Company's proprietary ticketing service continues expansion
With a multi-billion-dollar sale of its assets in play, Anschutz Entertainment Group is broadening its international ticketing operations with the UK launch of its proprietary service AXS.First gigs offered are the Girls Aloud reunion dates March 1-2 at London’s O2 Arena, AEG’s flagship European venue. AXS will offer Euro consumers such online features as a virtual waiting room, which displays real-time pricing and availability info; AXS Invite, a new feature (just implemented Stateside) that allows fans to reserve adjacent seats for friends; and free home printing. Bryan Perez, AEG’s president of digital, ticketing and media, said in a statement, “Until now, purchasing tickets has been a frustrating and time-consuming process, but this new platform will change that and give everyone a fairer chance of seeing their favorite acts live.” Company’s new overseas ticketing initiative comes in the wake of last month’s announcement that AEG, privately held by Denver magnate Philip Anschutz, had been put on the sales block (Variety, Sept. 20). Forbes recently valued the company – which operates dozens of venues and holds interests in several sports franchises – at between $8 billion-$10 billion. However, AXS — launched in North America in August 2011 — is a distant second to rival Live Nation Entertainment’s Ticketmaster: The LNE unit moved 22 million tickets worldwide last year, while AEG sold 12.2 million.