Music Industry

Ticketmaster is Experimenting with Audio-Based Tickets

You’re late to the concert and you just want to get in, get a drink and get to your seat. But once again there are long lines as people have their tickets taken or a bar/QR code scanned at the door. This is annoying for everyone involved. Isn’t there a better way?

Ticketmaster has teamed up with a company called LISNR to experiment on how tickets might be replaced by inaudible sounds. LISNR uses ultrasonic sound tech to transmit information between devices. In the case of concert tickets, an app on your phone would give off a sound no one can hear, automatically checking you into the show. One registered, you’d just hold up your phone showing a green “approved” screen and walk right in. This data is immediately correlated, letting organizers know who’s at the show and where they are in the venue.

The tech is called Presence, which is already being used in other ways. They have a deal with Jaguar-Land Rover where a vehicle automatically adjusts to your seat position settings just by listening for that special inaudible tone from the driver’s phone.

Yes, there will be some tinfoil hat resistance to the tech’s tracking function, but Ticketmaster things this can go a long way towards preventing the sale of fake tickets. From The Verge:

“Presence uses a variety of proximity-based digital technology like NFC, RFID, and even sound through our partnership with LISNR, to enhance the fan experience and provide a new tool for venues to decrease fraud and understand who is attending events,” says Justin Burleigh, EVP of Product for Ticketmaster North America.

And there are plans to extend the tech to the purchase of food and drink right from your seat. No more waiting in lines at the concession stand.

Presence is now being used at 32 venues in North America. A global rollout is planned over the next four years.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Ticketmaster is Experimenting with Audio-Based Tickets

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.