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culture

New Arrival Ticketfly Has Ticketmaster in its Crosshairs

A new ticketing service's Canadian debut may mean a drop in service fees on tickets to concerts at Lee's Palace, the Horseshoe Tavern, and other places.

A screencap of Ticketfly's website, as it appeared earlier today.


Live music fans now have a new option for purchasing advance tickets for events. That’s because Ticketfly, a U.S.-based ticketing and marketing platform, has just expanded into Canada. It’s supposed to be cheaper and more convenient for customers than Ticketmaster, the much-reviled industry leader.

While Ticketfly’s move was just formally announced today, it’s an expansion that has been in the works for some time. In addition to acquiring Calgary’s Prime Box Office, Ticketfly has entered into agreements with Calgary-based Union Events and Toronto’s Collective Concerts. What makes this especially interesting for Torontonians is that Collective Concerts is the exclusive talent buyer for both Lee’s Palace and the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, so tickets to all shows at those venues will now be provided through Ticketfly.

It’s not only the indie rock and EDM scenes that will be affected by Ticketfly’s presence in Canada. Heavy metal promoter Inertia Entertainment recently announced on their Facebook page that they would be working exclusively with Ticketfly in the future (though previously announced shows will still be available through Ticketmaster).

Among the advantages of Ticketfly over Ticketmaster are free print-at-home options, the ability to order tickets over Facebook, and, supposedly, lower service fees.

What exactly are some of the details about Ticketfly and its services? Here’s a handy guide.

Fees: Ticketfly’s fees reportedly tend to be about 30 per cent lower than Ticketmaster’s fees, and the company has done away with print-at-home fees entirely.

Convenience: There are multiple ways for people to buy tickets: directly from a promoter’s affiliate network, through Facebook, or from a device. Ticket buyers can find and purchase tickets online, share their concert plans across social networks, and display a scannable bar code on their phone for access to a show.

Access: Ticketfly has deals with Collective Concerts, Union Events, and Inertia Entertainment. Ticketmaster, meanwhile, has exclusive deals with Live Nation, House of Blues, and other major concert producers and promoters. Expect some shakeups and changes if the company gains more ground in Canada.

Marketing: Ticketfly includes content management features that allow promoters to update their websites easily. It also gives sellers access to analytics tools that allow them to better track when, where, and how customers are buying tickets.

Promotion and Social Media: Ticketfly includes features that automate some aspects of social-media marketing.

CORRECTION: January 18, 2013, 11:50 AM This post originally said that Ticketfly has exclusive deals with Live Nation and House of Blues. In fact, it’s Ticketmaster that has those deals. We regret the error.

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