Mobile tickets, video invites to boost sales.

Verizon Wireless is expanding its mobile concert ticket initiative to Shakira's "Oral Fixation" (Epic) North American tour, which the wireless operator is sponsoring.

In an effort to drive ticket sales, Verizon will send a multi-media video message to select subscribers -- customized to each city -- inviting them to attend the concert. Interested fans will then have the option to send a text message or select a Web link on the phone to buy or win tickets to the show in their town.

Those with more advanced phones will receive a wireless barcode ticket that can be displayed on their phone screen and scanned as a ticket for entry to the event.

Verizon previously tested the wireless ticketing system for a free concert by the Fugees in Hollywood, CA, but the barcode readers could not scan the phone screens. Event staffers at the time were directed to just let those fans in, as it was a free show.

Verizon seems to have solved the problem since that pilot program, as it is now being applied to a paid, multi-city tour.

In addition to the mobile ticketing and video invitation applications, Verizon also is allowing subscribers to vote via text which songs they would like to hear Shakira play on stage; certain fans will win the opportunity to go backstage.

The initiative is part of an ongoing collaboration between Verizon and the Colombian-born star. Her hit "Hips Don't Lie" was exclusively premiered on Verizon phones simultaneously as a full-length song, music video, ringtone, ringback tone, and other associated mobile content before becoming available to other digital retailers.