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Tech Industry

Ticketmaster deals with newspapers

The company announces e-commerce and online marketing pacts with five of the nation's top newspaper companies.

Ticketmaster today announced online marketing pacts with five of the nation's top newspaper companies, signaling a major strategic shift for both.

Ticketmaster typically has been striking online ticketing deals with Internet companies such as Exicte and CitySearch. A linking controversy with another local city guide, Microsoft's Sidewalk, also drew attention. Now it is forging alliances with giants of the print media world: the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Tribune Company, Knight-Ridder, and Advance Publications Internet (the new-media arm of the Newhouse newspapers).

This alliance comes on the heels of a deal with Intel to develop e-commerce technology for Ticketmaster's Web site.

For these media companies, it represents a big effort to generate new revenue streams from the Web. Many of them have been sluggish to expand on the Web, partly out of concern that their Web sites will cannibalize their print counterparts. But they are being prodded along by the moneymaking opportunities on the Net as well as competition from Internet companies.

Ticket sales are projected to be a hot growth market on the Web. They are expected to rake in $10 billion by the year 2001, according to a recent report by Forrester Research.

"Ticketmaster and its partners will share revenues generated by advertising and merchandising on cobranded pages," the company said in a statement. "In most instances, the newspapers will also promote the Ticketmaster Online relationship through in-house advertising. In turn, Ticketmaster will provide online advertising, direct mail, and phone messaging promotions to its partners."

Ticketmaster said each newspaper agreement is separate and provides information and events tailored to each market.

Competition is stiff for online ticket sales from companies such as TicketWeb. Ticketmaster says its sales reached 120,000 last month, with an estimated value of $5.4 million.