We’ve written a lot about Amazon’s music-streaming ambitions in 2016, but not so much about the company’s expansion into the live-music market, via its Amazon Tickets subsidiary.

It’s been decidedly under the radar so far, launching in the UK in 2015 and offering a mixture of music, comedy and theatre tickets to the company’s British customers.

Now the company is quietly expanding, via a number of new posts being advertised on its recruitment website, with most of the roles due to be based in Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.

The job ads set out Amazon’s ticketing ambitions fairly clearly: “Amazon Tickets is a start-up business with a vision of becoming Earth’s most customer-centric ticketing company, a place where event-goers can come to find and discover any ticket they might want to buy online,” they explain.

(Ars Technica’s report on the news claimed that one ad also outlined Amazon’s vision to “disrupt the entire live entertainment experience, including what happens before, during and after the show”, but that sentence appears to have disappeared since the article was published. The archived results in a Google search for that phrase suggests that it was originally part of the job ads.)

News site Recode suggested that Amazon is also working on something called ‘Prime Tickets’, with no further details of what this might be. Offering Amazon Prime members early and/or discounted tickets for events as part of their membership is a likely starting point.

But with Pandora continuing to integrate its music-streaming service with its Ticketfly subsidiary, and with Spotify signing a global partnership with Ticketmaster, Amazon’s combination of Prime Music / Music Unlimited and whatever Amazon Tickets / Prime Tickets become could be the third streaming+tickets play with significant scale.

That in turn should spark a few more questions about Apple’s potential to do something with the combination of Apple Music, Apple Pay and iOS’ Wallet app.

2016 has already been an encouraging year for innovation around ticketing and live music, but 2017 is looking like it could be even more fascinating for this sector – not to mention the startups who may be ripe for acquisition to speed up the bigger tech firms’ plans.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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