Online ticketing overhaul for SA



[Image] Local ticket sales are moving to social
media, through an innovative partnership
between Tixsa and US-based TicketBiscuit.

• Michael Canfield
MD, Tixsa
08614 tixsa

E-commerce now more accessible
Prestigious award for UCT project
Mobile technology for Africa
Healthcare from your mobile
Mobile opportunities in Africa

Mark Reid

South Africa’s online ticketing industry looks set for a major overhaul, with a new social media application becoming available, and more opportunities opening up for smaller players.

A partnership between local innovators Tixsa and American company TicketBiscuit has led to the launch of new technology that will enable entertainment lovers to buy tickets directly from fan pages and websites.

This is good news for the local ticket industry, which since 1971 has been dominated by Computicket, at that time the first electronic centralised booking system in the world.

While the company put South Africa at the forefront of advance ticketing, it also grew to dominate the local ticketing industry, capturing a 96.6% market share by 2010. This monopoly eventually aroused the ire of smaller ticketing companies, which resulted in a case being lodged with the Competition Commission.

Complainants claimed that Computicket’s use of long-term contracts and exclusivity clauses stifled competition in the industry and prevented clients from choosing an alternative ticketing source, or even a co-provider. The case is now awaiting a tribunal hearing date.

The launch of Tixsa’s new initiative therefore comes at a convenient time, with the possibility of new opportunities opening up in the market.

The partnership was announced back in July 2010, just six months after Tixsa started up. Back then TicketBiscuit was looking to expand internationally, and the company’s CEO Jeff Gale said in a statement that the time was right for the two companies to join hands.

“The Tixsa team was ready to take advantage of the Fifa World Cup momentum,” he said.

Gale added that Tixsa would use an enhanced version of TicketBiscuit’s licenced software. This allows Tixsa to integrate its product into clients’ websites or social media pages in just a few steps, giving them the chance to interact directly with their clients.

Because no special hardware is needed, clients can use their existing equipment to speedily set up their new service.

Easy set-up and operation

Tixsa offers a comprehensive box office management system. Services include round-the-clock ticket sales via the Tixsa mobile application or the client’s Facebook page or website.

The system also offers completely secure payment processing. Tickets are delivered directly to a mobile phone, or may be printed at home, and each ticket features a unique barcode to prevent fraudulent use.

The Tixsa system also delivers automatic event updates to the client’s website, and offers realtime sales reports, on demand. User details may be extracted and used for email campaigns and other relationship-building exercises.

In addition to tickets, the sale of related merchandise is also possible. For instance, the client can offer packages that include a concert ticket, a t-shirt and a CD, or just the ticket. This adds value to the customer’s purchase and increases the vendor’s income.