Orange strengthens music service with ticketing trial

Having seen the success achieved by its rivals with discounted ticketing services, Orange has bolstered its music service by launching a trial to provide tickets to live concerts and comedy shows.

The company said the trial, which will run in two UK cities--Leeds and Manchester, will be operated by ticketing specialist Last Second Tickets until the end of August.

According to Craig Massey, director of Last Second Tickets, Orange customers will be sent text or email messages alerting them to the availability of discounted tickets based on their preferences given when they sign up. "Orange is looking at rolling out the service to the rest of the country if it meets the required metrics," said Massey.

The scheme takes Orange into direct competition with O2's well-established ticketing offering which offers subscribers access to concert tickets at its branded venues 48 hours before they go on general release. Vodafone just beat Orange by launching its VIP ticketing service last week, which offers tickets to high-profile events in association with Live Nation.

Orange has already achieved success with its long-running Orange Wednesdays two-for-one cinema tickets scheme, and is hoping to emulate this by linking its new Last Second Tickets service to live music events, such as the huge Glastonbury festival.

Ben Woods, director at research firm CCS Insight, said, "This is all about keeping subscribers in a market that's heavily saturated and fiercely competitive. Keeping customers is a lot cheaper than acquiring new ones."

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