Amazon has big plans to expand its online tickets business
A program called Prime Tickets is coming, too.
Amazon launched its online ticketing business just last year, but it already has plans to expand it in Europe, Asia and potentially the U.S., according to a series of job listings posted recently.
The hiring efforts are part of a new initiative to “position Amazon Tickets as the world’s premier destination for purchasing tickets,” according to one posting. The job listings also hint at plans to integrate ticket sales into the Prime membership program with something Amazon is calling Prime Tickets, the details of which were not laid out.
Amazon first launched Amazon Tickets in the U.K. last year to sell tickets to concerts featuring artists like Elton John and theater performances such as “Wicked” and “The Book of Mormon.” Part of the company’s pitch has been that it displays ticket fees up front, and customers can easily pay with the payment method they have on file with Amazon.
In one of the recent job postings, Amazon said it is looking to hire new employees “to develop our international expansion strategy for Europe and Asia.” The company has also been hiring Amazon Tickets employees at its headquarters in Seattle, potentially signaling plans for a U.S. ticketing business.
“[O]ur vision goes beyond just selling tickets as we aim to disrupt the entire live entertainment experience, including what happens before, during and after the show,” one posting reads. “The ticketing business is ripe for innovation and improvement, as much of the industry has not fundamentally changed since the 1970s.”
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.
The initiative is being led by a vice president, Ian Freed, who has been with Amazon for more than a decade and once served as CEO Jeff Bezos’s technical assistant. Freed was most recently the executive who launched Amazon’s Fire Phone. He then took a year-long sabbatical, and he now runs Amazon’s fledgling restaurant-delivery service in addition to Amazon Tickets.
If Amazon attempts to enter the U.S. ticket-selling business, it would face an uphill battle. Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, are already dominant here, and Amazon could struggle getting access to quality ticket inventory. Venues, music artists, promoters and sports teams in the U.S. often cut exclusive deals with these sites, so Amazon would have to convince them to alter their practices.