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Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

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Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Old 10-02-23, 09:34 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Yeah, I think it's rather bogus that there's a service fee for pre-purchasing parking.
Old 10-02-23, 10:37 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

I just purchased two tickets to see a recording of the "How Did This Get Made?" podcast here in town in November.
____
  • Tickets were $99 each
  • Fee was $20.48 per ticket (and wasn't broken down any further than that)
As always, I fail to see where I'm getting $41 worth of service from Ticketmaster to send do nothing but process my credit card (automated) and send me a link to my mobile tickets (automated).
Old 10-03-23, 11:28 AM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Did a presale this morning which went surprisingly smoothly. In and out in 25 minutes and 15 of it was the queue before the sale started. Each ticket was $179.50 + $5.00 order fee + $38.00 Service fee. The total was the only price shown through the whole transaction so no second kick in the balls at checkout. I had both an artist and a credit card presale code. They had an "Official Platinum Presale" at the same time. Those f-ing tickets were 2 to 2..5 times as much. The same ticket was $566.50 at the platinum pricing point. The only saving grace was the Platinum tickets were only a very small percentage of the total available tickets.
Old 10-03-23, 03:23 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

I remember the good old days back in the 80's, standing in line (sometimes overnight) in front of the record store down the street, on a Saturday night waiting for the ticket box office to open to buy my tickets for a concert. Only paid for the ticket price plus some taxes and that was it.
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Old 10-09-23, 02:56 PM
  #155  
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

One Ticket for Brandy Clark/Lori McKenna
Face: $174.50
Convenience Fee: $34.02
Facility Fee: $3.00
Order Processing: $4.50

This was not Ticketmaster, and is a not for profit venue that runs their own third party software for ticket sales.

Two Tickets for Jason Isbell
Face: $211
Ticket Fee: $37.30

This was through eTix and was a charity show.

Two Tickets for Jason Isbell at Red Rocks 2024
Face: $259.90
Convenience Fee: $56.40

This was through AXS

Last edited by John Galt; 10-09-23 at 03:56 PM. Reason: clarified qtys
Old 10-09-23, 03:43 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Wow, if that's per person I am content on never catching a show live ever again. It was a great run and am glad I got my "concerting" out of the way in my 20's.
Old 10-09-23, 03:57 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Why So Blu?
Wow, if that's per person I am content on never catching a show live ever again. It was a great run and am glad I got my "concerting" out of the way in my 20's.
Again, I've seen close to 50 shows this year, and the average cost without VIP is around $30. VIP meet & greet usually adds around $80. Avoid arena shows and you can go back to seeing great bands play live for a reasonable price. Or just continue to shout at the clouds.
Old 10-09-23, 04:10 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by PerryD
Again, I've seen close to 50 shows this year, and the average cost without VIP is around $30. VIP meet & greet usually adds around $80. Avoid arena shows and you can go back to seeing great bands play live for a reasonable price. Or just continue to shout at the clouds.
Not trying to denigrate your, or anyone else's, musical tastes, but there is a HUGE fundamental difference between seeing a niche band in a small club and seeing a world-famous headliner. There are lots of great live shows to see, but those big headliners in stadiums and arenas cost a lot more because there is so much more demand to see them. If all one wanted was to see some live music, there are plenty of opportunities to see that sort of thing for free at bars and restaurants.
The Ticketmaster outrage should be coming from the fact that those high-cost, high-demand shows have outrageous service fees not commensurate with the service that they provide. If it costs the consumer $10 to buy a $30 ticket on Ticketmaster, why should it cost $50 to buy a $170 ticket on the same service using the same interface and website?
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Old 10-09-23, 04:18 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

^ I guess what I was saying, and should have stated it more plainly, is : The solution for skyrocketing Ticketmaster fees shouldn't be to change the artists you choose to see live, it should really be to reign in the unchecked, unregulated fees being leveed by this gargantuan monopoly.
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Old 10-09-23, 04:31 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Decker
^ I guess what I was saying, and should have stated it more plainly, is : The solution for skyrocketing Ticketmaster fees shouldn't be to change the artists you choose to see live, it should really be to reign in the unchecked, unregulated fees being leveed by this gargantuan monopoly.

I would have denigrated.
Old 10-09-23, 04:44 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

I always think it's okay for artists to charge what they're worth (within reason). Springsteen and Taylor Swift got really vilified in the press for selling their top-level tickets for $400 or more (and it should be pointed out both offered sub-$50 tickets in the nosebleeds), but they go much higher on the secondary markets, so that seems reasonable to me -- I'd much rather the artist makes the money they earn than have scalpers earn it for doing nothing other than gaming the system.

I feel like U2 has earned the right to charge $400 or $500 per ticket for their new amazing show. What does Ticketmaster do so special or exclusive that they earned that additional $100 (plus processing fee)?
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Old 10-09-23, 04:51 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Decker
Not trying to denigrate your, or anyone else's, musical tastes, but there is a HUGE fundamental difference between seeing a niche band in a small club and seeing a world-famous headliner. There are lots of great live shows to see, but those big headliners in stadiums and arenas cost a lot more because there is so much more demand to see them.
Yeah, the bands that I'm seeing in clubs are fantastic high level bands, not local bar bands. I can see bands like Testament, Exodus, Kreator, Sepultura or Anthrax for $30 who are all the biggest thrash bands, or I could see the most popular one Metallica for $300. To me, I see very little difference in quality between those bands, and arguably, I believe the others are putting out much better material than Metallica, even though they were my favorite band for much of the 80s. There is no point in crying about the cost of Metallica tickets which I could easily afford, but to me the value isn't there. It's like saying you won't see a movie that doesn't feature a performer making $25 million for their role, it's strangely limiting. There is so much great music out there, so getting caught up with the biggest fads to see some Korean boy band and then complaining about the price, seems a waste of energy.
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Old 10-09-23, 04:59 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Okay, I can certainly see your point there, and it's a valid one. But I still think it's okay for a band to charge what they're worth. I got tickets for Liz Phair for like $50 and that's great deal and I'm stoked to go see her. But if she charged $200 a ticket I would have passed on seeing her show and not thought twice about it. Most artists do settle in to a fair adjusted value based on their popularity level.
Old 10-09-23, 05:09 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Decker
I always think it's okay for artists to charge what they're worth (within reason). Springsteen and Taylor Swift got really vilified in the press for selling their top-level tickets for $400 or more (and it should be pointed out both offered sub-$50 tickets in the nosebleeds), but they go much higher on the secondary markets, so that seems reasonable to me -- I'd much rather the artist makes the money they earn than have scalpers earn it for doing nothing other than gaming the system.

I feel like U2 has earned the right to charge $400 or $500 per ticket for their new amazing show. What does Ticketmaster do so special or exclusive that they earned that additional $100 (plus processing fee)?
Every major band should have an open GA floor for less than $100 with no resale allowed. Purchaser can get a wristband put on at the gate after showing their ID for purchase. That would at least allow some regular fans to have access to the bigger shows

But sure, I'm glad that people are fighting Ticketmaster fees and such, I'd be curious to see their profits divided by tickets sold to see how much margin there really is per ticket. Okay, I looked it up, last quarter, they sold 150 million tickets and had 600 million in profits, so around $4 per ticket sold.
Old 10-09-23, 05:29 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

They make $4 a ticket on average? I just wonder about fuzzy math. Like my example earlier this year where they collected $78 on a $300 ticket in a stadium. I know there are (some) expenses involved in distributing tickets, but there's no way it costs them $20 to distribute that ticket, let alone $74. And that's one seat in a concert with 60,000-70,000 people.
There's plenty unknown here, but it starts with are they losing money on cheap tickets and making up any losses on expensive tickets, or (as I suspect) making little on cheap tickets and just raking in a fortune on expensive tickets?
And that doesn't even touch on the secondary market where they charge 10% fee from the sellers and at least that much from the buyers while doing nothing more than hosting a sales website and facilitating the ticket transfer.
Old 10-09-23, 05:56 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Or maybe it just costs Live Nation a lot more to run their business than people think? We went through this same exercise back around March, including me posting the exact profit per ticket that they make, and it was in line with what perryd just posted (just different fiscal years). Live Nation loves for the conversation to be around ticket fees because they’re completely defendable and it takes the focus off their monopolistic business practices.

I also just posted three different ticket transactions from Ticketmaster’s competitors and the percentage of fees was relatively the same.

Vivid Seats is publicly traded, so someone could pull up their 10k and do the same analysis.
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Old 10-09-23, 06:56 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Okay here's the local Performing Arts Center. They host touring Broadway shows.
I checked the service fees for buying tickets through them.

So they're able to issue two $150 tickets for $45 in service fees (including processing). Why does it cost Ticketmaster $78 (plus Processing fees) to distribute one $300 ticket to a Beyoncé concert?

Here's what it costs to have good seats to Ka, which is a Cirque du Soleil show, when bought directly :

So that's $40 for $370 in tickets, just over 10%.

Both those websites host ticket purchases and facilitate ticket sales using the same payment services as Ticketmaster. If there's a reason why Ticketmaster needs to charge 2-3 times what they do, I'd love to hear it.

I have no doubt, however that AXS charges similar rates as Ticketmaster. They get the same exclusive ticket sales contracts for other venues and events, so they just follow whatever lead Ticketmaster sets.
Old 10-09-23, 07:14 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

I have no clue about the Beyoncé fees, but those seem like an outlier from my experience. I just went through a half dozen shows that were all in my “recently viewed” history in the app and none had fees over 25%, and most were closer to 20%.

Edit: Actually, Beyoncé is close to 26%…that seems pretty in line.

Last edited by John Galt; 10-09-23 at 07:27 PM.
Old 10-09-23, 07:20 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

You just saw me post above that I paid $48 on a $170 ticket to see John Oliver, not including LET (not Ticketmaster's fault) or a $5.50 order processing fee (which absolutely is). That's a 28% fee.
Old 10-09-23, 07:32 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Just went through my order history. The highest percentage is on my cheapest tickets which were TSO where they charged $20 on a $39 ticket. My most expensive tickets conversely also had the lowest percentage fees, Aerosmith was $155 each with $29 fees.
Old 10-09-23, 07:35 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

I didn't know you could go through your history and see the fees. Let me check a little...
Old 10-09-23, 07:41 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

I’m on the app and looking at upcoming shows. I think you can view past orders on the website. At a minimum, I think you can click on the “view details” link in your confirmation email and that will bring up past shows.
Old 10-09-23, 07:45 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Okay, it only goes back a year or so.
I'll post ticket price, then Service Fee per ticket (and single processing fee), then % of face cost for service fee, excluding processing fee.

Dixie Chicks $189, $54.85 ($5.50), 29%
John Mulaney $130, $25.58 ($1.75), 20%
Elvis Costello $100, $21.65 ($5), 22%
Beyoncé $295, $78.15 ($5) 26%
Old 10-09-23, 08:20 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by Decker
Okay here's the local Performing Arts Center. They host touring Broadway shows.
I checked the service fees for buying tickets through them.

So they're able to issue two $150 tickets for $45 in service fees (including processing). Why does it cost Ticketmaster $78 (plus Processing fees) to distribute one $300 ticket to a Beyoncé concert?

Here's what it costs to have good seats to Ka, which is a Cirque du Soleil show, when bought directly :

So that's $40 for $370 in tickets, just over 10%.

Both those websites host ticket purchases and facilitate ticket sales using the same payment services as Ticketmaster. If there's a reason why Ticketmaster needs to charge 2-3 times what they do, I'd love to hear it.

I have no doubt, however that AXS charges similar rates as Ticketmaster. They get the same exclusive ticket sales contracts for other venues and events, so they just follow whatever lead Ticketmaster sets.
It's been my experience that when I walk up to the box office and purchase tickets directly from the venue that they don't have the same fees that they do when bought through a middleman like Ticketmaster. There might be a $5 fee stuck on it or something.

I'm guessing that it's a different kind of economics involved.

I'm not sure if it's realistic to expect a business like Ticketmaster to sell a $600+ ticket for a profit margin of under 10%.

Would be even having this discussion if we didn't see all of the fees itemized, and just saw that buying a ticket to see Madonna was $800 and not ($450 ticket + $250 convenience fee + $50 venue fee + $30 transmission fee + $20 convenience fee).

It's like ordering a $20 pizza and seeing that the raw material of the pizza only cost the restaurant $2.65, and then the rest of the $20 is made up of fees and surcharges for food storage and safety, utilities, employee wages, facility rent, and taxes.

If you hire a contractor to build something for you, he's going to go to Lowe's or whatever and buy lumber and materials. If it costs him $800, he's probably going to bill you $1600 for those materials. And, on top of that, any surplus materials will be returned to Lowe's and you won't see a refund for any of it.

Look at a bill from a mechanic. If the parts are itemized, they will cost you at least twice as much as they would from Autozone if you walked in and bought them yourself.

Or bring your own bottle of wine into a restaurant to enjoy with your meal, and they'll charge a you a "corkage fee," essentially charging you for your own bottle of wine.

It sucks, but it's how capitalism works. Squeeze every penny they can out of you.


Last edited by Josh-da-man; 10-09-23 at 08:31 PM.
Old 10-09-23, 08:30 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster--where's the outrage?

Originally Posted by PerryD
Yeah, the bands that I'm seeing in clubs are fantastic high level bands, not local bar bands. I can see bands like Testament, Exodus, Kreator, Sepultura or Anthrax for $30 who are all the biggest thrash bands, or I could see the most popular one Metallica for $300. To me, I see very little difference in quality between those bands, and arguably, I believe the others are putting out much better material than Metallica, even though they were my favorite band for much of the 80s. There is no point in crying about the cost of Metallica tickets which I could easily afford, but to me the value isn't there. It's like saying you won't see a movie that doesn't feature a performer making $25 million for their role, it's strangely limiting. There is so much great music out there, so getting caught up with the biggest fads to see some Korean boy band and then complaining about the price, seems a waste of energy.
There's a very different kind of economics of scale between Kreator and Metallica (or Beyonce or Taylor Swift).

The Metallica concert is a much more elaborate operation and it's just going to cost more. Aside from Kreator and Exodus having a (to borrow a phrase from Spinal Tap) more "selective appeal" than Metallica and Taylor Swift, the show in a larger venue is going to have much more expensive logistics than the smaller venues Exodus will play in. The big venues cost more to rent and use, the staffing issues, the road crew, the travel expenses, the elaborate stage set-ups. The smaller bands just travel around in a single bus, set their instruments up on a stage with minimal lighting and staging, take down their instruments, get on the bus, and move on to the next venue.

And, for someone like me, bands like Exodus and Kreator don't play where I live, so even though the tickets might only cost $30, I would still end up incurring travel expenses (gas if I drive, plane tickets if I fly; probably need a hotel, on top of other travel expenses, not to mention all of the time it will eat up) that would probably end up cost me several hundred per ticket, anyway. Not to mention the pain-in-the-ass of keeping track of where all of these bands are playing, and jumping through whatever hoops to buy tickets.

But I'd still pay $500 to see Kreator or Exodus before I'd see Taylor or Beyonce for free. :P




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