Google Cloud Print: Never Print a Concert Ticket at Home Again?

It’s Internet Week in New York City and the launches, announcements, and press surrounding the heavy hitters on the web will be occurring ad nauseam this week. One of the first to get my attention is the news and unveiling of Google Cloud Print with Live Nation joining the press release as one of the first partners to deploy the API’s and technology that could leverage such a service. What is Google Cloud Print, you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like.

In Google Chrome OS, all applications are web apps. Therefore, in designing the printing experience for Google Chrome OS, we want to make sure printing from web apps is as natural as printing from traditional native apps is today. Additionally, with the proliferation of web-connected mobile devices such as those running Google Chrome OS and other mobile operating systems, we don’t believe it is feasible to build and maintain complex print subsystems and print drivers for each platform. In fact, even the print subsystems and drivers on existing PC operating systems leave a lot of room for improvement.

Our goal is to build a printing experience that enables any app (web, desktop, or mobile) on any device to print to any printer anywhere in the world.

If you think that printing your tickets at home was an innovation in the industry, you could see this being an obvious step in the move race to the cloud. Immediately we can see how a company like Live Nation can get a lot out of a service like this. What if concert tickets never needed to be printed again until you get to the venue? Only then can you sell it to the highest bidder out front, which could really kill some of the secondary ticketing market. Maybe this helps the FedEx Office locations of the world by making them yet another stop when you want to get something printed, leaving the desktop printer continually and increasingly obsolete.

Live Nation says that they plan on using it to let people print out tickets, and promotions from a mobile app.

We’ll watch to see how Live Nation gets this deployed and what level of markup this will mean for us in the general ticket-buying public. If they want to stay competitive and actually show that innovation is here to help customers, this should be a reduction of the cost of ticket charges and fees that we’re used to seeing now (should being the keyword in that sentence).