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Blake Shelton's concert at the BB&T Center is one of the events available to Sznpass subscribers.
Blake Shelton's concert at the BB&T Center is one of the events available to Sznpass subscribers.
Photo by Jim Wright

Sznpass Wants to Be the Netflix of Live Events

Like many South Floridians, Matthew Redler found there were more local events he wanted to attend than he could afford. "I was priced out of exploring all the sports and music events Miami had to offer," the Plantation native and University of Florida student says. Out of that disappointment sprang his eureka moment: Why not start a service where subscribers could attend as many live events as their time would allow?

So last week, Redler introduced Sznpass. For $59 a month or $600 a year, users can attend a theoretically unlimited number of South Florida concerts, sports games, musicals, and plays.

Like another, imploding subscription service with "pass" in its name, Sznpass sounds too good to be true. But Redler is quick to point out why his business model can succeed. "I had MoviePass as well. There are two differences that make us more sustainable," the Sznpass CEO and founder explains. "We're pricing subscriptions at a more sustainable level. More important, we're a marketplace. We're not buying tickets. Venues share unsold seats with us that we'll make available five days or so before the event."

In this pilot phase, while Sznpass has only a handful of subscribers, the choices are limited to mostly sporting events. The menu lists plenty of Heat and Panthers games, along with seats for the Miami Open. Music lovers right now will have to settle for Bad Bunny and Blake Shelton; comedy fans get only Trevor Noah at Hard Rock Live. Redler says the selection will increase as the number of subscribers grows. "Right now, expect upper-level seats and be pleasantly surprised when you get lower level. We're building plans for higher-level clientele who want more premium seats."

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Redler has also put a lot of thought into how subscribers might try to game the system. There's a penalty fee if a user reserves a ticket and doesn't attend. To make sure a few people don't hog the limited number of tickets, he borrowed a policy Netflix used back when it shipped DVDs: "Our reservation system is like how Netflix would only send you a limited number of DVDs at a time; you can only reserve one event at a time. If I'm reserving the Heat game tomorrow, I can't reserve another event until that Heat game is over."

Redler took time off from college to get the program off the ground. A mobile app is in the works to replace the current process where subscribers must text a phone number to reserve events, and he's meeting with local venues to try to expand his menu. He's dreaming big on how far he can take Sznpass. "In a couple years, I want this to be in most major cities in the U.S. I want to make it so people can attend live events on a regular basis without breaking the bank."

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