SBD/August 23, 2011/Facilities

AEG, Outbox Team To Launch Axs Ticket Service To Rival Ticketmaster

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AEG today announced the launch of axs, a new platform that will leverage AEG's music, sports and entertainment properties. The first phase of axs is a ticket-selling service built in partnership with Outbox Enterprises, in which AEG is both an equity partner and a client. Through axs Ticketing, AEG will be able to sell tickets under both the axs brand and its local venue brands. The service is available at axs.com and on mobile platforms with Facebook/Twitter integration (AEG). AEG Live said that it hopes the new service "could challenge Ticketmaster, which currently dominates the market for concerts and other live events.” The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Ethan Smith notes axs is “to begin selling seats on Saturday for concerts at two venues in Denver.” AEG plans to “start selling tickets to two theaters it owns in San Francisco soon, and by the end of 2012 to add nearly all of its 100 venues around the world.” AEG executives said that they “plan to wait until after next summer's London Olympics before switching the O2 to the new ticketing system.” axs “arose in the aftermath of last year's merger between Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment Inc,” and AEG and Outbox Enterprises have “spent nearly 18 months building the new service.” axs will “list tickets on its website,” and will “list and sell tickets on venue websites” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/23). In L.A., Alex Pham noted AEG “primarily has used Ticketmaster,” but the company said that it “has a two-year plan to convert all of its facilities” to axs. AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke said that AEG “expects to roll out the service to Staples Center by mid-2012” (LATIMES.com, 8/22). AEG officials said that one change from Ticketmaster is that axs “will not charge a fee for customers to print tickets that they purchase online.” TicketNetwork CEO Don Vaccaro said, "This is definitely a big blow for Live Nation and Ticketmaster" (DENVER POST, 8/23). In N.Y., Ben Sisario notes AEG’s deal with Outbox “allows it to use that company’s technology for a ‘white label’ ticketing system, meaning it would make generic tickets that individual theaters or arenas could adopt.” Leiweke said that the company’s goal “was to build Axs into a consumer brand for all of AEG’s theaters and events.” He added that the site eventually “will include video segments from concerts or a television network that AEG is developing” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/23).
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