It really wasn’t that long ago when part of the concert experience was camping out — sometimes for days — waiting in line to score tickets. Or, maybe you remember waiting up until midnight for tickets to go on sale, calling Ticketmaster and hoping not to get a busy signal.
Well, those days will soon be gone. More than 4 billion consumers own mobile phones. That’s almost 60 percent of the world’s population. As for smartphones (iPhones, Androids, etc.), it’s estimated that nearly 250 million people worldwide own one (50 million of those in are in the US), and by 2013 more than one billion people worldwide will carry a smartphone. Now, some skeptics will argue that just because someone has a mobile phone that doesn’t mean they want to use it to buy tickets. After all, people don’t just stop cold in the middle of the street and realize they need to buy tickets for the opera. Or do they?
A new study by Juniper Research predicts that the market for mobile ticketing will reach 15 billion transactions by the year 2014. Last year, Juniper estimated that just over 2 billion mobile tickets were sold. So, get ready because the ticketing industry is going mobile, and it’s going fast. I see this trend at Vendini, where our mobile ticket sales have increased more than DOUBLED in just the past 10 months. By 2015, I believe the majority of our ticket sales will be mobile.
What surprises me, though, is that despite the fact that more than 40 percent of Americans have smartphones, mobile ticketing is still in its infancy. Considering that mobile ticketing is a win for both the seller and the buyer, I would expect far more mobile ticketing programs. For the customer, it’s all about the convenience — being able to purchase tickets any where they have their phone and not having to worry about losing a paper ticket. For ticket sellers, it’s improved productivity, ease of use from anywhere, and lower costs.
I’ll be writing about mobile ticketing here again soon to let you know when Vendini’s new Android app is ready. We also have some exciting updates on the way for our mobile ticketing App in iPhone’s App Store which today enables venues to scan tickets and allows the manual look up of tickets to check people into events by name. What are your thoughts about the future of mobile ticketing? How are you envisioning a world where your Smartphone can get you in just about anywhere? We’d love to hear your ideas here.