Sistic CEO once had to apologise to Mandopop star JJ Lin for ruining 2021 online concert

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SINGAPORE – Back in 2021, Sistic chief executive officer Joe Ow had to personally issue a public apology when JJ Lin’s Sanctuary Finale online concert hosted on the ticketing sales company’s Sistic Live live-stream platform on July 10 was marred by technical issues.

“First and foremost, (we had) to really take accountability to say that, yes, this is a problem on our end, we take (the blame) for it,” the 46-year-old recalls in a recent interview at the Sistic office at Changi Business Park.

“We wanted to address this immediately, so that statement was actually rolled out very quickly after the incident, just to make sure that we can account to the fans, the event organiser and JJ Lin himself.”

The Mandopop star “wasn’t feeling good”, Mr Ow remembers, adding that the technical issues were “an anomaly”.

Sistic offered refunds and rescheduled broadcasts for the fans who were unhappy that they had to put up with severe lagging after paying for tickets ranging from $38 to $188 for the online performance.

Teething issues are inevitable, but for the head honcho, what is more important is the recovery process to set things right, especially as the company, a major player in the ticketing industry here, moves with the times.

“One thing that we were working on was to pivot ourselves to be more of a technology company, rather than just a ticketing service provider,” says Mr Ow, who worked in the tech industry before joining Sistic in 2018.

That year, the company that has been in Singapore for over three decades also made headlines after it closed a quarter of its physical counters islandwide, reasoning that more patrons went online to buy tickets.

The decision to see itself as a tech company was a big move, says Mr Ow. “We started to rethink what our technology cou...

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