AEG Takes Secondary Ticketing In-House With AXS

Staples Center
FG/Bauer-Griffin / GC Images
– Staples Center
in Los Angeles
AEG has officially announced that its own ticketing company, AXS, will be the secondary ticketing partner for sports franchises and AEG-owned or operated venues.
“For the better part of a decade we have been a partner to some of the top venues, artists and teams around the world, helping connect fans with live experiences,” Bryan Perez, CEO of AXS said in a statement. “Now we further improve the process by making it easier for fans to buy, sell and transfer tickets for thousands of events at AEG operated venues. Our continued investment in technology and a superior consumer experience has put us in a position to expand our partnership with AEG.”
The move is not unsurprising, as AXS entered the resale market in the U.K. in June, effectively ending its existing partnership with StubHub to handle resale duties for The O2 in London and SSE Arena, Wembley.
At the time, StubHub said: “StubHub and AEG have taken the mutual decision to end their partnership after five years. In this time, we have enjoyed a successful partnership with AEG in the U.K. As we part ways, we welcome the increased competition, which AEG’s marketplace will bring to consumers and the industry at large.”
The announcement should similarly end existing partnerships between StubHub and AEG venues or franchises. 
As a part of the new partnership, AXS Mobile ID technology and the “FanSight” purchase experience technology will be integrated in 30 of AEG’s U.S. venues. The new technologies will help facilitate paperless ticketing transactions, give fans one source for primary and secondary tickets, and help AEG gather data about event attendees. AEG venues affected include Staples Center in Los Angeles; Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.; and The Showbox in Seattle.
AXS, which is co-owned by AEG, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and TPG Capital (owner of Cirque De Soleil), is the latest ticketing giant to plant its stake in the primary and secondary marketplaces, following the lead of Ticketmaster, which allows for the sale and resale of tickets on its own platform, but recently closed separate resale sites Get Me In! and Seatwave across Europe.
The secondary market has been under intense scrutiny in Europe, as recently evidenced by an open letter from the U.K.’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse to Google, demanding action against Viagogo’s use of the search engine’s advertising. 
A ticket bot ban also recently came into effect in the U.K., with an “unlimited fine” threatened.
The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority confirmed that a number of secondary sites formally committed to better educate the public about ticket resales.
Earlier this year, when asked where he thought the secondary market was headed, Eventbrite’s President of Music and board member Andrew Dreskin said: “The primary ticketing providers have continued to become more sophisticated over time. There’s finally a willingness from the primary stakeholders to price their inventory correctly, or more according to the market. Primary and secondary are going to converge and there’s going to be a secondary squeeze.
“The primary providers, in conjunction with our clients, venues and promoters, are just better situated to look after the life cycle of that ticket, the ownership of that ticket, to determine what the price could be on the secondary market, how many times that ticket could be sold, all of that stuff. More and more you’re going to start to see the convergence of primary and secondary.”