Longtime Ticketmaster president and global chairman Jared Smith is preparing to step down at 2020’s end.
Several sources are reporting on the quick-approaching departure of Smith, who joined Ticketmaster in an entry-level capacity more than 17 years back. Per these preliminary reports – Ticketmaster higher-ups hadn’t publicly commented on the change at the time of this writing – Smith has been structuring his exit with Michael Rapino, CEO of Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation, over the past few years.
And with the ticketing mainstay needing to conceive and implement a comprehensive, fluid business plan in the coming year, Smith specified that his current role is best suited for a professional who plans to stick around long term. In this vein, Ticketmaster elevated company veteran Mark Yovich to global president and made Amy Howe global COO in August, seemingly in an effort to optimize operations ahead of what must be a financially successful 2021.
Needless to say, the coronavirus pandemic’s well-documented (and unprecedented) impact on the live-event industry has proven particularly devastating for Ticketmaster and Live Nation, the latter of which suffered a 98 percent year-over-year dip in Q2 revenue. Both brands have also made multiple rounds of furloughs and layoffs, with the most recent cuts affecting hundreds of employees. Adding to the difficult situation, irate customers levied a series of class-action lawsuits against Ticketmaster over its controversial refund policy.
Nevertheless, recent months haven’t been without some encouraging headlines for Live Nation and others in the live music space.
The company previously signaled that it expects concerts to return “at scale” next summer, and a majority of live event execs indicated in a recent survey that they hold the same optimistic outlook. On the fan front, over 85 percent of ticketholders have opted to keep their passes even when refunds were available, Live Nation said. And strong EDC Las Vegas ticket sales – as well as ticket sales for the newly created Day Trip Festival – appear indicative of pent-up market demand.
Though Smith will remain at Ticketmaster in a transitional capacity through December, once again, he’s reportedly weighing his career prospects, including possibly accepting a position outside of live events. Also worth noting is that Smith serves on the board of directors at VenueNext, a live-event tech company founded by the San Francisco 49ers, and is a managing partner at ticket sales and marketing brand Elevate Sports Ventures. Lastly, the University of Iowa graduate has been an executive vice president at Live Nation itself for about three years.