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Re: Ticketmaster, doesn't surprise me
ticketmassa has already been investigated before and it was dropped...remember the pearljam boycott back in 94 ?
The reason that a band like Pearl Jam has been required to deal with Ticketmaster is because Ticketmaster has exclusive contracts with most major venues for concerts and with almost all significant promoters of concerts in the United States. In essence, if you play any of these venues or if you deal with these promoters, Ticketmaster will claim that its contracts give it the exclusive right to distribute tickets for your concert. This affords Ticketmaster tremendous power in this business.
By locking up all of the suitable venues and promoters with arrangements of this type, Ticketmaster has effectively thwarted competition and left most bands without any meaningful alternative for distributing tickets. This absence of any alternative, in turn, gives Ticketmaster the power to exercise virtual control -- to the exclusion of the views of the band -- over the level of service charge imposed on tickets for that band's concert that are sold anywhere but at the box office. The result, for our fans, has been higher service charges, meaning effectively that they pay higher prices for their tickets. Often those service charges are buried in the overall price charged by Ticketmaster, so that the fan may not even know that a substantial portion of what he or she is paying is a Ticketmaster-imposed surcharge.
Now, some of you might wonder how Ticketmaster, seemingly a service organization performing the routine function of distributing tickets, managed to put itself in a position where it can exercise such a high degree of control over the pricing and distribution of concert tickets. To understand this requires a brief description of the structure of our business.
When Pearl Jam makes arrangements to go on tour, we act through an agent. Our agent will then enter into an agreement with a promoter for a particular show or shows. The promoter, in turn, will enter into an agreement with the venue. And as indicated above, typically the venue, the promoter or both will have exclusive contracts with Ticketmaster for the distribution of tickets for events in which they are involved.
It is well known in our industry that some portion of the service charges Ticketmaster collects on its sale of tickets is kicked back to the promoters and the venues. Thus, Ticketmaster's service charges are a source of additional revenue for venues and promoters. It is in their interest, as well as in Ticketmaster's interest, to impose high service fees. The "service fee" -- which in concept should be nothing more than a handling charge for the convenience and cost associated with purchasing a ticket over the phone or at a remote location -- has thus become a source of additional revenue not only for Ticketmaster but for the promoters and venues.
The level of the service charge is not the only problem that Pearl Jam faces in connection with the sale of tickets to its concerts. Beyond the excessive service charges there are the problems of ticket scalping, counterfeiting, and commercial advertising on tickets. For example, at some of our recent concerts, an informal poll of fans in the audience revealed that more than 40 percent of them bought their tickets from ticket brokers. At many of our concerts, we are experiencing a counterfeit ticket rate of about 2.5 to 3%. And at one recent concert in Boston, we learned that some of these counterfeit tickets had been sold to fans for $250.
The problems of ticket scalping and counterfeiting are not new or unique to Pearl Jam concerts. There are, however, steps that can be taken to address those problems. These include specific monitoring to ensure that when tickets to a concert go on sale to the public, none are held back for the benefit of ticket brokers. With respect to counterfeiting, it is possible to use ticket stock that is more difficult to copy. Ticketmaster, unfortunately, has been unwilling to address these concerns.
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Last edited by MasterOfPuppets; 05-28-2009 at 07:47 AM.