A Look At Lea: An A.I. That Sells Tickets

Lea stands for Live Entertainment Assistant. It is a chatbot integrated into Facebook Messenger, recommending gigs to its users and allowing them to directly purchase tickets. 

LEA: Live Entertainment Assistant
– LEA: Live Entertainment Assistant
showing Bruno Mars tickets

Lea gathers data from users’ Spotfy listening preferences – Apple Music and Soundcloud are to follow – their location as well as their friends listening habits and bases its recommendations off of that. It gathers the tickets from the same ticket exchanges that are used by other primary and secondary ticket sellers by integrating with them via an API.

Lea is a chatbot, which means users can communicate with it through Facebook Messenger as if it were a chat with a friend. The user’s actual friends can join in, which may encourage them to buy a ticket as well. The purchase is done directly inside the messenger.

Bots have earned a bad reputation, because they’ve so far only made headlines when bulk-buying large amounts of tickets from primary markets and automatically placing them on secondary sites at a mark-up. So is Lea a bot that actually helps sell tickets? Pollstar asked the company’s CEO Brian Canty.

What exactly is LEA? An AI? A bot?

Lea is a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence (specifically machine Learning and natural language processing) to provide a great user experience to fans.

Do you have deals in place with the main ticket agencies? Can you give a list of the primary and secondary sellers you’re working with?

We work with ticket exchanges (similar to other secondary companies) that give us access to thousands of ticket sellers who can list their inventory on our platform.  

Brian Canty
– Brian Canty

So you only offer tickets from secondary listings at the moment? Does that mean tickets on Lea are sold with a potential markup?

We are currently integrated with secondary listings but are working to add primary listings shortly. We don’t set the prices, the sellers do – we just promise to our fans that we have the lowest prices available to them in the market. In fact, this means that the tickets are often below the face value price of the ticket, if demand is low.

Does Lea take a cut of the ticket sale?

In our industry, the fees typically range from 20-35 percent, with some companies taking fees in the 50 percent range, but 20 percent is the maximum we ever charge. Again, our goal is to provide the best pricing and user experience possible for all fans.

How do you make sure named tickets are transferred to the new buyer?

All transactions take place through the ticket exchanges, which operate like a stock exchange. The tickets are sent to the fan and then removed from the exchange, so there are no issues with two people getting the same ticket. 

In what format do ticket buyers receive their ticket?

As soon as the buyer purchases, they receive an email with the electronic pdf ticket, which is the most seamless way for the fan to buy. In the future we’ll add in all other forms of tickets (physical tickets, FlashSeats, credit card entry, etc.), but the best experience for the fan is via electronic tickets scanned in from their phone.

Which sources does Lea tap into to get an idea of a user’s musical taste?

While we don’t disclose all of the date sources we use, we rely primarily on proprietary machine learning algorithms to create the most accurate recommendations. As fans share information like their Spotify/streaming data or their location, for instance, the recommendations get more and more accurate – the more you interact with Lea, the better she’ll get at predicting the right event at the right time for you.