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Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

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Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Old 08-04-23, 12:22 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by PerryD
I see multiple shows a week and I haven't seen ticket prices go up much in the past 10 years. Just picked up tickets to see Mexican rock band Warning and it was $26. How much should they charge? Lots of options at that price point.
The "ticket price" I paid was $26.50. But then there was another $11.33 of fees on top of that for me.

The smaller clubs seems to still be reasonable and haven't jumped a lot, but the seated arenas and stadiums skyrocketed. I've pretty much stopped going to any of those unless I see a last minute StubHub deal.
Old 08-04-23, 12:42 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by The Cow
The "ticket price" I paid was $26.50. But then there was another $11.33 of fees on top of that for me.

The smaller clubs seems to still be reasonable and haven't jumped a lot, but the seated arenas and stadiums skyrocketed. I've pretty much stopped going to any of those unless I see a last minute StubHub deal.
Right, a bunch of my buddies are going to see Metallica multiple times on their tour. I'm not interested at their prices and venue. I'll check Stubhub closer to the show. But that isn't stopping me from seeing hundreds of other bands in the meantime.

But 90% of the shows I see are less than $30. I spend much more on merch than the tickets. And many of these shows are intentional bands, so huge costs for them to get Visas and to travel here with their gear, I don't know how they can afford to do it.
Old 08-08-23, 11:49 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Just got "discounted" tickets to Smashing Pumpkins for tomorrow night (I'm mostly excited for opener, Rival Sons), and while the regular ticket price for out seats was $80, and I got them for $50 each, service charge for both was $50 total. That's a lot of "service"!
Old 08-08-23, 12:48 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

They try to have it both ways, there's a "floor" for service fees, which I sort of understand. It probably costs more than $1 in service to provide a $10 ticket. But there's no ceiling -- it doesn't cost Ticketmaster $75 to sell you a $750 ticket.
They need to be more transparent in their fees. Charging $50 in fees on $100 worth of tickets does look pretty excessive.
Old 08-08-23, 01:36 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

What type of transparency are you expecting? The whole reason weíre even having this discussion is because Ticketmaster is transparent with how much in fees are added onto the purchase. If their proposed ďall in pricingĒ legislation passes, youíre eventually just going to see one final price for your purchase and have no clue what the fees are. And even if that comes to pass, itís no different than any other retailer out there. Does Amazon disclose how much your product costs them and what their markup is? Does Best Buy? Does Wal Mart?
Old 08-08-23, 03:16 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by John Galt
What type of transparency are you expecting? The whole reason weíre even having this discussion is because Ticketmaster is transparent with how much in fees are added onto the purchase. If their proposed ďall in pricingĒ legislation passes, youíre eventually just going to see one final price for your purchase and have no clue what the fees are. And even if that comes to pass, itís no different than any other retailer out there. Does Amazon disclose how much your product costs them and what their markup is? Does Best Buy? Does Wal Mart?
Not on individual items but yes in aggregate and most times by category. It's in the quarterly reports. It's in Live Nation/Ticketmaster's quarterly reports.
Old 08-08-23, 03:22 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by John Galt
What type of transparency are you expecting? The whole reason weíre even having this discussion is because Ticketmaster is transparent with how much in fees are added onto the purchase. If their proposed ďall in pricingĒ legislation passes, youíre eventually just going to see one final price for your purchase and have no clue what the fees are. And even if that comes to pass, itís no different than any other retailer out there. Does Amazon disclose how much your product costs them and what their markup is? Does Best Buy? Does Wal Mart?
No they don't. But they have competition. I can buy a CD or Blu Ray from any one of them (at least for now...). So the market sets a fair price for the store's mark-up. Best Buy for years undercut record stores and sold CDs as a loss-leader until they all went out of business.
Ticketmaster/Live Nation is a monopoly essentially. I could buy tickets on the secondary market, but the Ticketmaster fees are already reflected in those prices.
So you can see that the comparison to retail stores isn't really appropriate.
Old 08-08-23, 03:30 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

The term "Convenience Fee" term has always irked me.

They are charging a fee for convenience for the buyer, but since buying tickets on the internet was born, seems the company selling the tickets also gets as much "convenience" as the buyer does.
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Old 08-09-23, 07:39 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Decker
No they don't. But they have competition. I can buy a CD or Blu Ray from any one of them (at least for now...). So the market sets a fair price for the store's mark-up. Best Buy for years undercut record stores and sold CDs as a loss-leader until they all went out of business.
Ticketmaster/Live Nation is a monopoly essentially. I could buy tickets on the secondary market, but the Ticketmaster fees are already reflected in those prices.
So you can see that the comparison to retail stores isn't really appropriate.
I'm trying to compare ecommerce platforms that sell marked up goods. I'd love to hear of one major corporation that provides a receipt that breaks out their cost of goods (ticket price) and then includes a separate line item for their markup (ticket fees). And I'd still like to know what additional transparency you'd like to see regarding ticket prices and fees.
Old 08-09-23, 09:35 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Spiderbite
I thought this was a semi-interesting article, especially the graphs at the end.

I just don't understand why anyone pays that much money to see artists live. Can't afford rent but will pay thousands of dollars to see Beyonce or Taylor Swift for nosebleed seats where you just end up watching them on a large screen. I always thought that the market would stabilize when people balked at the ticket prices and fees but obviously, I was way wrong.

The Price of Pop Fandom | Pitchfork
FWIW, nosebleed seats for Taylor Swift were only $49, it was maybe $66 with fees. ETA: for Denver, no idea if pricing varied by city, but if so I am sure it was not by much

Of course those seats were going for a lot more on the secondary market but that's a separate thing.

Last edited by LurkerDan; 08-09-23 at 10:39 AM.
Old 08-09-23, 10:31 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by John Galt
I'm trying to compare ecommerce platforms that sell marked up goods. I'd love to hear of one major corporation that provides a receipt that breaks out their cost of goods (ticket price) and then includes a separate line item for their markup (ticket fees). And I'd still like to know what additional transparency you'd like to see regarding ticket prices and fees.
Ticketmaster is closer to an electric company that has a monopoly on the industry and provides a needed service to consumers without any competition. There are standards that those sort of companies have to adopt so that they don't just charge whatever they want unchecked. Real Estate agents are paid an agreed-upon standard commission.
We all agree that running the service has associated costs, but I'd like to know what that cost entails. Clearly providing a $750 front row ticket doesn't require any more work or expense than issuing a $75 nosebleed seat, right? It's exactly the same service, there isn't even insurance cost involved there, as that is a separate purchase. So why should that $750 seat come with a much more expensive service fee? I would really like to know that I'm not just being gouged by Ticketmaster. If some of their fees are going back to the venue, I want to know that, especially if Live Nation owns the venue. If the artist is getting a kickback from Ticketmaster, I'd like to know that as well.
I have become incredibly skeptical of Ticketmaster, especially considering I buy Raiders and Golden Knights tickets every year without paying any ticketing fees and it works just fine.
Every other monopoly in the US faces some sort of regulation. Seems just logical that Ticketmaster should as well.
Old 08-09-23, 11:52 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

I know for a fact that a good chunk of those "service fees" goes to the artist, and have nothing to do with the ticket agencies "service".
It's part of the artists' negotiations with TM.
TM/LN doesn't mind looking like the bad guys, so they'll take the PR hit for, Taylor Swift, for example, who's getting a bit extra $ in those fees, without her looking like a greedy asshole.
Old 08-09-23, 12:03 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

^ That is exactly the sort of transparency I would want to see and know for sure. If that's the case, then seeing which artists are taking a big kickback and which aren't would be useful, and would likely lower those fees as a result.
Old 08-09-23, 01:28 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Decker
^ That is exactly the sort of transparency I would want to see and know for sure. If that's the case, then seeing which artists are taking a big kickback and which aren't would be useful, and would likely lower those fees as a result.
No way the artists' managers would agree to that.
Old 08-09-23, 01:30 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Like I said, this is essentially a monopoly. There should be some government oversight and regulation.
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Old 08-11-23, 11:38 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Decker
Ticketmaster is closer to an electric company that has a monopoly on the industry and provides a needed service to consumers without any competition. There are standards that those sort of companies have to adopt so that they don't just charge whatever they want unchecked. Real Estate agents are paid an agreed-upon standard commission.
We all agree that running the service has associated costs, but I'd like to know what that cost entails. Clearly providing a $750 front row ticket doesn't require any more work or expense than issuing a $75 nosebleed seat, right? It's exactly the same service, there isn't even insurance cost involved there, as that is a separate purchase. So why should that $750 seat come with a much more expensive service fee? I would really like to know that I'm not just being gouged by Ticketmaster. If some of their fees are going back to the venue, I want to know that, especially if Live Nation owns the venue. If the artist is getting a kickback from Ticketmaster, I'd like to know that as well.
I have become incredibly skeptical of Ticketmaster, especially considering I buy Raiders and Golden Knights tickets every year without paying any ticketing fees and it works just fine.
Every other monopoly in the US faces some sort of regulation. Seems just logical that Ticketmaster should as well.
If you think making public knowledge the incentive payments to artists and the rent payments to the venues public would bring the price of tickets down, then that's fair. But I really don't see what difference it makes. If the end cost of a ticket is $100 and a customer is willing to pay it, then what difference does it make how that $100 gets split up between Live Nation, the artist, and the venue? It's hardly like an electric company that provides essential services and unchecked, can raise prices to the upper limit of what people are able to afford. If anything, secondary prices show that Ticketmaster could be charging a lot more than they do for a lot of shows. I've posted their margins in this thread already and I haven't seen anything out of line. If they were truly overcharging on fees, you would expect them to be making a lot more money than they are. Here's a comparison with a few other well known corporations:

EBITDA Margin range from 2018-2023
Live Nation - 6%-8% (excludes 2020 where they had -157%)
Amazon - 10%-13%
Apple - 28%-34%
Microsoft - 40%-50%
Best Buy - 5%-8%
Wal Mart - 5%-7%
Duke Energy - 38%-45% (a lot of good antitrust regulations are doing here)
Vivid Seats - 15%-20%

I maintain that the uproar over ticket fees is simply because people don't have easy visibility into what other companies profit off of them.

I agree that Live Nation behaves like a monopoly, but they still have plenty of competition with every one of their revenue streams. On the promotion side, they have AEG and Eventim. On the primary ticketing platform side (Ticketmaster), there's etix, Paciolan, Seatgeek, and AXS. Obviously there's thousands of venues across the world and Live Nation owns a good amount, but there's plenty more that are publicly and privately owned. On the resale ticketing side, there's Stubhub, Seatgeek, Vividseats, Gametime, etc. What they have is the benefit of scale and a solid foothold across the entire vertical and that gives them a tremendous advantage to be a one stop shop for an artist going on tour. This is where the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster should have been scrutinized more as it appears to be a clear violation of the Clayton Act, and they've been violating the consent decree for over a decade now. The Biden administration has been tough on Antitrust cases and I'm sure Live Nation is scared to death of having to go in front of them.

If we're looking monopolistic practices, instead of focusing on their pricing model, I want to focus on their business practices. Do any two random customers wanting to buy a ticket to their favorite show stand equal chances of getting tickets? Do any two random customers stand an equal chance of winning Verified Fan? Is Ticketmaster withholding tickets to manipulate supply and demand in order to justify higher dynamic ticket prices? How come a major artist can put a show on sale with a four ticket limit and an hour later there are entire front rows of the stadium for sale on the secondary market, all being sold by the same seller? Does Ticketmaster really research obvious evidence of bots (like the previous question) or is it all a smokescreen to tell Congress their hands are tied? Does Ticketmaster provide "preferred" accounts to secondary sellers who sell exclusively on TM+ while maintaining the perception that everyone is on equal footing? Do their T&C prevent fans from bringing justified lawsuits against them?

And as far as a $750 costing the same as a $75 ticket but having different fees, it's the same way that someone making $1MM/year pays more in taxes than someone making $30k/year yet uses the same highways, libraries, fire stations, has the same President, and gets the same national defense. The true average cost of fees would be too exorbitant for the $75 ticket.

Originally Posted by slop101
I know for a fact that a good chunk of those "service fees" goes to the artist, and have nothing to do with the ticket agencies "service".
It's part of the artists' negotiations with TM.
TM/LN doesn't mind looking like the bad guys, so they'll take the PR hit for, Taylor Swift, for example, who's getting a bit extra $ in those fees, without her looking like a greedy asshole.
TM has testified under oath that the service fees do not go to the artists. They do pay an incentive to be the ticket provider for an event and those expenses obviously get paid out of their revenue.
Old 08-11-23, 12:25 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by John Galt
TM has testified under oath that the service fees do not go to the artists. They do pay an incentive to be the ticket provider for an event and those expenses obviously get paid out of their revenue.
They make sure that their bookkeeping will show that what they testified to is how things appear, legally. But no, they definitely split certain fees with certain artists.
Old 08-17-23, 05:13 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Just bought a ticket - 41% ticket fee.

Total - (incl. $0.75 tax) - $36.00
Tickets - Live Nation Presale: $25.00 x 1 - $25.00
Service Fee: $10.25 x 1
Tax $0.75

Both the fees and what it goes for are important.
If they showed "50% of the service fee goes to the artist", I'd be fine with that, because I tend to see the bands who aren't profiting millions of dollars. Hell, one show I was at, the guy put a jar out to collect money to fix his van so he could continue on to the next stop. And this was before covid wreaked havoc on the industry.

After buying the ticket, I got that popup for "you are eligible for these four deals!" So they're making money there too.
Old 08-20-23, 09:55 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Live Nation is absolutely ridiculous.

Last night, I bought a Premier Parking Pass for a concert I attended and was charged a Service Fee.

For a Parking Pass (that wasn't even checked by employees)?
Old 08-28-23, 02:37 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

I guess Zach Bryan already gave up on his crusade against Ticketmaster?
Old 08-29-23, 06:14 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by John Galt
I guess Zach Bryan already gave up on his crusade against Ticketmaster?
Itís a lot easier when it was a smaller tour. Itís much harder with something of this size. AEG is still the promoter/producer. Looking at the sites I know many are exclusive Live Nation so that means it has to use Ticketmaster. We will see if he keeps the face value only exchange.
Old 08-29-23, 08:23 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Kdogg
Itís a lot easier when it was a smaller tour. Itís much harder with something of this size. AEG is still the promoter/producer. Looking at the sites I know many are exclusive Live Nation so that means it has to use Ticketmaster. We will see if he keeps the face value only exchange.
The Cure took care of fans and put Ticketmaster in it's place this past tour. They have shown it can be done and they enjoyed their most successful tour ever. The issues I saw as a fan were smaller venues that limited attendance. What I saw from different sites, not counting charity seats in LA, $200-250 was the most expensive seat in any arena on this tour, no dynamic pricing, they capped fees, even getting some fans a refund for original fees and allowed only face value ticket re-sells, canceling thousands of scalper tickets.
Old 08-29-23, 05:10 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Cusm
The Cure took care of fans and put Ticketmaster in itsplace this past tour. They have shown it can be done and they enjoyed their most successful tour ever. The issues I saw as a fan were smaller venues that limited attendance. What I saw from different sites, not counting charity seats in LA, $200-250 was the most expensive seat in any arena on this tour, no dynamic pricing, they capped fees, even getting some fans a refund for original fees and allowed only face value ticket re-sells, canceling thousands of scalper tickets.
That tour was going to be their most successful regardless of the pricing. There is a huge demand for live music especially from older nostalgic acts. Not only would it attract GenXers but also their kids. At this point money probably itís Robertís top priority. Thatís unlike most artists. Touring has become the main source of income for musicians. And those musicians are in cahoots with TM. U2 is restricting resale of GA tickets at the Sphere to face value but not for the rest of venue. Why? Because they benefit from Platinum pricing and resales like all artists. Ticketmaster is happy to be the bad guy but the artists are also culpable.

Most of those refunded fees although paid by Ticketmaster were for non Live Nation venues. Ticketmaster didnít set the rates for those tickets but ate the cost to make a long time client (Smith) happy.

Iím not a friend of Ticketmaster but I do think they provide a good service. Iím old enough to remember the regional ticket agencies and the fiefdoms of the 80ís and 90ís. I remember TicketTron. I remember going to the Record Bar which acted as the box office for venues in the Carolinas. I remember, first hand, the Pearl Jam tour. It was messy. Ticketmaster has made it vastly easier. I do have issues with the pricing I have to pay for convenience. I would be happy if they had a fixed fee for tickets regardless of price and released all tickets at once. Thatís my major complaint especially them slow rolling the release of tickets. Two weeks ago a concert that I was monitoring only had partial view seats in the nosebleed section. Then this week there has been a steady release of prime seats on the floor and lower levels. It started first at platinum pricing, then standard and as of a couple of hours ago half price.
Old 09-27-23, 06:03 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by tonyc3742
Just bought a ticket - 41% ticket fee.

Total - (incl. $0.75 tax) - $36.00
Tickets - Live Nation Presale: $25.00 x 1 - $25.00
Service Fee: $10.25 x 1
Tax $0.75

Both the fees and what it goes for are important.
If they showed "50% of the service fee goes to the artist", I'd be fine with that, because I tend to see the bands who aren't profiting millions of dollars. Hell, one show I was at, the guy put a jar out to collect money to fix his van so he could continue on to the next stop. And this was before covid wreaked havoc on the industry.
Here's what I was charged for John Oliver & Seth Meyers NYE Show tickets :


So that's a 28% fee, not counting whatever the hell the "Processing fee" is. They made $150 from me just buying 3 of their their tickets. They sure as hell didn't provide me with $150 in service.

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