Tix selling quick for Ticketmaster Online

Sales up 275% from the same quarter of '98

Proving a strong market exists for online ticket sales, Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch sold more than $60 million worth of ducats during the first quarter of 1999.

The 275% increase in sales over the same quarter of 1998 was partly buoyed by the ticketer’s recent alliance with SFX, and the latter’s growing slate of events.

As a result, the ticketer moved 1.6 million tickets to consumers in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada for a wide variety of arts, concerts, family entertainment, sports and other events.

SFX aside, through increasing consumer interest, the arm has also steadily posted sales increases each quarter since its bow in mid-1996 by Alan Citron and former Ticketmaster CEO Fred Rosen. CitySearch was merged into Ticketmaster’s operation last year.

The tally of Ticketmaster Online accounted for nearly 10% of Ticketmaster’s total ticket sales.

The site has proved to be among the Internet’s most popular, with more than 5.8 million visits and 54 million page views in March.

Execs at the ticketer said the ducat increases occurred across all demographics and were most prevalent with such events as the tour for the Dave Matthews Band where online sales accounted for more than 12% of all of the tickets sold nationwide. It also broke a record for one-day sales for tickets to the Chicago Cubs’ 1999 season.

The online method was recently given another thumbs-up when the Cranberries announced that all concert tickets for their upcoming tour will be sold exclusively online through Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch.

“Consumers are responding to the convenience of finding event information and purchasing tickets online,” said Charles Conn, CEO of Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch. “We’ve been investing heavily to more than double our capacity in the past six months, and we will soon launch a major site redesign.”