US-based TodayTix in cheap ticket plan to attract millennials
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US-based TodayTix in cheap ticket plan to attract millennials

Former Broadway producer Brian Fenty launched ticketing startup TodayTix with the goal of encouraging millennials to the theatre.

"It's hard to get young people to sink their teeth into theatre, it either feels expensive or inaccessible, movies, gigs and Netflix seem easier," the co-founder and chief executive of TodayTix says. "Ticketing companies are viewed as utility companies at best and a necessary evil at worst, we wanted to put a human face on it."

TodayTix CEO and co-founder Brian Fenty

TodayTix CEO and co-founder Brian Fenty

New York-based TodayTix aims to attract a new generation of theatre goers by selling affordable same-week or same day ‘rush’ tickets without having to turn up in person and wait in line.

It also operates electronic lottery systems offering tickets at a steeply discounted price with users who share the offer on social media typically getting an extra entry.

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TodayTix makes money through the commissions paid by productions and a flat $5 fee per ticket to customers.

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It's a formula that seems to be working with the five-year-old startup selling more than $100 million worth of tickets last year to a user base which is two thirds millennials.

TodayTix had a soft launch in Melbourne six weeks ago offering $40 tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and it launches in Sydney on Thursday with rush tickets to the Opera on Sydney Harbour production of West Side Story.

Fenty says 250,000 people engaged with the startup's Harry Potter offer and TodayTix plans to invest "millions of dollars" in Australia establishing an office of six staff.

He says in contrast to Ticketmaster and Ticketek, TodayTix does not resell tickets and does not operate in the secondary ticketing market like Viagogo.

"I know in Australia there have been lots of issues in secondary markets, we don't believe in secondary markets, we don't believe in bots," he says. "We have been very vocal about that. The customer will never pay more than they would at the box office or at face value and often times it is 75 per cent less."

Cara is the small business editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald based in Melbourne

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