Concertsts app just the ticket
Hong Kong-based ticketing app Playroll is sweet music to the ears of hardcore fans and casual concert-goers alike. reports.
There is nothing like a great concert and nothing beats seeing it live. But for hardcore fans, good seats seem to be getting more and more out of reach, while for casual buyers, tickets are getting increasingly expensive.
That is where Playroll comes in. Founded by former schoolmates Enoch Chan, Hing Cheng and K.K. Chen, the Hong Kong-based startup aims to reshape the industry by creating a bid market in the world of live music events.
Playroll, the app developed by the company, sells tickets to concerts, stage plays and ballets using an auction model similar to established US online players eBay and Priceline.
It lets customers “name their own price” for event tickets and asks organizers if they are willing to take their bids.
Users put down their credit card details and contact number. When a bid is accepted by the event organizer, a fee will be charged. to solve this problem by making the event more affordable for price-conscious consumers and providing priority booking to hardcore fans,” says Chan, a former consultant at McKinsey & Company.
“At the same time, we’re helping the organizers fill seats and attract more fans,” Chan adds. “No one wants to see empty seats at a concert. By accepting lower prices, organizers can sell tickets that would otherwise go unsold.”
The company says their model works better than a simple sale. It provides a way to discover the market price, meaning the price level where the quantity demanded equals the quantity supplied.
“Each of us may be willing to pay a different price. For instance, I am going to pay HK$300 only and another is willing to pay HK$350. If the organizer just puts tickets on sale and drops the price to HK$250, he is leaving a lot of money on the table. He cannot capture the psychological price each of us has,” explains Chan.
Playroll claims that users of the app can usually get 30-50 percent off box office prices.
But for discounted tickets, buyers have to trade convenience for price.
Consumers get to choose their seats if they buy tickets on TicketHK or other websites. With Playroll, they will be able to find out which seats have been assigned to them only after purchase.
The company said all the seats are on a “best available” basis at the moment and promised to try their best to make sure you and your friends all sit together.
Playroll also works on priority booking for hardcore fans. “Front-row seats are always systematically underpriced. The ticket scalpers or ‘yellow cows’ just nab most of the tickets and then sell at a higher price. And the organizations don’t get any of that extra money,” says Chan.
Playroll partners with some organizers to acquire the right to sell some of the front-row and meet-and-greet-the-artist tickets before public sale.
“Fans who really want the tickets would jump through hoops (to get them). They don’t mind paying more to get a better seat,” Chan says. “With our app, the higher price they offer the better seat they can get. They don’t need to go through a middleman. And the organizer can earn more.”
Chan reveals that the most popular events on their app have been pop concerts, especially by Taiwanese and Korean stars.
The company gets tickets directly from organizers and takes a cut from those it sells. For discounted tickets, it takes a commission from the marked down price, while for VIP tickets, it charges a fee based on the premium the company gets.
Show organizers view Playroll’s marketplace as a welcome alternative to gain more revenue, the startup said. Recently they held prior booking for a high-profile concert by Taiwanese singer Kimberley Chen, due to be staged at Mong Kok’s Macpherson Stadium in January.
Chan claims their research showed users usually buy normal tickets six to eight weeks in advance, which comes down to seven days for VIP “name your price” tickets. “The potential market is huge. We allow organizers to price dynamically,” he says.
Launched in December 2013, Playroll was backed by three angel investors in Hong Kong. The app has already been downloaded by more than 50,000 users and the startup is already in the black, Cheng told China Daily.
The company joined the Incu-App Technology Business Incubation Programme supported by Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation in August and has been based in the open space office at the Incu-App Centre ever since.
“We will continue to work with bigger organizers for bigger concerts in Hong Kong and will expand into other Southeast Asian countries very soon, starting with Singapore and Jakarta (Indonesia),” says Cheng.
Playroll also plans to look into the possibilities of combining social networking with its pricing system to further realize the potential of the concert industry.
Says Cheng: “Just as the travel and flight industry have been transformed with more dynamic pricing in recent years, we are working with our partners to transform the concert industry in Southeast Asia.” Contact the writer at email@example.com