In an industry plagued by ticket fraud, inflated resale prices, and limited control over distribution, True Tickets, a new first-party data solution available for Tessitura Network members, has emerged as a beacon of hope for event organizers. Last month, True Tickets announced the launch of Rules-Based Ticket Sharing Version 2.0 (RBTS 2.0) — the ability to set custom and variable rules for a ticket at the ticket level. Version One empowered event organizers to create and assign rules related to the sharing of digital tickets. The new version allows clients to set rules at the performance, price type, and constituent levels, giving them even more control over their ticketing operations. While the functionality starts with custom share rules for Tessitura organization, the rules engine underlying it is built to do much more.
True Tickets’ rules-based ticket sharing feature creates a chain of custody for each ticket, making the enforcement of terms and conditions much easier for clients. Purchased tickets can be time-fenced and feature dynamic QR codes to discourage unauthorized transactions or resales. With this new version, True Tickets clients can set up guardrails against sharing specific types of tickets or require the original purchaser to attend the show. For example, a venue may opt not to allow student tickets to be shared, or at a VIP event they may limit ticket sharing to within one degree of separation.
The primary aim of RBTS 2.0 is to enable better ticket distribution. While many systems offer some level of restricted share capability, that is where the similarities between those systems and True Tickets end. What is most important about the v2 rules engine is not what it enables today, but the future it makes possible for tomorrow — granular, flexible, and portable rules that can work across systems and marketplaces to make for a more consistent, efficient, and transparent ticketing ecosystem. Here are a few examples:
Walled Gardens: Protecting the Integrity Your Ticketing Ecosystem
If you’re a major sports league, the last thing you want is to be beholden to a single ticketing system or marketplace (MLB could be the exception here, as they own Tickets.com). To cede that level of control and data to a single 3rd party provider is a very risky business proposition. What we all want is for multiple systems and marketplaces to compete to better serve the ticket issuers and the fans. By minimizing leakage and unauthorized resale, walled gardens enhance the value of partnerships while holding accountable those who participate in the ticketing ecosystem.
Imagine an ecosystem where only authorized systems and marketplaces can sell and resell tickets. RBTS 2.0 makes this walled garden concept a reality by allowing clients to set rules around not only what tickets could be resold, but where they can be resold. This ensures that tickets are sold and resold exclusively through authorized channel partners, preventing unauthorized resale and fraud. An additional and significant benefit of a walled garden is that the overseer of the ecosystem will have real-time visibility in all their ticket transactions (something they do have today).
Ethical Resale: Prioritizing Fans and Fairness
Why wouldn’t you want to allow a ticket to be resold, you may ask? The issue with resale is bad actors and the damage they cause. Unethical resellers don’t have to deal with daughters crying and mothers upset over double-sold Demi Lovato tickets. Unethical resellers don’t have to deal with an irate patron who was sold a 4th tier back row seat to Hamilton for 20x of face value. However, venues and their staff do, and they want this to stop.
Although Congress has proposed ticketing legislation, passing such laws with no technical ability to enforce them will be minimally effective. RBTS 2.0 is the technical foundation required for effective enforcement and enables the ability to restrict resale platforms and resale prices, creating ethical resale or resale done right. By setting restrictions on resale platforms and prices, RBTS 2.0 paves the way for a fair and fan-centric secondary ticket market by influencing how tickets are fulfilled, data is transferred, and revenues are processed. Ultimately, this helps to restore trust within the ticketing industry, creating a more equitable and transparent ecosystem.
Airline-like Sales Model: Variable License Pricing to Optimize Revenue
When customers board a plane today, they’re comfortable with knowing the other people on the plane may have paid a different price than they did depending on the restrictions that would be placed on their travel experience. Pay the least (Basic Economy) and you have the most restrictions on your ticket: you can’t even select your seat or bring a carry-on bag. Pay the most for your ticket (Refundable Main) and you can select your seat, bring a carry on, and get a cash refund if your plans change.
Ticketing hasn’t quite accepted that this is a reality for live experiences too. This means ticket issuers are missing out on vast swaths of data and leaving significant revenue on the table. RBTS 2.0 introduces the ability to implement an airline-like sales model, revolutionizing the way tickets are priced and licensed. Under this model, event organizers can offer the same seat at different prices with varying levels of restrictions. Just like with a seat on a plane, if a customer pays less, they are subject to more restrictions. They may not be allowed to share a ticket or they may be required to attend the show in order for any additional tickets they purchase and share to be valid. If they’d like more freedom around ticket sharing — to purchase and share tickets to a show they will not attend or to re-sell tickets, for example — the venue can require them to pay more. For venues, this creates a path to increased revenue. For patrons, it levels the playing field, creating a paid pathway to more freedom with their tickets.
Better Ticketing Isn’t a Concept; It’s Here
True Tickets’ RBTS 2.0 is a rules engine that enables even better ticket distribution and resale. It offers not only more first-party data but also more accurate, consistent, and standard data about who is in possession of tickets to their events at all times and who attends their experiences. For consumers, rules-based ticket sharing means that the ticket they possess is valid and will get them into the event. For event organizers, it provides an unprecedented level of configurability and control while enabling new engagement ecosystems like walled gardens, ethical resale, and an airline-like sales model. This ensures that they can provide a better experience for their patrons and fans, protect them from fraud and scalping, and ultimately build stronger customer relationships.