Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ticketmaster & Live Nation

So back in my later years in high school I used to go tons of concerts (or 'shows' as I used to refer to them). I could be seen scouring the net for new shows constantly and probably checking out at least one if not two or three a week. The great thing about most of the bands that I was seeing was that they played at relatively small venues. When I mean small, I mean the place fit maybe 150 people. The great thing about these venues is that it really got you up and close with the band! Another perk was NOT having to pay fees to buy a ticket, you would simply pay a cover or a ticket charge at the door. Keep in mind this is 1999-2001, so buying tickets online other than Ticketmaster was non-existent.

This brings me to my point. I HATE buying tickets online from Ticketmaster, in fact I dislike it so much that I am willing to drive to the venue at odd hours or during working (or to skip school at the time :) to buy the tickets direct from the venue and not have to pay the $8/ticket charge for a $40 ticket. [As a side note, I just looked up Michael Buble tickets in Fort Worth, Texas and what do you know its $10.65/ticket to buy through Ticketmaster.] It also really irritates me that they call the charge a convenience charge! Here's the thing, the internet is not a convenience anymore, it used to be, but now its standard business practice! Why do I have to pay over $20 to Ticketmaster just to buy the tickets online? I realize that venues have contracts with them and that they provide them with the sales tools to fill up their venues, but come on, no one really bothers to go to ticketmaster to find out where their favorite band is playing, do they?! You go directly to the band website, which would be a great place for them to sell tickets independent of Ticketmaster and profit from it, since they are losing so much money on the CD sales.

This whole rant started when I read today that IAC is splitting up their business empire. In the article they mention that Ticketmaster is losing Live Nation as a customer in 2009, yay! Live Nation and Ticketmaster apparently had it all out last year and decided to split. This will definitely hurt Ticketmaster as Live Nation is its biggest client, to the tune of about 15% of its $1B in sales (although they will continute to sell their House of Blues tickets).

I love it! Break down barriers, take down Ticketmaster!

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