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jesusbuiltmycar

2,897 posts

141 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Trent Reznor from NIN has some interesting views / explanation of ticket touting...

trent reznor said:
As we approach on-sale dates for the upcoming tour, I've noticed lots of you are curious / concerned / outraged at the plethora of tickets that somehow appear on all these reseller sites at inflated prices - even before the pre-sale dates. I'll do my best to explain the situation as I see it, as well as clarify my organization's stance in the matter.

NIN decides to tour this summer. We arrive at the conclusion outdoor amphitheaters are the right venue for this outing, for a variety of reasons we've throughly considered*. In the past, NIN would sell the shows in each market to local promoters, who then "buy" the show from us to sell to you. Live Nation happens to own all the amphitheaters and bought most of the local promoters - so if you want to play those venues, you're being promoted by Live Nation. Live Nation has had an exclusive deal with TicketMaster that has just expired, so Live Nation launched their own ticketing service. Most of the dates on this tour are through Live Nation, some are through TicketMaster - this is determined by the promoter (Live Nation), not us.
Now we get into the issue of secondary markets for tickets, which is the hot issue here. The ticketing marketplace for rock concerts shows a real lack of sophistication, meaning this: the true market value of some tickets for some concerts is much higher than what the act wants to be perceived as charging. For example, there are some people who would be willing to pay $1,000 and up to be in the best seats for various shows, but MOST acts in the rock / pop world don't want to come off as greedy pricks asking that much, even though the market says its value is that high. The acts know this, the venue knows this, the promoters know this, the ticketing company knows this and the scalpers really know this. So...

The venue, the promoter, the ticketing agency and often the artist camp (artist, management and agent) take tickets from the pool of available seats and feed them directly to the re-seller (which from this point on will be referred to by their true name: SCALPER). I am not saying every one of the above entities all do this, nor am I saying they do it for all shows but this is a very common practice that happens more often than not. There is money to be made and they feel they should participate in it. There are a number of scams they employ to pull this off which is beyond the scope of this note.

StubHub.com is an example of a re-seller / scalper. So is TicketsNow.com.

Here's the rub: TicketMaster has essentially been a monopoly for many years - certainly up until Live Nation's exclusive deal ran out. They could have (and can right now) stop the secondary market dead in its tracks by doing the following: limit the amount of sales per customer, print names on the tickets and require ID / ticket matches at the venue. We know this works because we do it for our pre-sales. Why don't THEY do it? It's obvious - they make a lot of money fueling the secondary market. TicketMaster even bought a re-seller site and often bounces you over to that site to buy tickets (TicketsNow.com)!

NIN gets 10% of the available seats for our own pre-sale. We won a tough (and I mean TOUGH) battle to get the best seats. We require you to sign up at our site (for free) to get tickets. We limit the amount you can buy, we print your name on the tickets and we have our own person let you in a separate entrance where we check your ID to match the ticket. We charge you a surcharge that has been less than TicketMaster's or Live Nation's in all cases so far to pay for the costs of doing this - it's not a profit center for us. We have essentially stopped scalping by doing these things - because we want true fans to be able to get great seats and not get ripped off by these parasites.

I assure you nobody in the NIN camp supplies or supports the practice of supplying tickets to these re-sellers because it's not something we morally feel is the right thing to do. We are leaving money on the table here but it's not always about money.
Being completely honest, it IS something I've had to consider. If people are willing to pay a lot of money to sit up front AND ARE GOING TO ANYWAY thanks to the rigged system, why let that money go into the hands of the scalpers? I'm the one busting my ass up there every night. The conclusion really came down to it not feeling like the right thing to do - simple as that.

My guess as to what will eventually happen if / when Live Nation and TicketMaster merges is that they'll move to an auction or market-based pricing scheme - which will simply mean it will cost a lot more to get a good seat for a hot show. They will simply BECOME the scalper, eliminating them from the mix.

Nothing's going to change until the ticketing entity gets serious about stopping the problem - which of course they don't see as a problem. The ultimate way to hurt scalpers is to not support them. Leave them holding the merchandise. If this subject interests you, check out the following links. Don't buy from scalpers, and be suspect of artists singing the praises of the Live Nation / TicketMaster merger. What's in it for them?


[online.wsj.com]

[www.boston.com]

[articles.latimes.com]

[www.econtalk.org]

[seattlepi.nwsource.com]

[www.stanford.edu]

[usgovinfo.about.com]

[blogs.consumerreports.org]

[www.dailytexanonline.com]

[news.google.com]

[www.financialpost.com]

[www.wisegeek.com]

[en.wikipedia.org]

[online.wsj.com]

[online.wsj.com]


  • I fully realize by playing those venues we are getting into bed with all these guys. I've learned to choose my fights and at this point in time it would be logistically too difficult to attempt to circumvent the venues / promoter / ticketing infrastructure already in place for this type of tour. For those of you about to snipe "it's your fault for playing there, etc... " - I know it is.

Mojooo

8,767 posts

67 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
didnt pearl jam have a simialr fiht with ticketmaster -i thin ktis the case that you cannot play in a lot of venues unless you agree to use certain promotoes or ticket sellers - so they have a very strong hold/monopoly.

marcosgt

7,605 posts

63 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I was reading about the Glastonbury sellout yesterday and read "customers could by up to 8 tickets each".

WHY???? Surely this virtually guarantees a touting market? No-one is really going to buy 8 tickets for themselves and 7 friends.

Chances are, given the demand (mostly from touts!), that all 8 people will buy 8 each if they get through and those 8 people have (Errrr...) 64 tickets which they then stick on eBay to try and recoup their costs (At a minimum).

And that's being generous, assuming they don't just buy 8 with the intention of selling most of them, raking in a tidy profit and paying for the whole weekend many times over, OR don't buy all 8 with the intention of selling them all for profit and have no intention of attending.

I've no axe to grind - I didn't want to go and didn't get a ticket, for example - but this just seems the perfect way to create a massively overpriced black-market for tickets.

Earlier in the year Macy Grey announced a gig at the Jazz Cafe (Nice....) in London and it sold out very quickly. I saw tickets on sale for 2 or 3 times the face value within a day or two. Fortunately, she added another date and I got face value tickets for that instead, but people didn't change their mind in a day or two, they either bought too many by accident or deliberately to make a profit rather than letting people who want to see the act do so at the price the artist and venue feel is fair.

M

LighthouseTrait

2,794 posts

63 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
^^^^ I thought Glasto tickets were unable to be touted due to their photo registration policy?

StevieBee

4,769 posts

142 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
bigandclever said:
Must confess, I don't know the argument for why it is illegal to tout football tickets but not music tickets.
Touting Football tickets is not illegal - it's just called Corporate Hospitality.

Advertisement

marcosgt

7,605 posts

63 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
LighthouseTrait said:
^^^^ I thought Glasto tickets were unable to be touted due to their photo registration policy?
So you'd need to provide photos of 8 people if you buy 8 tickets?

In that case, it makes more sense and seems more surprising that they sold out so fast...

M.

Mr E

15,572 posts

146 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
marcosgt said:
I was reading about the Glastonbury sellout yesterday and read "customers could by up to 8 tickets each".

WHY???? Surely this virtually guarantees a touting market? No-one is really going to buy 8 tickets for themselves and 7 friends.
That's exactly what my group have done for the past 5 years.
You need to have the registration ID and name for each ticket, and that ticket has a photo that will be checked.

What it means is, once you have got through you can buy tickets for the group rather than everyone trying to get one individually.

It does not allow for (easy) resale.

hwajones

244 posts

68 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Its a free country... Why Not?

Supply and Demand!

marcosgt

7,605 posts

63 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
hwajones said:
Its a free country... Why Not?

Supply and Demand!
Ha ha - Spoken like a true Harry Enfield character. smile

Because a totally market driven economy is just as much of a disaster as a totally controlled one...

During the second world war, the concept of seizing assets, holding them and selling them for a profit due to their limited supply was called Racketeering.

Ticket touting is basically that...

M.

Stumps690

186 posts

29 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
My ticket chap might have some seats free for Mumford you will pay up to 3 times face value but the seats are epic, we went to see 30 seconds to mars at the 02, jarred letto came into our section and sang to the wife, needless to say I was awarded a whole tray of brownie points.....

http://www.cavendishg.com/

tubbystu

3,845 posts

147 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
Some movement perhaps ? Once the artists and some promoters & festivals start to turn. If bookers and artists purposefully avoid venues operated by companies that have secondary ticket interests (Live Nation etc) then some notice might be taken. It'll take a few big artists with bigger balls to get them to really sit up and pay attention.

Pollstar said:
A large chunk of the UK’s music business has spoken out against the secondary ticketing market, claiming that it’s “bad for fans and bad for live entertainment.”

Bands including Radiohead, Orbital and Portishead have joined top London talent agencies such as X-Ray Touring, Value Added Talent and Coda Agency to sign a charter taking a stand against the touts.

The charter sets out their position against secondary ticketing and demands that touts stop selling tickets for their events.

The idea came from the Association Of Independent Festivals and the signatories include 55 industry veterans, artists, promoters and festivals. They also include 13 Artists, festivals such as W.O.M.A.D., Bestival and Secret Garden Party, and record companies including Hospital and Ninja Tune.

It also has the support of independent ticket firm WeGotTickets, whose business development manager Dave Newton has recently emerged as one of the more articulate spokesmen against the secondary market.
For the record Pollstar is a US based live music industry website.


linky

shakotan

6,972 posts

83 months

[news] 
Wednesday 10th October 2012 quote quote all
I've propositioned eBay with this idea several times, which obviously they've decided to ignore.

Very simply, do not allow the start price or Buy It Now price to be higher than the face value of the ticket.

That way, it's the sellers that decide the final value of a ticket, rather than someone buying a load of them and selling them at four times the face value.

I know it doesn't stop them selling the tickets at a higher value, but at least it gives the buyer a bit more choice as to how far above the face value they want to pay, instead of being faced with a sea of tickets for sale that are already artificially inflated.
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