RealTime IT News

MSN Upgrades Ticket Sales Arena

Offering up some competition for eBay's tickets area, Microsoft's MSN network signed deals with Ticketmaster and LiquidSeats in launching a new shopping channel called MSN Tickets with Ticketmaster, and said it would offer exclusive presale promotions to users in advance of general sales.

eBay also has a deal with San Francisco-based LiquidSeats to let users tap into its StubHub Network, a marketplace for ticketsellers.

MSN said it will offer its visitors access to Ticketmaster's inventory of tickets to concerts, theater, sporting events and performing arts. Financial arrangements were not disclosed.

The Ticketmaster solution is integrated across the MSN network, including content from MSN Entertainment and MSN Music, to provide users with additional information about the events they are looking for, including tour schedules, concert listings, album promotions and artist information, Microsoft said.

MSN Tickets allows consumers to search for entertainment events based on a desired date, artist, team or venue. And, with Microsoft .NET Passport, searches can be automatically set to locate ticketing inventory and event information based on proximity to one's ZIP code. Future plans call for the launch of .NET Alerts, which will immediately notify customers by e-mail when their favorite artists are on tour.

The MSN deal with LiquidSeats gives users access to its premium live event tickets via MSN StubHub, powered by LiquidSeats' StubHub Ticket Marketplace. The deal gives MSN Tickets users access to live-event tickets that are exclusively available on the StubHub Network, including Web sites affiliated with professional sports teams, performing artists and Broadway ticketsellers.

Privately held LiquidSeats is able to offer MSN users exclusive access to hard-to-find tickets and even tickets to sold- out events, Microsoft said. And, aiming at eBay, season ticket holders and others who wish to sell tickets can go through MSN StubHub to sell their extra tickets directly to other fans in a seamless, end-to-end transaction.

As part of the eBay-LiquidSeats deal, ticket listings from the StubHub Network are posted onto eBay electronically using eBay's API technology. Also as part of the arrangement, eBay is promoting StubHub ticket listings throughout the eBay Web site. LiquidSeats has its own storefront location on eBay.