Finally making a break with arch-competitor Live Nation’s Ticketmaster in its biggest U.S. market, AEG has announced that its Los Angeles venues will now employ its proprietary AXS Ticketing service for its Los Angeles venues.
Monday’s announcement had a take-that flavor to it, since AXS will be selling tickets to Beyonce’s June 26 concert at AEG’s Staples Center. The singer’s “Mrs. Carter Show” world tour, which kicks off at the LA Live venue, is being promoted in the U.S. by Live Nation. Trek was announced on Monday on the heels of Beyonce’s half-time show at the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
AXS Digital senior vp-GM Tom Andrus said, “With the addition of AEG’s largest and most iconic venue to date — Staples Center — the ticketing platform now powers the No. 1 arenas in both North America and the United Kingdom, with true momentum forward. AXS is more than just ticketing and was created as a complete platform to redefine the live event experience by empowering venues across every phase of an event — from event discovery to ticketing to in-venue engagement and beyond.”
AXS will also now handle ticketing for the Nokia Theatre and Club Nokia. AEG has ramped up the service in 24 venues since its launch in August 2011 (Daily Variety, Aug. 23, 2011).
Concurrently, AXS announced that it has acquired Carbonhouse, a Web site development firm specializing in work with arenas, performing arts centers and convention centers, and has invested in ByPass, which provides in-seat ordering and payment solutions for venues.
Last year, AEG acquired indie ticketing firm Front Gate Tickets (Daily Variety, Sept. 13) and announced a partnership with eBay’s ticket resale unit StubHub (Daily Variety, Nov. 12). AXS expanded into the U.K. in October (Daily Variety, Oct. 23).
AEG’s latest moves on the ticketing front came as bidding for the diversified entertainment and sports company moved forward. The company, privately held by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, was placed on the block in September (Daily Variety, Sept. 19), and is being valued in the $5 billion to $8 billion range.
Recent reports have indicated that top bidders for AEG include Westfield, Steven Mnuchin, Guggenheim Partners, Qatari Sports Investment, Colony Capital, Patrick Soon-Shiong and Ron Burkle.