Exclusive: Rams Head Live to sell tickets on Facebook, becoming first venue to do so

Baltimore Sun reporter

From the Midnight Sun blog:

Rams Head Live today started selling tickets on Facebook.

The service puts it ahead of Live Nation, the country's leading concert promoter that also runs Ticketmaster, the leading ticket seller.

Rams Head Group, which runs the Baltimore venue and five others in the area, and VisionOne, Inc., the e-commerce company that developed the Facebook app, also claim it is the first venue in the country to offer such a service.

Erin McNaboe, vice president of marketing for Rams Head Group, said the service is a recognition of the growing importance of social media for promoters, ticket sellers, and artists.

"Social media has become a huge part of business," she said. "People aren't using it just for day-to-day interaction with friends, but to figure out where they're going on the weekend."

With this service, McNaboe said, Facebook users can see what concerts their friends are going to and buy tickets accordingly.

The service, available on Rams Head Live's fan page under the tab "Buy Tickets," is open to anyone with a Facebook user name.

It's not clear what effect this will have on business, but the decision to offer tickets on the social networking site rather than just online, or via telephone, suggests the company sees it as a growing market.

At the very least, the nearly 10,000 Facebook fans the venue already has won't have to leave the website to buy tickets anymore.

The concept of selling tickets on Facebook is a new one.

Ticketmaster doesn't offer such a service, and neither does its parent company, Live Nation.

And it seems like other ticket sellers don't either, at least according to one expert at Pollstar, the concert industry trade magazine. (The person was not authorized to speak on the record for the magazine; Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief, was unavailable for comment).

McNaboe said Rams Head approached its ticket vendor, Showare by VisionOne Inc., to develop the app a month ago soon after a California digital agency had been successful with a similar product.

On Nov. 9, the company Sparkart partnered with CrowdStar, a Facebook games developer, to sell Bon Jovi tickets on the social networking site.

McNaboe said Rams Head Group intends on extending the service to its other venues.

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