# Ticketmaster... seriously?!

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
So thanks to competition in the online ticket industry, Ticketmaster is charging a fee that is nearly 40% the value of the ticket! They just keep up'ing their fees. Have they actually changed anything in their business model in the last few years, other than hiking their ridiculous fees?

#### Tom Sawyer

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
I believe they've run a few of their competitors out of business recently, so it's not like they haven't done anything else.

#### Underseer

##### Contributor
You can always decide not to go to shows.

If attendance goes down enough, they'll either drop their prices in an attempt to bring customers back, or they'll jack up prices in an attempt to make up for lost revenue, thus driving even more people away, and starting a downward spiral that seriously damages the whole industry.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
You can always decide not to go to shows.

If attendance goes down enough, they'll either drop their prices in an attempt to bring customers back, or they'll jack up prices in an attempt to make up for lost revenue, thus driving even more people away, and starting a downward spiral that seriously damages the whole industry.
Oh yeah, I forgot about my choice as a consumer when a monopoly was involved. Thanks.

Any chance my not going to a concert will make the industry crash quick enough that I can get Steven Wilson tiks without extortion like ticketmaster fees?

#### barbos

##### Contributor
They are more profitable than oil industry now.

#### ronburgundy

##### Contributor
The massively growing scalping industry helps fuel this problem. They buy up tickets and create "sell outs", then charge 300%. IF they sell them all, they make a killing. But even if they only resell half the tickets they bought, they still profit, the venue and act "sell out", all while 1/4 of the seats are actually empty, thus little incentive to lower prices even with empty seats.

There are plenty of alternatives, such as brown paper tickets that charge about 5%. However, the big acts and venues stay with ticketmaster, probably because of backroom deals where they get a cut of the ticket master fees, thus allowing them to lie to customers about the true "face value" ticket cost they are charging.

#### Bronzeage

Staff member
This is a classic Economics 101 classroom discussion on the nature of monopoly. The monopolist wants to maximise his revenue. This usually means setting a price which moves all of his product, which in this case is a theater seat. It doesn't really matter how the price is subdivided between face value and added fees, the sale price is what it is. The ticket could be free, with a $95 service fee added. The competition for a monopolist is the alternatives to his product. There are many alternatives to going to a concert. Most of them cost nothing, so the monopolist must be very careful when pricing a concert ticket. For big money acts, concerts are more important than they once were. There was a time when a concert tour was seen as an advertising cost. Concerts sold records. These days, concerts increase the demand for pirate downloads, so concert profits can be a substantial part of the overall revenue. There is a kind of balance to it all. You can listen for free at home and pay more to see them in an auditorium. Your choice. It probably averages out to the same price as 40 years ago, adjusted for inflation. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor This is a classic Economics 101 classroom discussion on the nature of monopoly. The monopolist wants to maximise his revenue. This usually means setting a price which moves all of his product, which in this case is a theater seat. It doesn't really matter how the price is subdivided between face value and added fees, the sale price is what it is. The ticket could be free, with a$95 service fee added.

The competition for a monopolist is the alternatives to his product. There are many alternatives to going to a concert. Most of them cost nothing, so the monopolist must be very careful when pricing a concert ticket.
Odd... because if I want to see Steven Wilson or Alan Parsons or Kansas in a concert, there is no actual alternative. While blu-ray has improved the at home visual experience, there is no substitute to a live gig.

For big money acts, concerts are more important than they once were. There was a time when a concert tour was seen as an advertising cost. Concerts sold records. These days, concerts increase the demand for pirate downloads, so concert profits can be a substantial part of the overall revenue.
But that is the band, not Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster is the overhead on the sale of a ticket. In the case of a Kansas concert, nearly 40% on the ticket cost. As if there was somebody that can charge an hour's effort for the sale of a single ticket.

There is a kind of balance to it all. You can listen for free at home and pay more to see them in an auditorium. Your choice. It probably averages out to the same price as 40 years ago, adjusted for inflation.
The prices for tickets are probably a little less when noting inflation, but the ticket fees have grown and grown.

#### Bronzeage

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Odd... because if I want to see Steven Wilson or Alan Parsons or Kansas in a concert, there is no actual alternative. While blu-ray has improved the at home visual experience, there is no substitute to a live gig.

For big money acts, concerts are more important than they once were. There was a time when a concert tour was seen as an advertising cost. Concerts sold records. These days, concerts increase the demand for pirate downloads, so concert profits can be a substantial part of the overall revenue.
But that is the band, not Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster is the overhead on the sale of a ticket. In the case of a Kansas concert, nearly 40% on the ticket cost. As if there was somebody that can charge an hour's effort for the sale of a single ticket.

There is a kind of balance to it all. You can listen for free at home and pay more to see them in an auditorium. Your choice. It probably averages out to the same price as 40 years ago, adjusted for inflation.
The prices for tickets are probably a little less when noting inflation, but the ticket fees have grown and grown.

I did not say "substitute". I said "alternative." If you don't go to the concert, anything you do that night is an alternative.

The face value of the ticket is irrelevant when there is only one source of tickets. They could price the tickets as four for a dollar. It doesn't matter. The ticket costs what you have to pay to obtain one. Who gets what part of the money is not a factor in this economic transaction.

Righteous indignation doesn't really fit into most economic models.

#### TSwizzle

##### Let's Go Brandon!
I feel your pain Jimmy, I hate Ticketmaster too. I avoid using them when ever possible but it is difficult. I'm not much of a concert goer but I do go to sporting events a few times a year. LA Kings don't use Ticketmaster anymore but the Dodgers do. In the case of Dodger tickets I sometimes use a season ticket broker where there is still a fee but it's lower than Ticketmaster and I get better value for money because the seats are better. Or I will drive my ass up to Dodger stadium and get the tickets at the ticket office. I would love to go to concerts but the tacked on fees are just too much. Concerts are getting to be so expensive anyway I just don't bother now.

#### ronburgundy

##### Contributor
Odd... because if I want to see Steven Wilson or Alan Parsons or Kansas in a concert, there is no actual alternative. While blu-ray has improved the at home visual experience, there is no substitute to a live gig.

But that is the band, not Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster is the overhead on the sale of a ticket. In the case of a Kansas concert, nearly 40% on the ticket cost. As if there was somebody that can charge an hour's effort for the sale of a single ticket.

There is a kind of balance to it all. You can listen for free at home and pay more to see them in an auditorium. Your choice. It probably averages out to the same price as 40 years ago, adjusted for inflation.
The prices for tickets are probably a little less when noting inflation, but the ticket fees have grown and grown.

I did not say "substitute". I said "alternative." If you don't go to the concert, anything you do that night is an alternative.

The face value of the ticket is irrelevant when there is only one source of tickets. They could price the tickets as four for a dollar. It doesn't matter. The ticket costs what you have to pay to obtain one. Who gets what part of the money is not a factor in this economic transaction.

How the true price is divided matters a great deal to whether the transaction is made and the level at which the final price settles. A lower face value with high fees added later after consumer makes a choice to buy is done strategically to manipulate consumers into paying a higher total price than they would if the total was given up front. Its a "put in slowly so they don't notice their colon is being shredded" sales tactic. In addition, the acts themselves get partly shielded from the negative image of being greedy by setting a lower face value, then secretly taking a cut of the "service fees".

Also, part the problem with ticket master is that they are a vertical monopoly. They own Live Nation and other concert promoters, which not only allows them to demand those acts use ticketmaster, but to coerce venues to use ticketmaster for all acts under threat of not bringing the big acts they control to that venue. It is the same tactic that big breweries who own most of the largest beer distributors to eliminate competition without the consumer ever having a choice. They coerce bars and stores to keep other brands off the shelf.

#### Bronzeage

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Odd... because if I want to see Steven Wilson or Alan Parsons or Kansas in a concert, there is no actual alternative. While blu-ray has improved the at home visual experience, there is no substitute to a live gig.

But that is the band, not Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster is the overhead on the sale of a ticket. In the case of a Kansas concert, nearly 40% on the ticket cost. As if there was somebody that can charge an hour's effort for the sale of a single ticket.

There is a kind of balance to it all. You can listen for free at home and pay more to see them in an auditorium. Your choice. It probably averages out to the same price as 40 years ago, adjusted for inflation.
The prices for tickets are probably a little less when noting inflation, but the ticket fees have grown and grown.

I did not say "substitute". I said "alternative." If you don't go to the concert, anything you do that night is an alternative.

The face value of the ticket is irrelevant when there is only one source of tickets. They could price the tickets as four for a dollar. It doesn't matter. The ticket costs what you have to pay to obtain one. Who gets what part of the money is not a factor in this economic transaction.

How the true price is divided matters a great deal to whether the transaction is made and the level at which the final price settles. A lower face value with high fees added later after consumer makes a choice to buy is done strategically to manipulate consumers into paying a higher total price than they would if the total was given up front. Its a "put in slowly so they don't notice their colon is being shredded" sales tactic. In addition, the acts themselves get partly shielded from the negative image of being greedy by setting a lower face value, then secretly taking a cut of the "service fees".

Also, part the problem with ticket master is that they are a vertical monopoly. They own Live Nation and other concert promoters, which not only allows them to demand those acts use ticketmaster, but to coerce venues to use ticketmaster for all acts under threat of not bringing the big acts they control to that venue. It is the same tactic that big breweries who own most of the largest beer distributors to eliminate competition without the consumer ever having a choice. They coerce bars and stores to keep other brands off the shelf.

How the price is divide matters only if the ticket buyer could negotiate with each constituent of of the ticket. You can't do that, so the price charged, is the price of the ticket. Are people really so stupid they think $40 tickets are a great deal and don't realize they are also paying$59 in fees? A concert ticket has a very short shelf life. It's either sold before the door opens, or it's worthless. The costs of putting on the concert remain the same, no matter how many tickets.

There is nothing egalitarian about the concert ticket market. Nobody said it had to be fair.

If you want to make a some kind of "it's not fair" argument, consider this. A lot of concerts are performed in munificence arenas, which are owned by the public. Should a private monopoly be allowed to exploit its product by use of public property? You might have something with that.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Then why do I pay lower fees (notably lower) with Ticketfly, when Thor graces me with a concert that uses that site instead of Ticketmaster?

#### Horatio Parker

##### Veteran Member
There was a time when a concert tour was seen as an advertising cost. Concerts sold records. These days, concerts increase the demand for pirate downloads, so concert profits can be a substantial part of the overall revenue.

Touring costs used to be borne by the artist. Now they're underwritten by advertisers(at least the big names are). IIRC Led Zeppelin started this.

#### Bronzeage

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
There was a time when a concert tour was seen as an advertising cost. Concerts sold records. These days, concerts increase the demand for pirate downloads, so concert profits can be a substantial part of the overall revenue.

Touring costs used to be borne by the artist. Now they're underwritten by advertisers(at least the big names are). IIRC Led Zeppelin started this.

It still comes down to simple economic fact, the price is what you pay to get a seat for the concert.

#### Horatio Parker

##### Veteran Member
And the sky is blue...

The point is artists now profit from touring in a way that they didn't used to. Seems relevant.

For those unhappy with the TM monolith, I suggest local alternatives. I can safely that all local bands, clubs, theaters and orchestras need support. If you want your money to go further in an artistic sense, try those.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
That seems about as useful advice as telling someone who is asking for computer help to build their own computer. Steven Wilson is touring to support one of the top albums in 2015... and likely this decade. I can't see that from anywhere else.

#### Horatio Parker

##### Veteran Member
That seems about as useful advice as telling someone who is asking for computer help to build their own computer. Steven Wilson is touring to support one of the top albums in 2015... and likely this decade. I can't see that from anywhere else.

If performers are computers, then there many around you already, just not the Steve Wilson Special which you apparently must have.

I'm not supporting or excusing TM, only pointing out that locals need support and if where your art dollars go concerns you, then you might want to consider them. If OTOH you must have the latest greatest electric guitar 4/4 angsty vocal vesch, then you must go through their buddies at TM.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
That seems about as useful advice as telling someone who is asking for computer help to build their own computer. Steven Wilson is touring to support one of the top albums in 2015... and likely this decade. I can't see that from anywhere else.
If performers are computers, then there many around you already, just not the Steve Wilson Special which you apparently must have.

I'm not supporting or excusing TM, only pointing out that locals need support and if where your art dollars go concerns you, then you might want to consider them. If OTOH you must have the latest greatest electric guitar 4/4 angsty vocal vesch, then you must go through their buddies at TM.
I must? Only if the venue uses them. Most venues do, but not all.

I'm also curious about the 4/4 line.
review said:
But while “Three Years Older” is an impressive opener that runs at an appropriately long ten minutes, I’m far more impressed by the third track, “Hand. Cannot. Erase.” In the past I’ve lamented the slow deterioration of the sharp pop/rock music of Blackfield, Wilson’s project with Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen, but from the sound of this cut Wilson hasn’t lost his ability to craft a stellar pop tune. Admittedly, as far as pop songs go, it’s an atypical one; one would be hard pressed to think of a Billboard top ten song in 9/4. In the context of both Wilson’s music and Hand. Cannot. Erase. as a whole, however, it fits quite brilliantly.

#### Horatio Parker

##### Veteran Member
Jimmy Higgins; said:
I must? Only if the venue uses them. Most venues do, but not all.

I thought you were the one who said there was no alternative.

I'm also curious about the 4/4 line.

Just a semi snarky allusion to the fact that pop rock is pretty exclusively in 4/4 time, ie four quarters to the measure.

review said:
But while “Three Years Older” is an impressive opener that runs at an appropriately long ten minutes, I’m far more impressed by the third track, “Hand. Cannot. Erase.” In the past I’ve lamented the slow deterioration of the sharp pop/rock music of Blackfield, Wilson’s project with Israeli singer/songwriter Aviv Geffen, but from the sound of this cut Wilson hasn’t lost his ability to craft a stellar pop tune. Admittedly, as far as pop songs go, it’s an atypical one; one would be hard pressed to think of a Billboard top ten song in 9/4. In the context of both Wilson’s music and Hand. Cannot. Erase. as a whole, however, it fits quite brilliantly.

Fair enough. Again, I'm suggesting alternatives if you don't want your money to go to TM, not that you should like music other than SM. In addition to, perhaps.

#### Bronzeage

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
That seems about as useful advice as telling someone who is asking for computer help to build their own computer. Steven Wilson is touring to support one of the top albums in 2015... and likely this decade. I can't see that from anywhere else.

The only solution to this problem is to petition to have Steve Wilson declared a public utility and as such, the government shall set the price for access to his performances.

#### Horatio Parker

##### Veteran Member
I withhold financial support from the likes of TM for my own reasons, not that I think it'll make the slightest difference to them.

In this age of sequencers, digital backing tracks, auto-tune etc, I'm skeptical of so called "live" performances by pop/rock artists. I prefer to go where people play instruments and sing, preferably with minimal amplification or processing.

Staff member
Ticketbastard.

#### KeepTalking

##### Code Monkey
In some cases you can get your tickets at the venue box office, and avoid service fees, at least for a limited time. The local big outdoor venue here in STL routinely offers no service fee tickets at the box office for the first week of sales. I also like to support local talent at a nearby concert nightclub, they even regularly draw national touring acts (going to see Testament w/ Exodus and Shattered Sun for \$22 on Friday), and do not charge service fees if you buy at the venue. They only use something like TM for online sales (they actually use an outfit called TicketWeb). Their box office is usually closed until a few hours before a show, but you can sidle up to the bar any time, and have a beer while they are processing your ticket order. They can only squeeze in about 1,000 people, so you wont see Kansas performing there, but I would not be surprised to see someone with more limited appeal, like Steven Wilson, play there. They have very few actual seats, but I am not the kind of concert goer who typically sits down through a performance anyway.

That's not to say I don't ever go to concerts that are serviced by TicketScammer. I probably catch 2 or 3 shows a year where I have to auction off a body part to get tickets from those assholes, but I see that as a necessary evil every once in a while, and I try to only do so for the big summer festivals where I am going to see enough bands to get my money's worth. Rush is coming through in May, however, and I haven't missed a Rush concert in over a decade. Fortunately I have a perfectly good kidney that should net me enough money to pay TM, once I get through procrastinating on buying the tickets.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
In some cases you can get your tickets at the venue box office, and avoid service fees, at least for a limited time.
It gets tricky when the venue is a distance away. I remember getting tickets for a concert in Chicago, where you can't just stop off at the ticket booth, and the fuckers put an additional fee on the transaction right before everything was finished! You select the ticket with fee, then the delivery notice. Then the payment... and then a new overall fee. Ticketmaster is terrible!