Ticketmaster UK Follows US in Upgrading CAPTCHA, Bane of Ticket-Buyers

Ticketmaster's UK division (Ticketmaster.co.uk and Ticketmaster.ie) has announced that it is doing away with the all-too-familiar, all-too-annoying step in the online ticket-buying process: CAPTCHA, which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.

Live Nation Entertainment has replaced the hard-to-read sequences of words and/or numbers -- often described as "squiggly" -- with a new solution that also aims to prevent bots from acquiring tickets to events. Solve Media's Type-In program accomplishes the same goal, requiring fans in the UK and Ireland to enter familiar phrases or answer multiple-choice questions before purchasing tickets. Besides being easier for users to decipher, the new method has also proven more effective at blocking bots. 

“Ticketmaster is passionate about the fan experience and we are always looking at how we can make buying tickets a better and fairer experience for our customers,” commented Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster International, in a statement. “While an important step in blocking bots, we know the current CAPTCHA solution can be a frustrating part of buying tickets for fans.”

Added Ari Jacoby, CEO of Solve Media, "At Solve Media, we take complex problems and create simple solutions. With our proprietary TYPE-IN technology, fans can solve CAPTCHAs in half the time it takes to decipher the outmoded squiggly numbers and letters. Our security platform makes it difficult for bots to affect the system, allowing for better user experience and premium branding opportunities."

In 2013, to address issues like scalping and counterfeiting, Ticketmaster introduced a digital-transfer platform to North America, which digitized every ticket and allowed ticket buyers to directly transfer their purchases to others cost-free. Though the unsanctioned distribution of tickets has been around for decades, bots have changed the name of the game, as one ticket scalper told Billboard in a candid 2012 interview. "I met a guy who told me he had 600 modems in his piece of crap strip mall store that generated so much heat the neighbor couldn't get their temperature right," said the anonymous source.