“The biggest chunk of our inventory in the U.S. is coming from the venues” rather than artists at the moment, Hutcheon tells Billboard, adding that they have already tested the waters in the United States with shows like Kanye West’s album pop up parties in Chicago, New York and Miami. “All these massive artists have put their tickets on Dice and there have been zero Dice tickets on the secondary.”
Primary tickets for events are sold on Dice at an upfront price and are locked to smartphones to help eliminate scalping. Dice has developed a backend that disallows resale and transfer without the express permission of multiple parties that ensure the price remains the same compared to the original.
“We made a big noise about [scalping] in the U.K. and the artists made a big noise about it in the U.K. Ticketmaster closed down their secondary sites in Europe. Viagogo are getting smaller and smaller and leaving their U.K. office,” says Hutcheon. “It just seems very painful for the secondary market to operate in the U.K. and in Europe now.”
Dice also helps prevent tickets from hitting the secondary market by allowing fans to return tickets to sold-out shows and allows those interested in attending to sign up on a wait list for in-demand events.
“There are genuine circumstances where you’ve bought tickets to something and you can’t go. If someone can’t go, they just return the ticket and they get a refund,” says Hutcheon.
Dice has found that on average, about 20 percent of people return tickets to sold-out shows and fans can purchase tickets from the waiting list or off Dice up until the main act hits the stage.
“It is really great for venues because what we are seeing is them maximizing the amount of people turning up to the venues,” Hutcheon tells Billboard, adding, “People buy tickets much earlier on Dice as well because of the refund option.”
A main mission for Dice is also discovery. Many event pages on the app feature streaming music from the artist so fans can listen before they purchase tickets, and on weekend evenings, the app turns into a map for people to find the closest events happening to them.
The app is personalized for each user and its Discover function recommends events by linking with fans’ Spotify or Apple Music music library to learn what they love, as well as machine learning that keeps up with which shows fans have been to before.
“Ticket companies think the only way to make more money is to increase the price of the ticket, and we’re like, ‘How about we get more people to go out,’” says Hutcheon. “When people ask us who our competitor is, our competitor is Netflix. No one moved to Los Angeles to watch more Netflix. There are so many things happening in L.A.”
Dice is available now in the U.S. on iOS and Android with venues and shows in Los Angeles and New York and plans to land in Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Austin and Atlanta.