Live Nation‘s entertainment ticket sales site, Ticketmaster, has launched a free iPhone app for finding and buying entry to events.

The app provides access to the company’s considerable database of live entertainment events in the UK. It’s an extension of the Ticketmaster.co.uk website and allows users to log into ‘MyTicketmaster’ for purchasing.

Users can search and browse events in Northern Ireland too, but currently purchase is only possible only through a ‘click to call’ function for Northern Irish events. So, phone queues for popular gigs are still sadly par for the course in this region.

In order to find the best way to market to each user, the app can also look at data from an iTunes library for music preferences and location information.  It’s surprising that it has taken so long for Ticketmaster to release a mobile app, but at least with the addition of music library browsing, it is learning lessons from existing services like Songkick.

Thankfully these are optional features, so those guilty pleasures we all love to listen to in private moments can be taken out of the equation if they’re really that shocking.

That said, the location option can be a bonus for people who travel a fair amount and might not realise that their favourite band is playing nearby. Fans can further personalise the recommended shows by using more than 40 preset filters.

ticketmasterapp Ticketmaster targets mobile fans with the release of its free iPhone app for the UK

Naturally with a large and mixed audience for gigs and events, it makes sense that the app has a social element. Fans can update Twitter and Facebook when they find an event they like, when they’ve bought tickets and also access extra information like concert set lists after the event.

It’s certainly a good way to share your bragging rights if you have managed to bag tickets for a sold out gig and want to share your luck.   For those who are less likely to continually be on the watch for gigs, users can also receive notifications and alerts direct to their phone  including information about last minute ticket availability.

If you’ve ever experienced the pain of hanging on a phone line, waiting to see if you can see your favourite band, this might provide another way into that gig, provided the site is not overwhelmed by demand too. At least the alerts system should help those of us who grow impatient clicking ‘refresh’ in the hope that another ticket might become available.

➤ Ticketmaster UK