How to Kill a Scalper, by Ticketmaster & Live Nation…

The recording industry finally figured out how to starve file-swapping.  So has Ticketmaster finally figured out a way to starve scalping?

Ahead of the weekend, the Live Nation-owned company expanded its “TM+” service, which combines unsold ticket inventory with ‘resold’ tickets in one interface.  Which means, no clicking off to StubHub, TicketsNow, Craigslist, or whatever to find a seat, at least according to the Ticketmaster plan.

Last month, Ticketmaster trialled the idea with Black Sabbath in New England; now, a handful of sports franchises are trying it out.  The list includes the Clippers (above), alongside other teams like the Miami Dolphins.

If this works, then everyone gets a piece, including the fan and team (or band).  In scenarios involving rivals like StubHub, Ticketmaster gets nothing beyond the initial sale, and neither does the band in many cases the band profits handsomely.  Which means big companies like Ticketmaster have been missing out — big time &mdash on these massive markups.

But will this translate into music, where crass capitalism doesn’t always translate?  The real question is whether music fans, who often feel entitled to lower-priced tickets, will play along.

Written while listening to focus@will.

4 Responses

  1. Zac Shaw

    “In scenarios involving rivals like StubHub, Ticketmaster gets nothing beyond the initial sale, and neither does the band.”

    This ignores the fact that many bands as standard practice set aside tickets to scalp on StubHub, so in fact the band does make money. This is the flipside to Kid Rock’s $20 concerts — he takes a good chunk of tickets for himself to scalp. Any band that can sell out venues and isn’t scalping their own tickets is far behind the times.

    I don’t see how Ticketmaster/LiveNation further consolidating the live music market helps musicians on the whole.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      That’s a good point, I was being a little naive on that one.

  2. Thad

    But also keep in mind that TM+ will likely never show resale tickets under face value–which you can find all over the secondary for many sports and concert events.

    The lack of price transparency will ultimately undermine it IMO.

  3. GGG

    Clever diversion from the fact such a small percentage of tix will be available to the general public in the first place. Ticketing has turned into borderline, if not actual, price gauging. This just gives the illusion you’re in more control and/or have more options that you actually do.