Outbox Enterprises to take on Ticketmaster

New ticket service from AEG, Cirque du Soleil

Outbox Enterprises is taking on Ticketmaster.

New ticketing service — created by AEG, Cirque du Soleil, Jean-Francoys Brousseau and former Ticketmaster chief exec Fred Rosen — will allow ducat buyers to purchase directly from venues rather than through Ticketmaster, which has enjoyed a monopoly in the ticket-buying business for decades.

New venture, scheduled to roll out over the next two years, will empower all live entertainment venues to control their own inventory and pricing, as well as keep and control consumer data and profiles without any third-party involvement.

Rosen told Variety that the advantage of Outbox Enterprises is that if Staples Center, for example, can sell tickets to consumers, it has the option of waiving a service charge as a promotion for a lower-profile game, concert or event. Right now, venues tied to Ticketmaster have no say on the fees imposed by the ticket giant.

“This is a defining event in that it creates two players in ticketing,” Rosen said. “It’s based on two totally separate ways to do business: one through a middleman and one through a website.”

Outbox will attempt to move into venues as current Ticketmaster contracts conclude. About 20% of those pacts come up for renewal every year.

The only other major player in the ticket business is Stub Hub, which eBay bought in 2007 for $300 million.

The Outbox model has previously been used for events at the Bell Center in Montreal and Kodak Theater in Hollywood, as well as certain Cirque performances in Las Vegas.

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