What’s the next logical step for Apple’s iTunes? Why selling concert tickets of course, and a new patent filing by Apple referring a system called “Concert Ticket +” directly addresses that step.
Concert tickets can be expensive and paper tickets are easy to misplace and lose. The idea is that proof of ticket purchase would be stored digitally on Apple’s mobile devices, and on remote servers. Digital tickets would be accessible as an application icon, as the image below shows (see the icon beside the the yellow arrow on the iPhone image):
“Smartphones as tickets” obviously has immense potential value not only for concert goers, but attendees of a variety of events, including Apple’s own WWDC developers conference. The Concert Ticket+ system could be used to provide venue maps, song lyrics (a least for concert events), a means to find people via ad hoc networks (presumably with some integration of Apple’s recent iGroups patent), and more. The digital ticket itself could be used to take advantages of onsite discounts via digital coupons for merchandise, food, beverages or other offers.
While the music industry might be bellyaching about lost CD/ DVD sales due to piracy, the concert business is still big bucks, and getting a flat fee or percentage of ticket sales — whether in the entertainment biz or not — is just one more income stream for Apple. It remains to be seen whether or not the company can earn additional revenues from events promoters and merchants who want to use the system, or if that’s free of charge. Maybe Apple will go into the record label business next, possibly even buy up the holdings of Apple Records (aka The Beatles’ label, with whom Apple Computers once agreed with not to go into the music biz), now that Michael Jackson and most of the Beatles — i.e., those who held publishing rights — are out of the way.
Image via Patently Apple.