Last year, Amazon launched a new service in the U.K. aimed at taking the pain — and budget busting fees — out of buying tickets to live events, and now it appears that business may be gearing up for a world tour.
Over the past few months, Amazon has posted several jobs for developers, business managers and other positions for Amazon Tickets, a service the online retail giant envisions “becoming Earth’s most customer-centric ticketing company.” The postings, first spotted by Recode, mention the service is expanding rapidly and are for positions both the in U.K. and at the company’s Seattle headquarters.
Recode noted expansions in Europe and Asia as well as a program called Prime Tickets mentioned in the postings, but as of this afternoon those references appear to be gone from the job listings. An Amazon spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.
A posting for a development engineer indicates Amazon is looking to integrate its ticketing service across a variety of interfaces, including “web, mobile, messaging, and voice (e.g., Amazon Echo).” The posting goes into detail of some of the difficulties of such a service, including building a site that is prepared for big spikes and traffic when tickets to a popular show go on sale and ensuring data is consistent so the same seat isn’t sold to multiple customers.
Amazon Tickets has a simple and intuitive interface. After choosing an event, there is a description as well as dates and the cheapest ticket price. After selecting the number of tickets, date and time — all on the same screen, so it’s easy to use — a choice of seats are offered. There do not appear to be any hidden fees, unlike other ticketing outlets where fees can creep up at the end of the purchase and add a big chunk to the ticket price.
As noted by Recode, Amazon will have a steep hill to climb if it wants to topple the main players in the U.S. like Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation. These companies often cut deals with performers, promoters and venues for exclusive ticket distribution, so Amazon would have to find a way to disrupt that model.
Amazon has steadily been increasing its entertainment influence in recent years. Amazon debuted its biggest ticket show yet, The Grand Tour, last week. The online retail giant dropped $250 million to lure Top Gear veterans Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May for the world-traveling automotive show, and Amazon said the program’s debut broke records for its Prime Video service. Amazon is on the cusp of expanding its video offerings to more than 200 countries and territories.
In addition to its slate of original programming, Amazon is reportedly in talks with leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and a handful of others about live game rights, possibly as a perk of its Prime membership program. Amazon is even hosting its own eSports tournaments via the Amazon Appstore Dec. 2 in Las Vegas.