There are plenty of ways to get tickets to Broadway shows: You can wait in line at Times Square's TKTS booth or hunt online at Ticketmaster. You might try a ticket broker or a scalper. Then there's simply going to the theater's box office.
Now two guys who met more than a decade ago at summer camp think they've come up with a way to make the whole process easier and faster. They've created TodayTix, a one-stop mobile app for last-minute ticket buyers.
The free app lets users see all the various shows being offered up to one week in advance, select a seat, pay for it with the best price currently available and then send you proof of your ticket -- all in less than a minute.
"We've really created the app with the idea that it should take 30 seconds or less from choosing the show to confirmation of the ticket. It's just got to be that easy," says Merritt Baer, a former investment banker who became a ticket pricing expert in Europe.
He and Brian Fenty, a private equity investor, are theater lovers who went into the business world, hoping to return to their first love. They met 15 years ago at the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in upstate New York.
"We are just theater fans who want to sell more theater tickets," Fenty says. "At the end of the day, 20 percent of Broadway still goes unsold every single night on average."
TodayTix searches for the best prices -- whether it's a steep discount or full price for a hit show -- and passes them along, plus a $5 convenience fee, one of the lowest out there. It promises a future of no long lines, shady Web sites and uncertainty.
Ticket buyers can either pick up their tickets at the box offices that have partnered with TodayTix -- including The Public and The Roundabout Theatre -- or be greeted outside the theater by a TodayTix representative who is wearing in a red T-shirt or sweatshirt and already has sent them a photo of him or herself holding the tickets. (The so-called concierge service costs another $5).
Other features include the ability to send a photo of ticket buyers' credit cards if they can't be bothered to type in the numbers, reviews of the various shows, social media buttons, push notifications if better seats open up and a calendar feature that lets users pick available shows over multiple days. (continued...)
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