Ticketmaster To Incorporate Facial Recognition Technology Into Presence

– Ticketmaster

Always trying to be on the forefront of new tech, Ticketmaster announced May 3 that it was investing in facial recognition company Blink Identity, and would be looking to incorporate the tech into its Ticketmaster Presence initiative.

The ticketing giant is saying the move fits into its “identity-based ticketing” efforts, which a statement says includes communicating with fans will in venue and increasing safety. In Live Nation’s First Quarter Financial Results report the partnership was mentioned in the same breath as the Verified Fan program, which has been used to make sure tickets get to real fans of artists like Taylor Swift, Pearl Jam, Elton John and U2.

Blink Identity’s claim to fame is its ability to identify people while walking. The company’s website claims its technology has been used for operational testing at U.S. military bases around the world. The company seems to have been founded in 2018.

The Austin-based tech company claims the technology is applicable not only for live events, but in the healthcare industry and in other commercial buildings to “monitor employee location and space utilization.” The company is led by CEO Mary Haskett and CTO Alex Kilpatrick.

A statement said that the companies became acquainted through the 2018 Techstars Music Accelerator program.

Ticketmaster Presence is the integration of different technologies into one digital pass that it says will expedite entry and waiting times; facilitate better communication between fans, staff and organizers; and gather data.

Justin Burleigh, exec VP of product at Ticketmaster, told Pollstar that the end of paper ticketing would not be far off, thanks to Presence, which he boasted had 10 million users about six months ago.

Presence was also at the center of the extension of the deal between the NFL and Ticketmaster in 2017, as it was decided that the software technology would soon be incorporated into the teams’ host venues.

Of course, digital ticketing and technology is great until it fails. Ticketmaster had a server issue last year, causing frustration for many attempting to use the ticketing app to get into NFL, MLB and college football events.

Tyler Kirby, VP of ticketing for the NFL’s Chiefs, said that the transition to Presence would also affect concerts hosted at the stadium, as the team has moved to mobile-only as the method of entry for most non-sports events.

“Our Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran concerts this year will both be 100 percent mobile entry,” Kirby said in a blog post. “We also utilize mobile-only for many of our other fan events, allowing us to protect the integrity of the ticket to those that are the intended guests to that respective event.”