If you’ve bought concert tickets in the last decade, you’ve probably strained your eyes and asked yourself something along the lines of, “is that an ‘i’ or an ‘r’?” Ticketmaster’s dreaded CAPTCHA security check can be a real challenge, so it comes as good news that the world’s leading ticketing company is changing its verification process.

The purpose of CAPTCHA puzzles are to verify that customers are, in fact, humans instead of the computer programs used by some scalpers to buy mass amounts of concert tickets. The acronym explains it all – Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart – though the service has challenged fans due to its often illegible renderings of random letters. The technology was developed by Carnegie Mellon University in 2000.

Instead, Ticketmaster’s new CAPTCHA process will use actual phrases, questions or ads in readable type, provided by the company Solve Media. There’s no time table on when the new system will be fully implemented in Ticketmaster’s website and mobile app, but the upgrade is currently happening.

The average time to solve a CAPTCHA is 14 seconds, while Ticketmaster’s new system takes users an average of seven seconds, Ticketmaster’s executive vice president of eCommerce, Kip Levin, told BBC. “We’re happy with what we’ve seen from a security standpoint as well,” Levin added.

“We are excited to work with Ticketmaster to make the purchase process as painless and efficient for fans as possible,” Ari Jacoby, CEO of Solve Media, said in a press release. “At Solve Media, we take complex problems and create simple solutions. With our proprietary TYPE-IN™ technology, consumers can solve CAPTCHAs in half the time it takes to decipher the outmoded squiggly number and letter CAPTCHAs. Our security platform makes it difficult for BOTS to affect the system, allowing for better user experience and premium branding opportunities.”

“Premium branding opportunities” and the mention of ads makes it seem as though the new system might implement advertising into Ticketmaster’s site. Coming from the company that revolutionized the concept of “service fees,” Ticketmaster’s pursuit of additional monetary streams should be no surprise.

– Jillian Mapes, Radio.com


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