Ticketmaster: How APIs Help Provide “Moments of Joy”

BrandPost By Olaf de Senerpont Domis
May 05, 2017

APIs remove friction from developing and fostering innovative partnerships rn

Ticketmaster’s mission is to bring “moments of joy to fans of live entertainment everywhere,” and APIs play a critical role in this.

We spoke with Ismail Elshareef, senior vice president of fan experience and open platform at the ticket sales and distribution company, to discuss how APIs remove friction from innovating and fostering partnerships at Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster partners like Groupon and Walmart can easily provide their customers with access to live entertainment inventory and tickets via Ticketmaster APIs, says Elshareef. APIs are also key to surmounting one of the biggest challenges facing the live entertainment industry: event discovery.

“Event discovery is such a big problem that no one has cracked yet,” says Elshareef. “Offering our APIs for … developers to play around with and create experiences where event discovery can be accomplished with ease is something that drives innovation big time.”

Elshareef, who recently took over Ticketmaster’s entire consumer product organization, also spoke at Google Cloud Next ‘17 in March about how the company is retooling its infrastructure and products to take a “fan-first” approach to selling tickets.

“We have been changing the way we offer value to fans,” he said. A big part of that is enabled by APIs and an API platform, which lets Ticketmaster offer the ability to buy event tickets to partners who use the company’s APIs.

“In order for us to deliver on our promise … we have to make our APIs available to the developers, to other partners and clients, where they can build their experiences for their own fans,” says Elshareef.

The results have been impressive. In 2016, over 10% of all Tickemaster’s sales were sold through partner apps and sites—via Ticketmaster’s APIs, Elshareef said.  

“The fact that we sold 10% of our tickets from platforms using our APIs that we opened up just 18 months ago is a huge testament to the power of APIs to the business,” he said.

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