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Ticketmaster, the global leader in ticketing software and services, has acquired UPGRADED, a blockchain technology company servicing the live events industry, the company announced in a press release on October 19, 2018.

Ticketmaster Goes Blockchain

(Source: Irish Mirror)

Ticketmaster, a division of the world’s largest live-entertainment business Live Nation, has entered the blockchain industry by acquiring a live events company powered by the technology.

According to the company’s press release, Upgraded converts traditional tickets into secure interactive digital assets protected by blockchain, providing event creators with more control and visibility over ticket distribution, and protecting fans against fraudulent tickets.

Ticketmaster reportedly plans on using the technology developed by Upgraded to provide more transparency to its users and clients, as well as impose more control over their ticket distribution.

Sandy Khaund, founder and CEO of Upgraded, said that the company’s partnership with Ticketmaster is “a perfect platform” to promote blockchain to millions of people worldwide. Justin Burleigh, Chief Product Officer at Ticketmaster, North America, said that the company is constantly exploring emerging technologies and that there weren’t many of them that offer the “unique” possibilities of blockchain.

“We think blockchain and UPGRADED will continue our progress to improve ticketing and create a safer and more seamless experience,” Burleigh said in the company’s press release.

Upgraded Helps Ticketmaster Go Digital and Avoid Fraud

Ticketmaster’s partnership with Upgraded marks a bold move for the company, as it hopes that it will protect clients from fraud associated with the existing ticketing system, which works in the form of printed or PDF-based tickets.

Upgraded will enable the ticketing giant to digitize traditional tickets into interactive units protected by blockchain technology via encrypted barcodes. The press release explained that the new solution would be available without special requirement from a venue to replace existing access control hardware.

The new tech deployment isn’t the only thing that will be incorporated into Ticketmaster’s infrastructure in the following months. The company stated that it has launched a number of other initiatives to improve and protect both the ticketing process and fans, including such services as Presence, Verified Fan, and the facial-identification tool Blink Identity.

Its move comes just weeks after reports that both Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, were sued for “unlawful and unfair business practices.” According to Rolling Stone, Ticketmaster helped scalpers grab mass quantities of tickets for resale and then collected kickbacks from their secondary sale. And while Ticketmaster’s secondary market is legitimate, the practice violated the company’s policies.

The company’s partnership with Upgraded will most likely result in an increase in transparency when it comes to their business practices, as well as an increase in security, as Ticketmaster claims that 60 percent of the “hottest tickets” are purchased by bots.