O2 Priority Tickets

A platform to withstand a stampede of superfans

O2 Priority Tickets build a platform to withstand a stampede of superfans.

Priority Tickets provides O2’s customers with access to thousands of gigs and events 48 hours before the general public. It is a well-established market-leading O2 proposition, and a key part of the Priority programme.

The popularity of Priority Tickets meant the service was beginning to outgrow its legacy platform, which would undoubtedly run into stability issues when faced with high traffic.

Due to the increasing demand for tickets to big-name concerts, they asked Equal Experts to help them to build a more robust, scalable platform, ideally to launch for the pre-sale of the series of concerts planned for O2’s 10th birthday – in just two months. 

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  • 40,000

    superfans simultaneously managed by the new platform on launch.

  • 80%

    O2’s partners who now add tickets to the platform directly.

About O2.

Telefonica UK Limited, trading as O2 UK, is a telecommunications services provider in the United Kingdom. With 34 million customers as of February 2020, O2 is the second-largest UK mobile network operator with the highest customer satisfaction for any mobile provider, according to Ofcom.

  • Industry

    Industry icon


  • Reach

    Organisation icon

    34 million customers

  • Location

    Location icon

    Slough, UK

  • Services

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    Platform build, Cloud Migration

Improving the customer experience of a megastar event in a short timescale.

A series of concerts were planned at The O2 Arena to celebrate O2’s 10th birthday. These included Ed Sheeran, Alt-J, Jamiroquai and Foo Fighters.

O2 asked Equal Experts to integrate Priority Tickets into their main Priority offering. The work should be designed to deal with the high anticipated ticket demand and introduce a more consistent, high-quality customer experience. There was just a couple of months to get the new system ready in time for the ticket pre-sale.

Flexible working allowed everyone to achieve their target.

As part of our wider engagement with O2, Equal Experts had already started a major piece of work to replace the main Priority platform on a new AWS platform. It was clear the only hope of supporting the anticipated demand would be to find a way to use this new platform. Of course, what sounded a straightforward plan on paper was highly ambitious in practice, particularly within such a tight timeframe.

The hybrid solution was required to route customers via the new platform to get their tickets but still worked with the old platform to provide everything else. This would allow us to meet the deadline and provide a great experience for eager fans. It would also allow the team to move the remaining features to the new platform when the time was right. 

Integration, for a seamless customer experience.

Despite the hybrid approach to build, the user experience had to be seamless – at a time of extremely high demand. This required the iOS and Android apps and the Priority website to be updated within the same deadline.

When the digital doors were flung open, we had 40,000 superfans simultaneously flood into the new Priority Tickets service, and much like the artists themselves, it didn’t skip a beat.

The only complaint? Well, a grumble or two from those who were too late to snag a ticket.

Once the initial project was successfully implemented – further improvements were swift (not Taylor).

The hybrid model was only ever a (successful) means to an end. With the initial goal complete, we immediately set out to complete the transition of legacy services to the new platform. We’ve now achieved this, enabling O2 to decommission the legacy platform. We’ve also continued to iterate upon the new platform, adding new functionality.

A key feature was the addition of third party access to the Priority Tickets content management system, adding the concept of roles and permissions to what was previously a non-hierarchical CMS. O2’s sponsorship partners now have a (limited) view of the Priority Tickets backend, allowing them to add 80% of all tickets to the platform directly.

It’s not all backend improvements; the customer experience has also been enhanced in multiple ways, including a tour-tracking feature that provides customers with more options to see their favourite stars live.

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