VentureBeat reported yesterday (Jan 15) on Google's Knowledge Graph panel, the summary widget that appears next to search results, that benefits peformers and their fans. "Official Official ticket links and delegated event links can now be added by the artist, as can events specific to comedians and to venues," wrote VentureBeat's Emil Protalinski.
This new feature lets users buy tickets for concerts or events without leaving the Google search screen.
This is an interesting development in the Google UI, because Google prompts the user to buy tickets (through Ticketmaster, for example, in the below photo) or click through to more information within Google itself, simply through a third-party link.
As a consumer, I think this is great. I can easily search for a concert, check dates and buy my ticket. This is similar to the way I might look for a restaurant and use the information on Google to book a reservation. I look up the thing I want and there is a button to buy it.
Understandably, the interface could anger competitors not included in the default in-Google link, some of whom would deemed this an antitrust issue. However, it appears federal regulators have recently backed off on this issue, and allowed Google to proceed.
Large companies may get more exposure via the Google algorithm, but it's not necessarily anti-competitive.
I think what Google is doing here is fair especially if they allow other parties to be added into the mix. If Google offers the platform, smaller parties should make sure they are on it. This is the same issue in the digital world as the real world, where large companies may get more exposure. Small brands need to find their niche and digital can often be the great equalizer. If you have a better customer experience and people learn this, you will have an advantage.
Could this not just be like Google Flights? When you indicate you want to buy a flight, it shows all of the relevant flights available. This seems to aggregate all airlines. They have a chance to be at the top based on flights. I think there can be a democratic way that works for all people. At the end of the day, we should focus on what the best experience for the customer is to get the service they want. I think Google is a company that generally tries to do good for the world. Businesses need to try and harness this innovation and partner with it to be successful rather than fight it.