Records show that the origin of electronic ticketing systems can be traced to the end of the 1960s. In the past, paper tickets were sold as physical copies at box offices or at registered ticket agencies.
However, the electronic ticket industry had a rough start. Ticket Reservation Systems (TRS) established to first official digital ticketing system in 1967 for Broadway, New York. The system focused efforts on selling theatre tickets. Bronfman Sen was a pioneer and saw the potential of a more efficient and cost-effective ticketing system online.
Even though these initial efforts to present people with an opportunity to book tickets online had some success, the industry still suffered annual losses due to little media attention and competitors such as Computicket.
The TRS brand was eventually replaced by Ticketron in 1973. Other businesses slowly began to see the opportunity of establishing electronic ticket systems online. Businesses like Select-A-Seat presented customers with an innovative way of purchasing electronic tickets. Select-A-Seat was the first company to display seat availability on a monitor.
The growing demand for electronic ticketing systems meant that it required more investments. This was soon provided by The Arizona Cattle Company. However, Select-A-Seat and various other ticketing services suffered legal issues and declared bankruptcy towards the end of the 1970s.
The 1980s had three leading electronic ticket providers, including Ticketron, Ticketmaster, and a newly established brand called Fototicket. Ticketmaster reigned supreme for many years over the market. Major airlines such as Southwest Airlines first offered electronic tickets in 1994. Ticketmaster only had one notable competitor called Ticketron. Ticketmaster would gain a monopoly over the market.
However, this monopoly was challenged before the court in 2003 for monopolising and abusing its power in terms of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Even though Ticketmaster won the legal proceedings, they feared bad publicity from the public.
Ticketmaster was forced to improve its customer service and business relationship with artists and managers. Electronic ticketing improved not only the way tickets were sold but also provided valuable analytical data about the behaviour of ticket buyers, allowing businesses to make informed decisions about the products and services they provide.
There are several leading ticket systems operating today, and these systems allow businesses and individuals to save time and money.