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Ticketmaster expands Presence system with new SafeTix technology

Ticketmaster is rolling out the latest version of its digital ticketing system with a new identity-based product called SafeTix.

Building on the Presence platform that the Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster introduced in 2017 and is on deck to be in 500 venues by year’s end, the new SafeTix will issue to ticket buyers a unique and identifiable mobile ticket barcode that automatically refreshes every few seconds. That continuous refreshing of encrypted barcodes is designed to combat fraud occurring through screenshotting or other copying of static barcodes.

And every time a ticket is sold or transferred, a new digital ticket will be issued that is tied to the recipient’s account and mobile phone, with the barcode refreshment process continuing.

“This is a big leap forward for us on the fraud and security front,” said Justin Burleigh, Ticketmaster North America chief product officer. “But more broadly, this is also an opportunity to give content owners greater control over the integrity of their tickets. We really see this as the future of ticketing.”

The SafeTix product will be deployed across the NFL during the 2019 season, as Ticketmaster is an Official Ticketing Partner of the league and helps power the new open ticketing platform the NFL operates with several ticketing providers. SafeTix will be used with various touring artists, and then more broadly across other Presence-enabled venues.

“When we go out with the NFL with this, we’re going out at scale,” Burleigh said. “That’s really important to us because the NFL operates the largest venues in North America.”

The Presence system already seeks to answer the age-old question for teams and venue operators by connecting ticket usage to fan identity, and open up a new realm of fan data not possible in other access control systems. Presence operates somewhat similarly to an airline ticket model in which teams and venues know in real time when a fan enters the building, as well as the identity of many more fans compared to prior systems.

The system later this year will also be expanded to include contactless tickets that use near-field communications (NFC) technology and will enable Apple Wallet users enter venues with only their iPhone or Apple Watch.