing later this year to events at San Francisco’s Warfield and Regency Ballroom. From there it will expand to other major domestic markets and international territories — as well as sales for larger-sized venues and AEG’s sports teams — through 2012. London’s AEG-owned O2 Arena will transition after the 2012 Olympics.
AEG’s collection of 105 buildings it owns and/or operates is impressive, including the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Target Center in Minneapolis, the Best Buy Theater in New York, Sprint Center in Kansas City, MasterCard Center in Beijing and Acer Arena in Sydney.
“We’re starting with our own venues; that’s a big task,” AEG senior VP of digital Todd Sims tells Billboard.biz. “Outbox, though, is an independent company. They will continue to go after new clients, independent venues and the like. We have not yet figured out what role axs will play in Outbox clients. But I expect there will be a role we can play there.”
Outbox’s ticketing model is based on a “white label” solution that allows venues to brand their own ticketing operation and own more flexibility on how tickets are sold. Therefore, the white label technology enables AEG to sell tickets under both axs.com and through their individual venue websites.
“For instance, on the website of the Ogden and Bluebird, you’ll be able to go to those sites, find shows and transact all in a very Ogden or Bluebird look and feel. But if you’re coming at it from an [axs.com] standpoint, it’s an axs look and feel,” Sims explains.
Venues using the axs Ticketing service will be the only online destination to purchase tickets for events taking place there, Sims points out. “You won’t be able to buy those tickets elsewhere,” he says. “Given the white label technology, we can form interesting distribution relationships and can create commerce opportunities wherever our consumers are. That might be at the artist level, at the venue level — we might form regional or national partnerships that enable them to sell those tickets as well. But they will not be sold on another core ticketing platform beyond axs.”