- Mobile ticketing for sporting events is becoming the norm with spending set to jump 64% to $23 billion by 2023 from $14 billion this year, according to a study by Juniper Research. About 80 million people used mobile ticketing for sports last year amid the growing popularity of team-specific apps created to boost fan engagement, per the researcher.
- The broader market for mobile ticketing beyond sports will surge 73% to 1.9 billion users by 2023 from 1.1. billion this year, Juniper forecast. The total number of digital ticketing users among mobile, online and wearable channels will reach 2.2 billion by 2023.
- Mass transit systems in urban areas will largely drive consumer adoption of mobile ticketing in general, with 60% of all mobile ticket users using subway and rail ticketing by 2023, Juniper said. Chatbot adoption by these ticket buyers also will grow as users access chatbots more than 4 billion times a year for ticketing by 2023, per the study.
Juniper's research indicates several strong trends in mobile ticketing as printed tickets and stored-value plastic cards are increasingly being replaced by convenient mobile apps. The growing popularity of sports team-specific apps means ticket vendors must develop application program interfaces (APIs) that let fans make in-app purchases of tickets. Ticketmaster last year installed its mobile ticketing system, called Presence, at every National Football League stadium in the U.S. Presence was used for about 75% of scanned tickets at this year's College Football Playoffs and 85% of scanned tickets at the NHL All-Star game in Florida, according to CBS Sports.
A key advantage of digital ticketing is a marketing strategy described by PayPal's Braintree as "contextual commerce," meaning brands' ability to cross-sell products and services based on what users do with their smartphone. Sports teams can glean greater insights into the habits and preferences of digital ticket holders than from those who use mostly anonymous paper tickets. Digital ticketing can help marketers build stronger, customized relationships with fans while offering them additional products and services through mobile platforms, such as parking and stadium information or personalized offers.
While Juniper found that Chatbot adoption is currently low among ticketing vendors, it is expected to grow as more bots take over common customer service functions. Most mobile chats between ticket vendors and buyers will provide only information, but the percentage of chatbot interactions that include a purchase will grow to nearly 40% by 2023 from 5% this year, Juniper forecast, suggesting that users will be able to more quickly make purchases through a chatbot and access their mobile tickets.