Ticketmaster is betting its future on open APIs, says product chief

5 May 2017

Image: kowit1982/Shutterstock

‘The new world of Ticketmaster is an open one,’ says Ticketmaster’s head of product design, Troy Suda.

Ticketmaster wants to change the way it has been perceived as a walled garden and wants to be an open platform that works across social media, apps and the web, said the company’s head of product Troy Suda.

This weekend, Ticketmaster will be holding a hackathon at the Digital Exchange in Dublin (6 May).

‘We are putting the visibility of tickets and events everywhere across the internet, not just in places we can sell directly’

The event will give developers insight into how Ticketmaster operates, while allowing the company’s team access to developers.The idea is that Ticketmaster employees can connect with the developer community and gain insightful feedback on industry experience.

The hackathon will focus on Ticketmaster’s open API strategy, with the theme of ‘event discovery’. Here, developers will use Ticketmaster’s APIs and combine them with others to potentially tweak the company’s service.

This will be Ticketmaster’s ninth such event globally, with more than 500 hackers having attended events in LA, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, Québec City and, most recently, London and Berlin.

APIs are just the ticket

Ticketmaster is betting its future on open APIs and content

Troy Suda, senior vice president of product, Ticketmaster

Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, Ticketmaster’s senior vice president of product, Troy Suda, said that the company intends to change the way tickets are bought and how events are discovered. Not only will APIs enable Ticketmaster to allow tickets to be bought through platforms like Facebook Messenger or Spotify, the Ticketmaster site and mobile products will serve as content hubs to enable event discovery.

“The new world of Ticketmaster is a very open one where we are enabling other players across the internet and app developers to participate,” said Suda.

“From a starting point, the old way people perceived Ticketmaster was as a walled garden where you could only buy a ticket if you came to us. Now, we are putting the visibility of tickets and events everywhere across the internet, not just in places we can sell directly.”

Suda said that more than half of Ticketmaster’s staff are in tech roles and the company has made a heavy investment over the last two years in digital transformation.

“At the heart of this, we wanted to create an API that developers would love, that is intuitive and that can enable developers to integrate it to their web apps, platforms or mobile apps very easily.

“For the consumers, we are working on improving the experience to make events easier to find and go to,” said Suda.

“In the past, the Ticketmaster experience might have fallen short of consumer expectations but we have made remarkable progress in the last two years modernising internal platforms and developing new features and opportunities. Our hackathon in Dublin this weekend is a perfect example of where we can enable multiple ticketing systems from multiple countries, and content from across the world come together in one single API.

“Historically, this was on different systems. But now our open API is truly a one-stop-shop for access to all our content and systems without having to do multiple integrations.

“The future is open,” he concluded.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years