TodayTix, a mobile app for discounted theater tickets that's carved out a chunk of the Broadway market since launching in New York City in 2013, entered the Chicago market today with a beta launch. The app, which expanded into London, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco earlier this year, allows users to search available shows and buy tickets for performances occurring the same-day or up to seven days in advance from their phones.
In New York, the startup service claims to use "insider knowledge" to get the best prices available on last-minute tickets. (TodayTix's young co-founders both have a credit or two as Broadway producers, i.e. as being part of the long lists of investors and money-raisers that earn such a credit in today's Broadway.) Tickets are delivered as digital barcodes, available for pickup at will call, or, in an attention-getting touch that earns the app comparisons to services like Uber or Postmates, certain shows in New York offer "Concierge service"—with a runner in a TodayTix shirt hand-delivering your tickets outside the theater.
More interestingly, TodayTix has also become the leading tool for shows like Fun Home, Thérèse Raquin and the Public Theater run of Hamilton to conduct digital day-of discount lotteries. Outside of Broadway in Chicago sit-downs like The Book of Mormon and Wicked, lotteries haven't really thrived in the very different theater market in Chicago. But with TodayTix establishing itself as a competitor for services like Goldstar and the League of Chicago Theatres' HotTix, and hip, young-skewing companies like the Hypocrites and the House Theatre of Chicago among the first to partner with the service (TodayTix's user base is reportedly 12 years younger than the average Broadway theatergoer), I'll be watching to see if downloading discounts leads to testing new tactics. TodayTix is offering Chicago users $10 off their first purchase with the code WINDYCITY.