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December 21, 2011

Seatwave launches world first ‘in-app’ ticket payment system for iPhones

Seatwave, Europe’s largest fan-to-fan ticketing marketplace, has today announced the launch of its Apple Store software development kit, enabling developers to sell tickets from inside their apps.

By Allan Swann

Seatwave, Europe’s largest fan-to-fan ticketing marketplace, has today announced the launch of its Apple Store software development kit, enabling developers to sell tickets from inside their apps.

Seatwave is an online marketplace where fans can buy and sell tickets for concerts, theatre, sports and just about any other live event.

The company is the first ticketing player to open up its marketplace to developers in this way, and will allow developers to add ticket-buying functionality to their apps quickly and easily.

For example, an iPhone user listening to a Rihanna song in an Apple Store app will be able to simply click a button to purchase tickets to her concert.

Seatwave CEO Joe Cohen says this will move app development away from the ‘destination-oriented’ proprietary ecommerce models (such as on to distributed sales through third-party apps. Cohen says that this kind of eCommerce will become more and more common as consumer expectations of service change.

This implementation will create a new revenue stream for mobile apps, and developers earning up to 35% of the net revenue on each ticket sale. Since the tickets are bought within the app, developers can expect much higher conversion rates on purchases, than if consumers had to leave the app and go to a separate app or website.

Sarvesh Govindappa, Product Manager, said the company moved to produce a SDK after the success of its initial Seatwave app, which has been a great success for the company. Due to the positive response, Seatwave then looked at integrating its platform inside other apps, rather than alongside – providing a more seamless and smooth shopping experience. The inbuilt user base will also help.

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Seatwave is launching the product with a number of developer partners, including radio streaming apps, such as What’s On Air and Maxima 99.1 FM, and music discovery apps like Music DNA ID.

Cohen says the company is in negotiations with between 6-12 more companies, which will be announced early in the new eyar.

There are no plans as of yet to roll the app or SDK out to Google Android, or other smartphone operating systems, but Cohen didn’t rule it out.

"We want to get this functioning as well as we can now, before we look at any further expansion."

The App’s biggest success so far was during Wimbledon, where the company saw a surprisingly high response. Users were selling significant amounts through the app rather than the company’s website. Interestingly the sale values were slightly higher than on the web alone, said Govindappa.

The company has a patent-pending on its technology, and the app is also fully up to spec with the latest security measures.

More interestingly, Apple has okayed the app and the SDK, without demanding a cut. Given Apple’s history for pedantry when allowing apps on its App Store and stomping out rival revenue streams, Cohen was surprised.

"When we started out I was concerned that they might not looking kindly upon it. But they approved all our apps to go live. I explain to them that its a library, rather than a framework. Its dealing in physical goods rather than the virtual. I think they realise that we aren’t trying to exploit their systems," said Cohen.

The iOS SDK supports French, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch languages and payments are accepted in Sterling, Euros, US dollars and Canadian dollars.


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