Ticketmaster Goes Paperless As Spinoff Plans Cohere

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Ticketmaster has announced that it is finally taking the plunge and going paperless, removing the need for fans to get tickets in the mail or wait in line at the will-call window.

To gain access to an event, an attendee will need to present a valid ID and the credit card used to purchase the ticket. The paperless service will only be available through Ticketmaster's website or their "charge-by-phone" service.

Paperless tickets should serve to deter illicit "scalping" but no mention was made of how the paperless system will impact the resale of tickets on secondary ticket broker websites such as StubHub

The service was in place for a May 7th Tom Waits date and will be deployed across the country in coming months.

"Paperless Ticket is a key next step for Ticketmaster along its innovation path," said David Marcus, Ticketmaster’s senior vice president, Music. "Over the course of the next 12-18 months Ticketmaster will be installing Paperless Ticket capabilities at major venues across the United States, North America, and ultimately the globe."

This shift comes in the shadow of an interesting period of transition for Ticketmaster as its parent, IAC/Interactive prepares to spin the ticket vendor and a number of other divisions free and leave them saddled with debt.

According to Lehman analyst Doug Anmuth, "HSN, Ticketmaster, and Interval are expected to take on debt and that the majority of cash [to the tune of $1.4 billion] will likely be transferred back to New IAC."

The spin-offs are expected to be completed by Q3, which means July or August if they don't hit regulatory snags. On Tuesday, Liberty Media had announced that its concerns about the divestment had been addressed, paving the way for the spin off and putting an end to Diller's dreams of creating a cohesive, Internet-based multimedia empire.

The spinoffs had been in the works for a while, but delayed by Liberty Media due to an unusual dual voting structure that led to legal disputes. The two companies have resolved these issues and Liberty Media will have the right to representation on the boards of each firm, but not be allowed to increase its share in any of them, leaving Liberty with a fixed 30% share. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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