Australian Telco Giant Telstra Teams On Ticketing Initiative

Australian telco Telstra is extending its music-related interests into live ticketing.

The market-leading telco has struck a commercial arrangement with Bang Tango, a ticketing company which launched in 2012 with ticketing veteran Daniel Popic at the helm.

Through the “Thanks” program, Telstra’s customers will have a pre-sale window for concert tickets and access to so-called “money-can’t-buy experiences” such as meeting big name artists, backstage access, signed merchandise and music memorabilia.

Telstra is far and away the biggest telco Down Under and it’s one of the country’s best-known brands. The firm boasts 14 million mobile subscribers and 8 million fixed subscribers and in 2011-12 generated total revenue of Australian $25.4 billion ($26.4 billion).

Telstra already has interests in the MOG music subscription service and the BigPond digital download store. With the addition of a ticket offering, it’s clear Telstra is building a vertically-integrated entertainment business. Telstra director of One to One Marketing Nick Adams doesn’t deny it.

“It’s fair to say…the vision is that we’re going to become a bigger entertainment company with all the assets we have,” Adams tells Billboard.biz. “And we’ll bring those together for our customers, to give them the experience they want with the devices they want.”

He adds, “We’ve very much taken our lead from O2 in the U.K. where they’ve been fantastic at rewarding their customers. We’ve seen the results they’ve got and we’re very keen to build a comparable experience for our customers, which is rewarding loyalty.”

Telstra’s interests don’t follow the O2’s lead as far as headline sponsorship of arenas. And Adams laughs at the suggestion that Telstra might try its hand at promoting. “We have no aspirations in that space,” he says. “We’ll stick to our knitting.”

Telstra’s immediate ambition is to work on more than 20 concerts through the year, with “seven or more” international artists Telstra’s radar in the next few months, explains Adams. British pop singer Olly Murs November tour is the first via the new premium service, through which tickets will be on an exclusive Telstra pre-sale starting April 10.

Telstra won’t take a cut from ticket sales, Adams explains. “We make no money from this at all. This is purely to drive customer engagement and advocacy and to say thanks to our customer and reward them.”

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