Ticketmaster and Facebook will be teaming up to make social events just a bit more sociable. When you go to buy your concert or sports tickets online, the interactive seating map will also show who among your friends will be in attendance and where. Your friends will appear on a list, and you can look to buy seats near or far, depending on if it’s your best bud or evil ex sitting nearby.
The whole thing works using tags. Once logged into Facebook via the Ticketmaster map, friends must tag their seats to be visible, likewise for you. Tagging friends to seats will send them a message for approval. Control is near total, with privacy settings that allow everyone to see your seat or just friends. Information will also be added to your Facebook wall, announcing to those in your loop that you’ll be front and center.
The deal with Facebook is part of a plan by Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard to move more butts into seats. According to Fast Company, 40% of all tickets go unsold and 60% of all event-goers would see more shows if they knew who was going too. It’s a no-brainer that finding out about and attending events could be made easier through social networking sites like Facebook. If it can help organize protests in Egypt, then it most certainly can get you and your buds all to the same show. Ticketmaster will also be teaming with Groupon and iTunes to sell tickets online, as well as putting up ticket-vending kiosks at your local Walmart.
The efforts are all part of Hubbard’s crusade for consumer care. “This isn’t just about social,” he says of the Facebook deal to Fast Company, “it’s about the experience.” There’s been some grumbling from fans about service fees and ticket availability—problems that Hubbard is out to tackle. Last year was the biggest loss for Live Nation, the company that owns Ticketmaster; some $228 million. “I used to hate Ticketmaster, I hated the fact that they keep all these fees, I hated the fact that they charge ridiculous ticket prices, I hated the fact that the inventory gets moved across and shows up in a secondary market, and of course the revelation for me as I got into ticketing is none of those things Ticketmaster does,” said Hubbard in an interview with This Week In Music. If there’s one thing at the top of Hubbard’s list to change at Ticketmaster it’s to try and make shows what they should be: pure fun.
Skip to 9:09 and watch Hubbard speak with This Week In Music‘s Ian Rogers below.