Ticktate cuts out Ticketmaster to save you money on concert tickets

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Remember the last time you went to a concert and you got irritated because you had to pay a $12 Ticketmaster fee on a $35 ticket?

If only you could have made it to the box office yourself.

A new startup called Ticktate from Berkeley, California is offering to make that trip for you. You shop for the tickets in the app, and then when the ticket is picked up, Ticktate converts it into an electronic ticket that can be scanned from your phone on the night of the show.

Here’s a real-world example. Danzig is playing at the Warfield here in San Francisco on July 30. My options are:

Following the links at the venue’s site, I can buy from a ticket middleman called AXS, or from social ticket marketplace StubHub.

The best deal I could find on StubHub was $69.

So it appears that Ticktate takes a small fee for its service — in this case $3.50 — but it’s by far the least expensive option.

If a Ticktate member buys a ticket they can’t use, they can sell the ticket on a private market provided to members via the app. The startup wisely prevents scalpers from exploiting the marketplace by keeping purchased tickets off the app until close to show time.

Ticketmaster and other middleman companies provide the software infrastructure that enables venues to sell and distribute tickets online. Ticketmaster often wins deals with venues by offering to help market events via email campaigns.

But in exchange, it tacks on high fees, which consumers are expected to cover.

Numerous consumer groups and music groups have tried to fight against Ticketmaster, but few have succeeded. Maybe it will take an agile little tech company to eventually bring the pain to the ticketing giant.

I hope Ticktate can move beyond its beta period, get some funding, and offer its service outside the Bay Area.

There are more on-demand convenience apps than you can shake a stick at around here. But this is one I can get behind. It’s a group of young people trying to remove what Ticketmaster really is — an obstruction, not an enabler, to experiencing the arts.

Ticktate is the brainchild of a couple of Berkeley business schoolers, Brian Canty and Brandon Cato.

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