Audio ticket scanning: The end of long lines?


  • In July, Ticketmaster rolled out a new ticketing system that uses ultrasonic audio technology to scan people’s tickets for events.
  • The ticket sales company partnered up with Lisnr, an audio data company who makes what they call “smart tones” that allows ticket information to be transmitted through pitches inaudible to the human ear but just loud enough for ticket taker devices to receive.


The new ticket system offers a safer, hassle-free option to paper tickets and digital QR codes.

  • THE SKEPTICS – “Audio tickets are too risky”

    • Always watching:   While rumors of Ticketmaster to see the location of guests and send them personalized messages was clarified by the company themselves, paranoid grows around the hold of data Ticketmaster is given through the tickets.
    • Rocky history:   Ticketmaster has fallen into legal trouble for overcharging tickets and ran into technical difficulties when compensating users, leaving many skeptical of the site’s announcement of the audio tickets.
    • Back to square one:   Even Lisnr’s technology cannot stop the inflated resale ticket prices, especially when Ticketmaster is one of those secondary sellers.
  • THE HOPEFUL – “Audio tickets are the future”

    • Goodbye long lines:   Any Ticketmaster user that purchases an audio ticket will only have to turn on a sensor attached to their ticket which will broadcast a signal and picked up by a scanner, allowing people to walk through the venue without pulling out their smartphone to be manually checked.
    • Bang for their buck:   Other forms of digital ticketing require more investing due to the expensive infrastructure they require in order to work.
    • Catching crooks:   Because each audio ticket emits a unique signal for each phone, it will become easier for Ticketmaster and event venues to catch fraudulent tickets.


  • Ticketmaster is not the only company to utilize Lisnr’s audio innovation, as Jaguar Land Rover recently included audio data to customize temperature and seat position in the car.
  • iPhones also implement ultrasonic audio through an app called Chirp in which users can share multimedia files with sound.
  • Lisnr’s ultrasonic audio ticket production are expected to be sold to the public by Ticketmaster in four years.