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Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

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Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Old 02-09-09, 03:40 PM
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Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/...a-ticketm.html

Live Nation and Ticketmaster are expected to announce a merger Monday in a deal that could lead to a dramatic change in how event tickets are sold: from the fixed price norm that often results in quick sellouts for popular shows to an auction-based model that legitimizes what scalpers have always done.

If Live Nation and Ticketmaster merge, the combined entity could bypass the primary ticketing system partially or completely, forcing fans to bid against each other for tickets in Ticketmaster's TicketsNow secondary market rather than selling them at a fixed price in the primary ticket market, the way they have done in the past.

"This deal is not in the best interest of fans," said Michael Hershfield, the co-founder and CEO of LiveStub -- a secondary ticketing company much of whose business would disappear if Live Nation and Ticketmaster merge. "This deal would mean that Live Nation would have direct access to Ticketmaster's ticketing solution, including its resale marketplace TicketsNow. Live Nation could potentially harness Ticketsnow and begin to offer performers the opportunity to list tickets on the resale system without ever listing in the primary market. "

The upshot for fans, in many cases, will be higher ticket prices.

Even leaving aside the idea that these two live music behemoths would no longer have to compete with each other for venues and tours, the more immediate threat to fans is that tickets could be sold by auction rather than at a single price.

While the combined company might take the opportunity to ditch the "convenience" fees that are detested by fans -- or at least internalize the fees (which are divided between Ticketmaster, the promoter, and sometimes the performing artist and other parties) -- the idea of bypassing the primary ticketing market entirely and introducing them directly into the Ticketsnow auction system could give prospective audience members with more cash to burn a big edge over impecunious fans -- even if those other fans are quicker on the draw when it comes to buying tickets.

In other words, thickness of wallet -- and not quickness of response -- would become the salient factor when trying to buy tickets for hot shows.

Last week, Ticketmaster weathered a storm that could be a sign of things to come, if the merger goes through. When it sold tickets to a Bruce Springsteen show through TicketsNow, rather than through its primary ticketing system, the company drew ire from both The Boss and the federal government.

Springsteen complained about his fans being subject to a "bait and switch." When they went to Ticketmaster.com to purchase tickets at their $95 face price, many were directed to Ticketsnow where the tickets were priced as high as $2,000. As a result, Ticketmaster faces a regulatory probe -- and that's before it even gets the chance to try the same approach with all of Live Nation's tours.

"At 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster they were all sold out, then at 10:01 a.m. the same tickets are on TicketsNow for double the price," said Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York), who is looking into the issue, said in a statement. "We want to find out: how did they become available at TicketsNow so fast?"

Not only would the merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster allow the combined company to expand this strategy of selling tickets only via auction, but it could also effectively rule out the rest of the secondary market for tickets (StubHub, LiveStub, eBay and so on). Ticketmaster's Ticketsnow service includes a driver's license verification system, meaning that it could make itself the only place where the tickets can change hands.

The boards for both companies were said to have been close to an agreement on Sunday night to merge the companies in a cashless, all-stock deal, according to the Wall Street Journal. If the remaining sticking points are smoothed over, Live Nation and Ticketmaster are expected to announce their plans to merge as early as Monday.



*******
Well, I think if this happens, I'm done going to concerts. There's no way this is going to be way for most people to see bands like U2 or anything like that when it's all going to be a bidding war...ridiculous. Or especially, not get good seats for anything anymore.
Old 02-09-09, 03:52 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

what is the big deal if ticketmaster takes the secondary market all for itself? from all the horror stories i've read about buying tickets on ebay this is pretty good. with TM the secondary market would not involve having to transfer physical tickets, but just an entry in the database for ticket ownership
Old 02-09-09, 03:58 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

I am generally for an auction based system for ticket sales. I don't know why it has taken this long. The only thing I fear is manipulation of the system by Ticketmaster. They are slime as far as I am concerned.
Old 02-09-09, 04:17 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

I think the auction system would be bad because first of all, if you want good seats--then you can never just get lucky and get them for face value..you'll paying $500-1000 for a pair, especially for a big headliner. In general, all of the prices will go up; I rarely resort to ebay for tickets, but this will force all prices to be in ebay range. In general, I think this means all prices will go up at least 25-30% of what we're used to. Also, with no competition for ticketmaster anymore, they are free to charge whatever fees they want.
Old 02-09-09, 04:21 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

There is NO WAY that this is good news for consumers. It just guarantees higher ticket prices and I certainly hope it doesn't happen. I will occasionally go to the secondary market to buy hard-to-get tix to events I want, but I certainly don't want to get pulled over the coals for any seat I ever buy.
Old 02-09-09, 04:22 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
what is the big deal if ticketmaster takes the secondary market all for itself? from all the horror stories i've read about buying tickets on ebay this is pretty good. with TM the secondary market would not involve having to transfer physical tickets, but just an entry in the database for ticket ownership
The problem is that Ticketmaster may opt to not offer fixed priced tickets at all, and the "secondary" seller may be Ticketmaster, trying to sell $95 tickets at $2000.

Here's a case in point. A few weeks back I bought a ticket to see Van Morrison at Madison Square Garden. The ticket was $200 before fees, which is already outrageous. Ticketmaster kept urging me to buy a ticket using TicketsNow instead. Out of curiosity, I checked the listings on TicketsNow. Most of the tickets were for worse seats than the one I was buying, but started at no less than $318, and went up over a thousand dollars. Now suppose that there was no fixed price ticket in that situation? The starting point could be much higher, and the end point through the roof. And again, it may be Ticketmaster pulling the strings, not true secondary sellers.

Also, as was mentioned in the news article, if Ticketmaster and Live Nation merge, Ticketmaster could demand ID verification of all tickets, meaning you can't get a secondary ticket anywhere else. Even if a friend can't go and gives you the ticket for free, or someone is just looking to sell the ticket for its original face value.

If this merger goes through, I will only go to local small venue concerts that bypass Ticketmaster. I also hope it opens up the combined company to an antitrust probe. What Ticketmaster already does is disgusting. If they were to merge with Live Nation, there'd be no point in going to concerts anymore.
Old 02-09-09, 04:28 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Would artists get a bigger cut of ticket sales this way?

I don't go to live shows anymore so I really don't care either way.
Old 02-09-09, 04:36 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

The Justice Department would never approve this model in a million years.
Old 02-09-09, 06:37 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

If this happens, I'll never pay over $35 for a ticket, ever again. And if that means I never EVER see another show....well, FUCK the music industry. And I'm a musician!
Old 02-09-09, 06:59 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
what is the big deal if ticketmaster takes the secondary market all for itself? from all the horror stories i've read about buying tickets on ebay this is pretty good. with TM the secondary market would not involve having to transfer physical tickets, but just an entry in the database for ticket ownership
As long as ALL the tickets are available for auction, I don't have a huge problem with this. All the best seats going to scalpers is bullshit.

Of course, I don't go to a lot of shows, so I'm not exactly the best person to ask.
Old 02-09-09, 07:23 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

There is no way this will benefit Consumers. Period.


I'm glad I've narrowed my "must see" shows down to 3 or 4 who only come around every 4 or 5 years.
Old 02-09-09, 07:35 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Thankfully, most shows I go to are lesser known acts and I am able to purchase tickets through local vendors and venues. The proposed model sounds like nothing but trouble. I already stopped attending most big shows years ago, but this would likely keep me from going even more. The only out I see is if you could still purchase a fixed-price ticket at the box office.
Old 02-09-09, 07:41 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Originally Posted by Ace Of Spades View Post
If this happens, I'll never pay over $35 for a ticket, ever again. And if that means I never EVER see another show....well, FUCK the music industry. And I'm a musician!
I go to concerts, on average, about every month. I usually only go to concerts where I'm paying
Old 02-09-09, 07:47 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Originally Posted by Jason View Post
As long as ALL the tickets are available for auction, I don't have a huge problem with this. All the best seats going to scalpers is bullshit.

Of course, I don't go to a lot of shows, so I'm not exactly the best person to ask.
nothing new

i remember the old days ticket brokers would buy up all the good tickets and resell them for 5 times the original face value. i remember when ticketmaster was kiosks, before the internet. you would have to stand for hours in the cold before they open and the idiots would always have computer problems and you couldn't get good seats even you were the 4th in line
Old 02-09-09, 07:47 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Originally Posted by Mr. Self Destruct View Post
"This deal is not in the best interest of fans,"
Nonsense. Monopolies are always a good thing for the consumer.

Signed,

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Old 02-09-09, 07:55 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

So, this affects sports games too?

[Will Smith]AWW HELL NAW!![/Will Smith]
Old 02-09-09, 08:05 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
The problem is that Ticketmaster may opt to not offer fixed priced tickets at all, and the "secondary" seller may be Ticketmaster, trying to sell $95 tickets at $2000.

Here's a case in point. A few weeks back I bought a ticket to see Van Morrison at Madison Square Garden. The ticket was $200 before fees, which is already outrageous. Ticketmaster kept urging me to buy a ticket using TicketsNow instead. Out of curiosity, I checked the listings on TicketsNow. Most of the tickets were for worse seats than the one I was buying, but started at no less than $318, and went up over a thousand dollars. Now suppose that there was no fixed price ticket in that situation? The starting point could be much higher, and the end point through the roof. And again, it may be Ticketmaster pulling the strings, not true secondary sellers.

Also, as was mentioned in the news article, if Ticketmaster and Live Nation merge, Ticketmaster could demand ID verification of all tickets, meaning you can't get a secondary ticket anywhere else. Even if a friend can't go and gives you the ticket for free, or someone is just looking to sell the ticket for its original face value.

If this merger goes through, I will only go to local small venue concerts that bypass Ticketmaster. I also hope it opens up the combined company to an antitrust probe. What Ticketmaster already does is disgusting. If they were to merge with Live Nation, there'd be no point in going to concerts anymore.
then you don't buy and wait until a few days before the show to see if the prices come down

the reason the companies want to merge is to control the secondary market and I don't think there is an anti-trust law on the books that will stop this. to the management it's lost revenue if someone buys a ticket and resells it via ebay or another site
Old 02-09-09, 08:29 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Oh good grief. Are ticket prices not high enough already??

Me thinks I'll be going to fewer shows if this goes through.
Old 02-09-09, 09:14 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

The only decent thing about this, is requiring an id to get in with the ticket. That would pretty much stop the scalpers. I don't like anything else about this proposed plan, though.
Old 02-09-09, 10:31 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Yeah, I guess this is one way for me to go see fewer shows. I spent about $3000 on shows last year but these were mostly shows by artists who would never adhere to this. At least I hope they wouldn't. So by this logic if the shows a flop, can I offer $10 for a what is now a $78 nosebleed seat and they'll take it??? I didn' t think so TM...
Old 02-09-09, 10:56 PM
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Re: Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger/Considering Auction Format For *all* Ticket Sales

Ticketmaster scalping there own tickets

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