Imagine walking up to enter a live event — but instead of pulling out a physical or mobile ticket to get admitted — you pull out your smartphone which lets out an ultrasonic sound tailored for you that lets you into the event.
Yeah, that's what Ticketmaster is trying to do.
Ticketmaster is partnering with LISNR in hopes of 'breaking the ticket' in a platform called PRESENCE. In a recent video, announcing their innovation, the company pointed out that tickets haven't changed in 30 years, but with the new digital age, it should. Now, they are looking for a way to better overall fan experience through the use of 'Smart Tones'.
Smart Tones were developed by LISNR, an American technology company specializing in data transmission using ultrasonic sound. The Smart Tones contain audio frequency ranging from 18.7–19.2 kHz, inaudible to over 90% of humans. It has already started to be used in Jaguar Land Rovers, letting the sounds communicate with cars to unlock doors or personalize settings like air conditioning temperature.
The partnership with Ticketmaster simply looks to replace tickets as we know them today. It's meant to help cut the time for waiting in line, so it's fairly simple and fast to use. When you approach the venue, just open up your Ticketmaster app and play the audio. It will be detected by a scanner and confirm your identity. LISNR and Ticketmaster expect that the whole ordeal will take less than a second, greatly speeding up the entry process. LISNR co-founder Chris Ostoich said in an interview with the Ticketing Business:
From an attendee's perspective, it almost eliminates the line. It's a passive check-in process rather than an active one. The faster we have attendees walk into an event, the sooner they can interact with what they are there for.
But getting you in faster isn't the only thing that this will be good for. Ticketmaster boasts that this will eliminate ticket fraud and seriously decrease scalping. The Smart Tones not only need to be played through your Ticketmaster account, but they also need to be played from the mobile device you purchased your tickets on. So unless someone steals your phone, they can't steal your ticket. It also makes it harder for scalpers to do their thing and sell fake tickets, as it's not so easy to replicate the Smart Tones technology.
LISNR and Ticketmaster also hope to engage fans more through tracking, which isn't as creepy as it sounds. Because each Smart Tone has its own unique sound, venues can track those at the event and send messages to users regarding what would make their customized experience better. It also could allow artists at concerts to engage with fans before the show, sending out messages to those in proximity (the proximity for communicating devices must be 30-100 feet)
This is also helpful in case of emergency. After recent tragedies at concerts and live events, a tracking system based on your ticket could be helpful in case someone goes missing. Don't worry about costs being raised either, both companies are certain that PRESENCE will help to reduce prices.
Justin Burleigh, EVP of product at Ticketmaster said in the video released by both companies:
We used identity as our North Star — our guiding light to develop a product that makes each individual fan experience the greatest it could be. This means using identity to drive customized experiences based on who you are and where you are, eliminating fraud, resulting in a safer environment, and delivering more personalization based on the specific event you're attending.
PRESENCE isn't the only plan that Ticketmaster and LISNR have for their partnership, according to a source at Venture Beat, Ticketmaster is looking to allow event attendees to buy items at venues using the technology instead of a credit card or NFC.
For now, PRESENCE by Ticketmaster and LISNR is in production at 32 venues in North America. It is also in full operation mode in the Orlando SC stadium for Major League Soccer. You can expect to see a full global roll-out of this technology over the next few years.