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Monday, March 17, 2008

Because It Really Can’t Be Said Too Many Times…

posted by on March 17 at 10:44 AM

… Ticketmaster is an an embarrassment to the music industry and the fans who’ve been judo-flipped into playing—paying—along.

And, in case you needed reminding, Sean Moriarty, CEO of Ticketmaster, consented to a public interview at SXSW during which he couldn’t help but be true to his nature—a mega-market automaton. As reported by the Chicago Trib’s Greg Kot:

Moriarty was presented a grand opportunity to make a case for Ticketmaster as a company that doesn’t deserve its reputation for gouging consumers and kicking back the spoils to its clients. But his responses were the equivalent of a carefully tailored corporate press release that pretends to say something profound while in reality thumbing its nose at the recipient:

Ticket prices and fees are determined by “people’s willingness to pay for them.”

The reasons behind high service fees “are more complex than people know.”

People who complain about high service fees “don’t understand the underlying infrastructure.”

Even though concert promoter Live Nation will soon disconnect from Ticketmaster, and in the process take away 15 percent of its business, “competition is good for consumers and good for business.”

“Being a lightning rod [for criticism] is not a good service business to be in… It’s a detriment to the brand.”

Moriarty managed to veer from the stock answers only when talking about the lucrative secondary ticket market, in which brokers resell tickets for big events at huge mark-ups. The CEO was unusually transparent in his desire to cash in on the “multibillion-dollar global opportunity” presented overseas, following Ticketmaster’s recent purchase of TicketsNow, the nation’s second largest secondary-ticket outlet. For Ticketmaster, the resale market is one in which “we can and should have category leadership.”

Now there’s something to dread.

RSS icon Comments


Why is this shocking, it's capitalism (major CORPORATE bullshit even), the "market" pays (gouged or not) what it is willing to pay. If you, the consumer, don't wanna pay, then DON'T. It's what YOU buy, not what they sell that counts...and sorry if your favorite group ends up as a cog, blame THEM for being part of the system.

Posted by nipper | March 17, 2008 11:55 AM

"Ticket prices and fees are determined by 'people’s willingness to pay for them.'"

kinda like... everything else?

Posted by Abe | March 17, 2008 11:57 AM

yeah, this reminds me of one of those lame facebook schemes i got sent the other day to lower gas prices by refusing to purchase exxon gas, only from smaller companies like BP. it would eventually force exxon to lower their price slightly to compete, and the other companies would follow suit.

theoretically if even small portions of bands and their fans only used ticketswest or ticketweb, marginally fewer tickets would be sold by ticketmaster, making their profits only slightly less than projected every year. but even that makes a difference because while they might not lower their prices significantly, or at all, it might minimize on inflation.

Posted by molly hamilton | March 17, 2008 3:07 PM

I missed out on tickets to The B-52's upcoming show at the Showbox because I couldn't bring myself to pay the approximately $16 *per ticket* in Ticketshafter fees. The tickets had a face value of $50 and they went on sale Saturday so I figured I'd be okay to wait until this morning to buy them at Showbox (their box office is closed on weekends) where they charge only a small fee.

When I got there earlier today the tickets were sold out. At $50 each. However, Ticketmaster now has an auction up for the same tickets... *starting* at $70 a pop.

I'm kinda wondering how many tickets were actually sold and how many were set aside for secondary resell. Only the promoters and Ticketmaster know for sure.

Posted by Explorer | March 17, 2008 5:34 PM

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