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Wed Jan 25, 2023, 07:02 AM

Senators grill Ticketmaster after Taylor Swift fiasco

Source: AP

By DEE-ANN DURBIN

Senators grilled Ticketmaster Tuesday, questioning whether the company’s dominance in the ticketing industry led to its spectacular breakdown last year during a sale of Taylor Swift concert tickets.

Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee also debated possible action, including making tickets non-transferable to cut down on scalping and requiring more transparency in ticket fees. Some suggested it may also be necessary to split Ticketmaster and Beverly Hills, California-based concert promoter Live Nation, which merged in 2010.

“The fact of the matter is, Live Nation/Ticketmaster is the 800-pound gorilla here,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. “This whole concert ticket system is a mess, a monopolistic mess.”

Ticketmaster is the world’s largest ticket seller, processing 500 million tickets each year in more than 30 countries. Around 70% of tickets for major concert venues in the U.S. are sold through Ticketmaster, according to data in a federal lawsuit filed by consumers last year.



Read more: https://apnews.com/article/ticketmaster-entertainment-inc-amy-klobuchar-minnesota-business-fd6bd24fbe88a259aa83496a898a05f9

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 07:25 AM

1. Dynamic pricing model needs to be eliminated...

The demand of tickets should not affect live onsale pricing of the face value of a concert or event ticket.

This pricing model is absolutely outrageous!

As someone who attends dozens of concerts a year; this is the top of the list as far as grievances with Ticketmaster.

Been this way for years; I’m glad that this is finally being given some much needed attention by lawmakers.

Let’s see if this time it gains traction…

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 07:38 AM

2. this monopoly needs to be broken up but

not just into 2 pieces, but many....

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Response to Crazyleftie (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 08:08 AM

3. +1

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 08:31 AM

4. Glad to see Congress is on those gun slaughters and mass murders. Uh huh.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 09:00 AM

5. This could be an Onion story

They're seriously spending time on this? WGAF.

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Response to News Junkie (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 12:59 PM

7. Congress can walk and chew gum at the same time

Why shouldn’t Congress be investigating monopolistic business practices? It’s actually a more serious consumer issue than you may think and it’s been going on for decades. Is the Judiciary Committee supposed to work exclusively on gun violence (that is a serious question since I don’t know)?

The Taylor Swift ticket on sale incident happened months ago so it took awhile to get here. But in my opinion, it’s long overdue and has gotten so much worse with monopolies, a moving target on price gouging, unjustified excessive “fees” and black market scalpers that even now the ticket companies (and the artists themselves) are getting in on the “resale” market.

It’s really sickening to see premium seats go empty because the scalper didn’t sell all the tickets and they were fine with that because they already made their money through the exorbitant prices they charged for the ones they did sell. If a regular person that can’t make a show and needs to sell the ticket last minute, they would actually discount it in order to not lose money. But the ticket broker system wants to keep that price inflated and they’d rather see it going unsold rather than bring the price threshold down and teach the public to wait last minute.

Imagine, if the airline industry that invented the “price surge” practice actually had scalpers buy up all the seats first and the only way the average person was buying was from these worthless, opportunistic middlemen?

It’s almost impossible for any artist to not go through Ticketmaster/Live nation. Congress was the one that allowed these mergers to happen in the first place. Now only Congress can fix this mess. I remember how hard Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam fought (and failed) in the early 90s to go around them and that was before they merged with live nation, which is actually part of the media company formerly called Clear Channel (incidentally clear channel was a massive media company that bought up so many radio stations and smaller concert promoters, and then they got gobbled up by Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital).

I realize this isn’t Ukraine funding or gun violence, but it most certainly is a consumer protection issue, and a lot more solvable in the short term than the previous two I listed.

https://time.com/6207167/ticketmaster-ticket-prices-expensive-backlash/

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 09:10 AM

6. Used to go to a lot of concerts, it was me and my lady's thing.

We got special access a day early due to our volume. Suddenly, a few years ago we would go online right at the opening and all of the good seats were already gone to ticket scalping outlets. Ticketmaster and Live Nation were getting cuts from the scalping companies, still are.

Haven’t been to a concert since.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 01:15 PM

8. Go after the bot / 3rd party sellers. They're the ones responsible for this shit.

Bot and 3rd party sellers buy up concert tickets, graphics cards, game systems, anything that's considered a hot item and resell them for a 5,000% markup. It's insane and should be completely illegal.

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Response to Initech (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 04:49 PM

11. But ticketmaster allows it

They could easily control the number of tickets someone can buy, but they choose not to.

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Response to iemanja (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 10:16 PM

13. So does Newegg, Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, Stub Hub, I could go on and on.

The sooner this illegal predatory reselling practice is outlawed the better.

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Response to Initech (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 26, 2023, 11:51 PM

15. I don't think you are grasping the extent of the corruption

I go to a lot of jam band concerts. A lot. Maybe this is conspiracy theory but I have seen some objective support from John Oliver on TM... the thing is... they drive up the panic by providing a presale... they sell out within 5 or 10 minutes... and suddenly the secondary markets are flooded. What's more damning is ticketmaster provides an outlet for you to scalp your own tickets... and they charge a second round of exorbitant fees on the resale. And it is questionable whether many those tickets were even really sold initially or whether a subsidiary just "bought" them and then offered them for resale at a 200% markup over face. My anecdotal evidence for this suggestion is that I have frequently purchased tickets in presale that sold out immediately, then checked the TM concert page, resale tickets are for sale at huge markup... and yet the option to resell mine is still grey... so how is anyone reselling tickets to a soldout show minutes after its sold out... if everyone can't? Pearl Jam took them to the mat and lost 20 years ago... its an ongoing issue with deadheads like me... maybe they fucked with the wrong set in the "swifties".

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Response to jcgoldie (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 27, 2023, 12:05 AM

16. Oh no I've been a concert goer for a long time now.

Ticketmaster was bad in the 90s and 00s, but I've never seen anything like the post-COVID era. Even like 2019 getting tickets was increasingly difficult because of the bots. And like I said in the previous reply, bot selling isn't limited to concert tickets anymore - all the major retailers allow it in some form. I spent the last few months attempting to acquire a graphics card for my PC and nearly tearing my hair out. I finally scored a 3060TI a couple of weeks ago and it was worth it.

But the 3rd party bot selling and reselling has been increasingly escalating for the last four years now. In post COVID era getting concert tickets has been incredibly difficult. I've tried to get tickets to shows like Dead & Co, Tool, Blink 182, The Weeknd at SoFi Stadium, and last week the Willie Nelson 90th birthday show at the Hollywood Bowl - only to see them sell out while I'm waiting in the damn queue, and then they "mysteriously" pop up on Stub Hub like mere minutes after being sold on Ticketmaster. Yeah something has got to be done. And I do agree that they probably fucked with the wrong fan base here. Hell hath no fury like a Swifty scorn.

Is there a solution to this? It's probably way more complicated than you see on the surface. I think putting consumer protections in place and basic reselling clauses and time limits would help. And I think the third party resellers like Stub Hub need to be held accountable to a certain extent.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 01:20 PM

9. Mad at Ticketmaster? Pearl Jam Has You Beat by 28 Years.

This week’s debacle with the sale of tickets for Taylor Swift’s upcoming “The Eras Tour” has already caused such an uproar, United States Senators and Congressmen are calling for investigations, while the Justice Department has reportedly opened a probe into the matter. It comes on the same week many Tyler Childers fans were also left jilted looking for concert tickets.

But this is not the first time that Ticketmaster practices have raised such an uproar that elements of the Federal government have chosen to get involved, and even well before the merger of Ticketmaster and live concert promoter and venue owner LiveNation in 2010.

In 1994, the Seattle-based grunge band Pearl Jam was one of the biggest things in all of music. Their debut album Ten released in 1991 became one of the most successful releases in history (now 13x Platinum), and their 1993 followup Vs. sold over 950,000 copies in its first week, which set a record for the most copies sold in a debut week—a record that would stand until Garth Brooks bested them with Double Live in 1998.

Amid the band’s incredible success, the Pearl Jam members decided to reign in the commercial aspects of their career to keep themselves grounded, and center the attention on the music itself. They ceased making videos for their singles. They refused to grant interviews to the press or submit for flashy photo shoots. They also decided they wanted to keep concert tickets affordable so their fans could see them no matter what. This ran Pearl Jam afoul of Ticketmaster, which ultimately shaped the very destiny of Pearl Jam in subsequent years, including when and how they released music, and even the band’s lineup.



https://www.savingcountrymusic.com/mad-at-ticketmaster-pearl-jam-has-you-beat-by-28-years/

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 04:02 PM

10. Too bad they didn't hold hearings on the Debt ceiling back last year

They should have threatened to make Manchin squirm on live TV about his wanting to wait on the debt ceiling. This is a serious issue but it isn't really worthy of grandstanding over. It mostly would help more affluent people have a little extra money to spend elsewhere.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Jan 25, 2023, 10:09 PM

12. I remember getting tickets to see Journey in 1981 or '82

and they were THIRTEEN DOLLARS! We were just outraged! Thirteen bucks to go see a concert? Why, I never! ($13 back then is worth $45-50 today.)

It was the last tour Journey did with original member and organist Gregg Rolie, so it was worth it.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Jan 26, 2023, 11:28 PM

14. Ticketbastard

charged us 22% fee for two tickets to an opera performance. I would have paid 10% for the convenience, but 22%? No. I'm trying to get tickets through the opera itself by calling their box office - seems really odd and outdated to do that but will not deal with TM.

I remember Pearl Jam's stance against Ticket Master - it's gotten worse since then.

And yes, congress can walk and chew gum a the same time - at least this materially has to do with not only a monopoly, but rectifying a situation that is hurting artists and fans alike.

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