How Much Should Ticketing Software Cost?

How Much Should Ticketing Software Cost?

In our opinion, most ticketing systems are overpriced.  How much should a ticketing system cost? This question can be addressed from several different dimensions: What is the value to the organization using it? What do competing systems cost?  How is other software priced? What price is required for the ticketing software company to cover its costs and make a reasonable profit?  Let’s take a look at each of these, and answer the question: How Much Should Ticketing Software Cost?

What is the value to the organization using it?

Of course, there is enormous value to high schools, colleges, community theaters and other event organizers to using a ticketing system.  Unless one wishes to rely on an army of volunteers and inconvenience to ticket buyers, a ticketing system really is necessary. Doing ticketing manually nowadays would be high cost and would result in capturing only a portion of the sales which you can get.  So, if this were the only question ticketing systems would be priced high.

What do competing systems cost?

But good old competition keeps prices somewhat in check. Most ticketing software systems charge several dollars per ticket.  A typical price is one dollar per ticket +2% of the ticket price.  So, an organization selling 10,000 tickets in a year at $25 per ticket would spend approximately $15,000 on the ticketing system.  Note that 10,000 tickets in a year would be for the medium-sized theater organization, so $15,000 is a significant amount of money for such an organization.

How is other software priced?

Most software these days is web based and is priced on a per user per month basis.  For example, charges $75 per user per month.  Intuit charges a similar rate for their cloud-based accounting software.  An organization producing events would likely have three or four users from the box office.  So, a price of $75 per user per month would result in an annual cost of $3,600. Since ticketing systems typically have a low number of users, pricing by the user would probably not result in sufficient revenue for the ticketing software company to cover their costs.

What price is required for the software company to make a reasonable profit?

That depends of course on how the ticketing software company manages its costs.  Younger companies typically have a lower cost structure because they are able to leverage web-based work models.  For example, at TicketPeak, we have few “permanent” employees.  Our programmers are contractors, even though many of them have been with us for over 10 years.  Administration and support is provided by staff working out of their homes.

When we were deciding what to charge for TicketPeak, we looked at all of these factors and concluded that the most important factor was to get the price as low as possible so that organizations that may not have considered automating ticketing can in fact enjoy the benefits of a leading but affordable ticketing system.

So … What should it cost?

As stated above, a typical cost is around $1 per ticket plus 2% of the ticket cost – whether the venue pays it or the ticket buyer pays it. (Credit card processing is usually in addition to the ticketing fees.) Some ticketing systems are far higher. For example, Eventbrite charges a whopping $1.59 per ticket plus 3.5% of the ticket value. Some price lower. For example, Ticketspice charges a flat rate of $0.99 per ticket. We price TicketPeak at $0.75 per ticket ($0.50 for non-profits) plus 1.5% of the ticket value.

Of course, when selecting a ticketing system, find a couple of systems that offer the features, service, and reliability you need and select the one that offers the best value.



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