UPDATE: AEG Makes Major Ticketing Move

AEG president Tim Leiweke said in his introductory speech at the AEG Expo in Los Angeles February 2nd that the company was ready to launch a new ticketing initiative.

He told the hundreds of senior AEG managers assembled in L.A. that the company had hired former Jam and TM exec David Goldberg, who has spent the last six months researching a ticketing solution for AEG.

Goldberg was on an afternoon panel with Fred Rosen of Outbox Enterprises where more details were unveiled.  Rosen has been quietly ramping up Outbox and recently hired former Ticketmaster execs Neil Gunn and Don Orris.

AEG is partnering with Outbox, which is led by Rosen and co-CEO Jean-Francoys Brousseau, to power the new platform for AEG’s extensive network of facilities.  Outbox will be invisible to fans with all sales transactions run through individual venue websites rather than one central ticketing site. 

It may take six to nine months before the new system is ready for launch.  AEG expects to announce some of the initial venues that will use the new system within the next six to eight weeks and expects all of the 100+ venues in its global portfolio to switch over to the new system within two years.  The only exception is in Germany where AEG has another non-TM ticketing deal in place.  In the meantime, AEG still has use of its “white label” version of Ticketmaster’s software as was mandated by the U.S. Justice Department as part of its approval of the merger with Live Nation.

Ticketmaster has faced little head-on competition in recent years.  While there is no shortage of other ticketing companies out there, none of them has had the scale and potential access to ticket inventory that AEG brings to the table.  Things are about to get very interesting as Outbox represents a paradigm shift away from a centralized ticketing service like TM.  Outbox gives individual venues much more control over their own ticketing and fee structure.  Rosen indicated that Outbox will also compete with TM for non-AEG venues as those ticketing contracts come up for renewal.

Rosen has made no secret of his disdain for the way Ticketmaster is run today.  Most of the senior pre-merger TM employees have been replaced by Live Nation staffers.  Rosen will no doubt address all of this in his Pollstar Live keynote conversation with Tom Ross on Saturday morning.