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Watch Out Ticketmaster: Amazon In Talks To Offer Event Ticketing In US ( 67

According to Reuters, Amazon is seeking to partner with U.S. venue owners to sell event tickets -- a move that could loosen Ticketmaster's powerful grip on the lucrative ticketing business. From the report: The Seattle-based company sees the U.S. ticketing market as ripe for attack. Consumers dislike ticket fees, and venue owners, sports leagues and teams want more distributors for their tickets as they seek to boost sales. Access to tickets could be another means to lure members to the Amazon Prime shopping club. For music acts and sports teams, selling tickets through Amazon could help sell their merchandise. Currently Ticketmaster, owned by Live Nation Entertainment, is the exclusive seller of primary tickets for many top venues in the United States. Would-be challengers have struggled to compete in the face of Ticketmaster's strong relationships with the operators of major U.S. sports stadiums, arenas, concert halls and other venues. Amazon has had success with ticketing in Britain, where it has been selling seats to West End shows since 2015, even outselling Ticketmaster for some events, according to one of the sources, who owns venues in that country. It is less common for venues in Britain to have an exclusive ticket provider.
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Watch Out Ticketmaster: Amazon In Talks To Offer Event Ticketing In US

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  • Would be nice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quirkz ( 1206400 ) <ross.quirkz@com> on Thursday August 10, 2017 @06:45PM (#54987003) Homepage

    If anyone can unseat Ticketmaster and their ridiculous and exorbitant fees, I say: please do!

    Now it would be unfortunate if one unpleasant monopoly ended up simply replacing another one, but I'd love to at least see some competition in this area.

    • I'd love to at least see some competition in this area.

      Won't happen. They will merge, if their portfolios don't already overlap a bit.

      • Won't happen. They will merge,

        See: Ticketmaster & Live Nation

      • by torkus ( 1133985 )

        I'd still like to see Amazon absorb ticketmaster. They're a one trick pony and have way outgrown their usefulness. To the point they facilitate ticket resale and grab a piece of that...scalpers grab all the tickets the moment they go on sale (TM profits), then resell them via TM subsidy (TM profits again) and so on. Pretty ridiculous.

        A $5-20 'ticketing surcharge' is ridiculous. Particularly when it's a digital ticket to begin with.

        Yes, please take over this amazon.

    • Re:Would be nice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @09:56PM (#54988159)

      I can't think of any company more deserving of being fucked in the ass by Amazon.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I work there and when they show us the breakdown of the fees supposedly 75% of the say $20 fee goes to the venue to convince them to sign an exclusive longterm contract. Apparently we agree to take the heat on the fees and not let everyone know that we only end up with $2 of that $120 purchase. The other big winner is the credit card fee that also comes out of that $20, so on a $120 purchase the 3% fee is $3.60, almost double TMs cut. So I don't see how amazon can reduce the fees, why would the venue use am

      • Re:Would be nice (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Quirkz ( 1206400 ) <ross.quirkz@com> on Friday August 11, 2017 @12:13AM (#54988805) Homepage

        Well, I don't know about everyone else, but if I had to choose between a $100 ticket and $20 in "fees" or a $120 ticket, without fees called out like my bank account is being pillaged (especially when I have to then choose between $5 to print it myself or $10 for delivery by mail, which somehow always seems as if it might not get there in time unless I upgrade to $15, even a month in advance), I'd damn well pay what just looks like a normal price, instead of the one that looks like it's got three layers of extortion.

        Maybe the prices end up being exactly the same. Maybe it's just a terrible marketing problem that TicketMaster presents. But I find myself loathing them every single time I have to interact with them, because it feels like they're not just nickel and diming me, but opportunistically bleeding me dry.

        • I think 120 bucks is a ridiculous amount for a concert ticket either way.

          Go see local bands. For 20 bucks you can have a killer evening with new talent and the great chance that you will be the one to say "Oh, I've known them long before they got famous, I was there when they played for 50 people".

          Yes, you'll see a lot of shit, too. But 9 out of 10 of the really bad bands are at least unintentionally entertaining by being SO bad that they're funny.

          • I think 120 bucks is a ridiculous amount for a concert ticket either way.

            Honestly, it depends on the concert for me.

            That said, most of the times that I've paid Ticketmaster's extortion fee, it's been for plays, not concerts.

        • by emohawk ( 757731 )
          Yeah I agree with that too, I just got tickets for a London show and was ready for the fees to be added in, then suddenly I was 'Oh cool that's the total price'. The fees were already included in the price when selecting seats and broken down in checkout. I believe in the US however the performer will not let TM show the total price initially.
          • The US has a weird cultural thing where it's common to avoid actually telling people the total prices of things. Look at the ridiculous way most states do sales tax: instead of doing it in a reasonable way that minimizes the pain for the customer by building the tax into the marked price, the marked price lies to you and forces you to do the math to figure out what it really costs.

        • I agree.

          I would happily pay higher ticket prices if it meant that I didn't have to pay a BS fee, even if my out of pocket is the same. At least that would be honest, and I wouldn't be putting any money in Ticketmaster's pocket.

      • I know a lot of people who simply refuse to buy tickets from any venue that uses Ticketmaster. I'm not that extreme, but if a venue uses Ticketmaster I won't go there unless the act is something I am deeply interested in.

        Venues might make up the "loss" in terms of greater ticket sales. Or they could just raise ticket prices and not take a loss at all.

        • by torkus ( 1133985 )

          There aren't many large venues or events that DONT use TM. While there's nothing technically stopping people from going elsewhere, TM has pretty much grabbed up everything because they're the 800 pound gorilla in their market.

          Luckily amazon is many times larger and not a one-trick pony.

    • by borcharc ( 56372 ) *

      Being charged for their convenience in selling you a ticket is a scam

  • Ticketmaster operates their primary ticketing market right next to their secondary ticketing market. I wouldn't be surprised to find they feed the secondary market illegitimately.
    • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @06:54PM (#54987041)

      Uh, that's exactly how Ticketmaster operates.

      Ticketmaster gets tickets to sell, and before they go on sale (or the very instant they do), they ship nearly all (or all) of them off to to sell at inflated (more so) prices.

      If for any reason tickets don't sell out on , Ticketmaster moves some tickets back to and announces a new block of tickets as being available to drum up excitement and to get people to try to buy them on . When they get there, they'll find out that the situation has repeated itself. Ticketmaster is "sold out" yet there are tickets on a 3rd party ticket selling site, - better act fast!

      This is why Ticketmaster has the option to check a box to be notified if more tickets become available. How can more tickets become available when you're already sold out? Answer: Because Ticketmaster is lying, cheating scum.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Friday August 11, 2017 @03:04AM (#54989217)

        This is why Ticketmaster has the option to check a box to be notified if more tickets become available. How can more tickets become available when you're already sold out? Answer: Because Ticketmaster is lying, cheating scum.

        To be fair, the event organizers are lying cheating scum.

        Because Ticketmaster only has around 30-40% of a venue's tickets to sell. Right off the top, 30% goes to credit card companies, promoters, etc as part of their "exclusive member benefits". Yes, if you want tickets, it often doesn't hurt to be a member of these cards. That's how credit cards and radio stations can offer tickets long after they sell out.

        Another 30% goes to event employees themselves to pass out to friends and family. It's a fairly large group of people who get the opportunity to buy lots of tickets, cheap.

        Then there's the remainder which are marked for general admission. Sometimes 10-20% are lopped off the top for VIPs and fan club members and early pre-sales people who can buy the tickets before the tickets go on sale.

        That leaves the rest of the tickets to be sold as general admission. At which point the bots all take over.

        That's why you see empty seats even at sold out events - sometimes the credit card companies simply don't release the unsold tickets, and the friends and family don't either. Add those VIP and fan club seats, and guess what? They go straight to the resale market. Only a very rare event organizer gets out, shakes down the leftover unsold tickets and then opens them up as a "new block of tickets". Sometimes it also plays to be last minute, those resale tickets from reserved blocks haven't been bought, so they release them as last minute sales (this is something regular scalpers do not have the ability to do - only the promo ticket and such can turn their reserved listings from resale back to unsold block. And no, reserved listing tickets are not paid for yet - credit card companies etc do not pay for them until you as a member book it. So the scores of resale tickets are really scores of companies all selling reserved tickets that haven't been paid for.

  • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @06:50PM (#54987017)

    Even if it is Amazon, which is not ideal, anything that allows people to avoid Ticketmaster is a great thing!

  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Thursday August 10, 2017 @06:53PM (#54987035)

    See ya later Ticketmaster, don't let the door hit ya on the ass on the way out...

    • Sorry, the majority of the big venues are hooked on Ticketmaster as their exclusive online ticketing provider.
      You can get tickets from the box office or from Ticketmaster. Good luck either way. The box office often has 0 tickets to sell, or has to pull from the same pool as Ticketmaster live, once sales are opened (at which point Ticketmaster has already shuffled them all off to for scalping).

      • Re:Karma (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @07:02PM (#54987077)

        I've never had a problem getting tickets at the box office. The problem is that when I do, I still have to pay Ticketmaster their cut.

        Fuck Ticketmaster. They're nothing but a bunch of scumbag leeches.

      • Sorry, the majority of the big venues are hooked on Ticketmaster as their exclusive online ticketing provider.

        Not after Amazon reaches into their giant bucket of money and offers them a sweeter deal...

    • Amazon: The new and improved Ticketmaster. Soon you can get your concert tickets at Whole Foods. Very convenient..

  • ...not to have to deal with Ticketmaster.

  • I just love how TicketMaster's claimed in the past it was powerless in the face of bots operated by scalpers buying tickets for resale, as if they couldn't possibly implement any type of time-limited processing to slow down these bots, you know like iOS/Android have done to limit the usefulness of brute-force attacks?

    I look forward to see Amazon wiping the stage floor using TicketMaster's butt after each show.

  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @07:37PM (#54987251) Homepage

    I'm glad to see Amazon (or any other competitor) bring disruption to a market that sorely needs it.

  • preorders (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bugs2squash ( 1132591 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @07:45PM (#54987309)
    I wonder if they will allow prime members to pre-order before tickets are oficially released
  • Maybe Amazon will gouge less. (Meet the new Ticketmaster, same as the old Ticketmaster...)

  • Some competition in the market might help a little but, fundamentally, tickets are worth whatever people are willing to pay. When demand exceeds supply them prices go up. I don't understand why in capitalist America there's a view that it's wrong for the tickets to go to those who are willing to pay the most. What is it about event ticketing that brings out the socialist in people? Why are people always trying to outlaw scalping?

    • Being scalped leaves a bitter taste about the concert and long term harms the bands and the music. Recently went to a concert for which all decent seats were sold a couple of days after they went on sale and were only available through 3rd parties at ~100% markup. Yet at the concert itself some of those good seats were empty. Wouldn't buy again.

      Don't regulate scalping, let organizers and band and competition find a way to fight it.

      The 3rd party I bought from was SeatGeek. Their 3D model of the venue made th

      • Don't just regulate scalping, CRIMINALIZE it, especially where t he company selling the tickets in the first place is involved. Criminalize it and start seizing property.

        • I don't actually have any ethical problem with ticket scalping. It seems like an entirely legit activity that in any other arena would be called the "secondary market".

      • Say what you want about his politics, he has mastered a method of killing off scalpers:

        1. Announce show date
        2. Tickets sell out
        3. Announce added show date

        Repeat steps 3 & 2 until tickets stop selling out. He keeps his tickets cheap, too - the expensive seats are usually the same price as the cheapest seats at most other concerts. His fans know the drill, so they don't go rushing to buy out tickets as they know more will go on sale. Scalpers know the drill, too, and they don't bother. Bruce Springsteen d

    • When demand exceeds supply and prices go up, that is supposed to induce more producers to enter the market (seeing the large profit available in that market) and provide more supply. Remember, low barriers to entry and all that other free market stuff? Well when there's only one act with a limited number of shows (most times just 1), that's impossible. So you have a fixed supply and if the demand isn't met by that fixed supply, that of course leads to prices going up.

      As someone else mentioned below, th

    • My problem with TIcketmaster isn't that they increase the price of tickets. It's that I am forced to give money to Ticketmaster.

  • I've changed my mind on attending concerts where the Ticketmaster fee costs as much or more than the tickets to the show. Screw those guys. I've seen more great rock bands for $15 - no interest in spending $100.

  • I dislike ticket master for various reasons.

    1. They try to demand exclusive right to sell tickets*.
    2. Prevent purchasing a ticket, then let someone else use it
    3. Spamming. I've had employers order their netblocks dropped.
    4. I don't believe that their added value is worth the cost - but sometimes you just have to deal with them*, or not see the event. I usually choose to not see it, and write to the act that "Sorry I missed you, but the only way to attend was via Ticketmaster, and I won't deal with them."


    • I usually choose to not see it, and write to the act that "Sorry I missed you, but the only way to attend was via Ticketmaster, and I won't deal with them."

      Be sure you write to the venue as well. The acts aren't the ones deciding to use Ticketmaster, the venues are.

  • This is really good news. TIcketmaster needs to die a painful death. And this will be good for bands too. I personally have never bought anything through ticketmaster or any scalper or anything crazy like that. $1-2 in "fees" is OK, anything more just to be the man-in-the-middle and produce NOTHING of value is not. So I just don't go to these shows. I assume I am not the only one, no? Sure, lots of suckers out there, but still... perhaps you are missing some 20% of possible attendees.
  • Probably won't be available to Prime Members, unless they pay even more. Just like their Prime Pantry and Prime Fresh programs.
  • The true evil of Ticketmaster is that their fees are non-refundable. I purchased tickets to a concert that was later canceled. The cost of the ticket was refunded, but I was stuck paying for the fees.
  • Ticketmaster is a complete scam and allowing them to merge with Livenation and others shows that the US gov is as anti-consumer as they come.
  • The last time I bought tickets through Ticketbastard was 1992. I noticed a shipping & handling fee of $10 - per ticket - for a 2inch by 7inch piece of cardboard stock with fancy embossing. Competitors have tried to muscle in on the business but Ticketbastard abused their monopoly to push them out. I refused to patronize those thieving bastards ever again, and I welcome Amazon's move.
    • I noticed a shipping & handling fee of $10 - per ticket

      That's nothing. The last time I used them, I got charged shipping and handling for the electronic tickets that I downloaded immediately.

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