MLB: We Want To Stop Selling Printed Tickets, And Apple’s Passbook Is Helping Us Get There

MLB: We Want To Stop Selling Printed Tickets, And Apple’s Passbook Is Helping Us Get There

Passbook may not have the most comprehensive catalog of partners yet, but that doesn’t mean Apple’s digital wallet isn’t working for those who have hopped on the bandwagon.

Major League Baseball has been thrilled with the success of Passbook. After integrating with the iOS 6 service only a couple weeks ago, MLB is already seeing 12% of its e-ticket buyers opt for using digital passes on their iPhones.

According to MarketWatch:

Passbook – which allows tickets and loyalty cards from a variety of outlets to be delivered to one iPhone app – proved to be an instant hit with fans, Bob Bowman, CEO of MLB Advance Media, tells MarketWatch. In its test run with four teams for the final two weeks of the season, 1,500 e-ticket buyers (12%) chose Passbook delivery. “That adoption rate really floored us – there is no question our fans want digital tickets,” Bowman says. “Fans can use the tickets, forward them to a friend, resell them, or even donate them to charity – and they never get lost or left at home.”

With the rise of Square and mobile payments, people are starting to prefer a digital wallet over a physical one. Last season, more than two thirds of MLB’s single-game seats were ordered as digital ticket stubs online. After Passbook starts to gain traction, MLB foresees printed ticket sales dropping below 10%.

The future is almost here.

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  • SupaMac

    I think this is a good idea overall, but I think it would be sad to attempt to eliminate printed tickets completely.

    There are people that collect/save tickets to events that they go to and printing out your own copy of an e-ticket at home is just not the same. This makes sense for people that go to events all the time and the ticket is meaningless to them, but for people that are having a special occasion by going, or are going to an important playoff game or World Series game, I could understand why they would want to keep the ticket.

    Also, not everyone has a smart phone.

    Perhaps they could offer printed tickets for a surcharge of a couple dollars more. It would get most people to use the e-ticket and would gain extra revenue off of people that really want a hard copy of the ticket.

  • Bob Smogango

    Well, maybe this is going to affect the value of older tickets in the collectable industry. No more tickets to collect to make money from.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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