One of the things that was encouraged in the design was to "hide away" things that detracted the user from checking out quickly. This included:
* Smaller font for things that you would gloss over or not even read, when you really needed to read it.
* A "time ticker" when one really was not needed. Create the illusion that those seats would be gone if they didn't checkout as fast as possible. In reality users were seldom in any danger of losing the seats.
* Put in the users face the event they were checking out for. Keep them reminded that they want to go to this event. Show them stuff about it and then show the cost and fee's in smaller font and break it up into steps so they see a smaller total first, keeps them happy, then add fees on but keep that "time ticker" going so they don't look to much.
Working there, I felt almost like we were a sleazy porn site.
Edit 2: added that I didn't work for Ticketmaster.
If a user took longer than the 4 minutes or so there would have had to be more users on the system wanting the same type of seats and none available. This really didn't every happen except for insanely popular events, like NYE or some very popular singer, etc. If after 4 minutes, your time was up. You were taken back to search again, but we said "your last seats are still available. Check out now?".
I cannot say now-a-days, if the timer has more importance and I cannot say from a Ticketmaster standpoint technically. What I can say is how we used to do it.
Edit: added the "Honestly" part, first paragraph.
Fifteen minutes seems more appropriate, though.
That wouldn't be so bad (airline tickets are similar) except that the "best available seats" function is very unreliable, and sometimes the only choice for picking seats. With no 'new seats if available' option, you're forced to pick blind and under time pressure whether to give up what you have for the possibility of better seats.
Originally I had said TM can't predict traffic after you put tickets in cart, so it makes sense to limit timing. However, it seems like originally the timer only was enabled when there were other users browsing the same event which makes sense.
While Ticketmaster is a special level of evil, IMO it's important to note that their scummy UX tactics are very much shared by more respectable members of the industry.
> "One of the things that was encouraged in the design was to "hide away" things that detracted the user from checking out quickly."
This for example is pretty much part of the UX playbook for every consumer web startup of any stripe...
On the other hand, as someone who now runs B2C sites and has done some of the testing, it is abundantly clear that providing too much in-your-face information during the checkout process (a) doesn't seem to help those who actually do want to find and act on it, and (b) does do horrific things to conversion rates.
For example, on the site for one B2C service I'm involved with, removing the in-your-face link to Ts and Cs and dubious "I have read and agree" check box during the checkout process dramatically reduced the number of visitors who'd go off to the Ts and Cs page and get lost there. They're still linked from the footer of every page in the usual place, and a noticeable proportion of visitors do still visit them while browsing and then continue to sign up. Some of those who got lost in the old design have also since visited again and signed up. So, I think it's fair to assume that it wasn't necessarily the Ts and Cs themselves that put people off before, but perhaps more the distraction effect of sticking another possible option in the middle of the sign-up flow.
I think a lot of companies use some sort of limited-time strategy to pressure people to buy. Most aren't quite as blatant, or short lived, as Ticketmaster's though.
For me, Vistaprint has actually been a good vendor with competitive prices (using coupon codes). Yes, you have to go through the gauntlet of addons every time you check out—but they don't opt you in for stuff so it's not as tricky as some other websites.
I have purchased my business cards from them for years (tried Moo and went back), and their prices on holiday cards can't be beat (glossy photos on front and back, matte photo inside for 60¢ each, shipped).
Since you mentioned this practice. I don't use GoDaddy anymore because of all the stuff they try and add on and select it by default hoping you don't notice before you checkout.
Of course there is one reason to use Ticketmaster: you often don't get a choice anymore. The Venue box office is a joke, and Ticketmaster has an exclusive agreement for the rest so it's either them or pay even more to a scalper.
This is why I go to barely any shows anymore. The ones I do go to are at the one local venue that doesn't use Ticketmaster (Wolftrap).
It is a testament to our weak antitrust laws that Ticketmaster has been able to gouge the public for decades with no repercussions whatsoever.
Genuinely interested to know what is keeping a nimble new startup from stepping in and blowing this up.
Since then Ticketmaster has only grown more powerful.
It's interesting to read this article in from that time in NY Times:
I can't find a good copy of his conclusions from that experiment in my searches right now, but I remember his emails from around that time were not always the happiest.
Previous comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11837453
No venue will switch to a new entrant unless the new entrant can guarantee the same demand, so you have the normal chicken and egg program.
The venues provide the demand, not the ticketing system. The venues will use the ticketing system they can get the best pricing from.
If a large band is going on tour they're going to have to go through LiveNation/TM at a number of stops to use the premier venues.
A small startup can take on ticketing (and many do). But taking on the the venue infrastructure is no small undertaking.
I don't know how they are now, but they were great to work with then.
There are plenty of start ups in this space I just don't believe any of them can get exclusive deals with the main huge venues that are part owned by Ticketmaster's parent company.
I'm in the UK and I use Dice whenever I can and absolutely avoid TicketMaster.
They also work up the road from me.
I work at a nimble startup so I can tell you exactly why we haven't been able to secure a lot of Ticketmaster's clients.
They are part of a very large umbrella corporation that also owns booking agencies for popular international artists. So when a venue decides to ditch Ticketmaster, they will be instantly unable to book any big names that are almost guaranteed to get sold out.
This is one of the most important reasons most of our clients are independent event organizers that will never book mega stars.
Nimble new startups will have to take the market from the bottom up.
Not only did you get "paid" in Tickemaster scrip, but redeeming it is some onerous process that requires all sorts of nonsense. After that, much of the supposed payment is limited to a tiny list of shows and venues. Last time I checked (October), the closest show was a punk band playing in Maryland. (I live in NY)
And so the world turns and business continues as usual.
That said, I never felt baited and switched by TM, the fees are ridiculous but they've always been right there in front of you when you buy the tickets. It was a shock the first time but hundreds of shows later you just kind of accept it. In any case the market drives the show prices for the most part.
I completely disagree. Maybe for the ticket face value that may be true but look at the provided example:
$18.50 face value for a ticket (driven by the market/demand)
+ $1.50 "facility charge"
+ $4.50 "service fee"
+ $4.00 "order processing fee"
+ $2.25 "shipping"
so no you're paying $18.50 for the ticket plus $12.25 in fees just in order to get your ticket. That's 66% of the face value of the ticket in fees alone (assuming you don't get tricked into the $8 "protection" which would bring the fees to 109% of face value of the tickets)
Want to get 2 tickets? You'd think that you'd only have to pay the fees once since it is all processed together but nope, now the fees all double.
There are no alternative ticketing options short of going to the venue and getting tickets in person, so there is not really any competition, so I'm not sure how you can say the market drives the prices when the prices are set by a company that has no competition (and the lack of competition is due to exclusive deals, not really anything else)
Here's an interesting article:
It describes a band going on a 28 day tour in which they played 24 shows and ended up losing $11,819 overall, despite good ticket sales. Just out of curiosity I ran some basic numbers. They note in the article that they made just under $100k from tickets. They also mentioned that they sold 1129 tickets for just one show. Since that show was noteworthy, I'm going to assume that it was the biggest show of the tour, so for the purpose of calculations, I'll be conservative and estimate that they sold 750 tickets per show on average. Again, conservatively estimating, I'll assume their tickets were sold for $20 total, including fees. With those numbers, the total amount of revenue from ticket sales would be:
750 tickets x 24 shows x $20 = $360,000
So if they took away $100k from that, they're getting ~28% and in the end they operated at a loss. This is also a band that doesn't have a label, which is not true for many, which reduces that even further. Even if you drop the 750 estimate to 500, they're still taking away less than 50% when the whole tour is about them in the first place.
Obviously this is all speculation and assumptions but as someone who goes to a lot of concerts and has spoken with a lot of people involved in the industry, unless you're some super huge pop sensation (which is a whole different can of worms since many of those "artists" are not even involved in the creation of their own "art") this seems to be pretty indicative of the state of the industry.
I'm a firm believer in the importance of creative arts outside the realm of traditional capitalism, so I'll continue to have beef with Ticketmaster and any other company that preys on artists and fans for the sole purpose of maximum profits, but I can understand where you are coming from if you don't share the same ideals as I do.
Anyhow, this is not limited to Ticketmaster. Think "fuel surcharges" by airlines or "resort fees" from hotels.
The best way to solve it is to require all such mandatory "fees" be incorporated into the advertised base price. Why this isn't law already is beyond me.
That's ... lots of shows. If that's your lifestyle, you certainly would become accustomed to the fees. Admittedly, my social circle is not really urban, so I'm not aware of anyone who'd be so accustomed to TM's fee structure.
The idea that is frequently floated is that Ticketmaster bears the brunt of the hate from fans in exchange for letting the performers and venues collect most of the extra fees and giving TM a relatively small piece of the pie.
The result isn't greedy venues letting TicketMaster take the heat - if that were the case box office tickets wouldn't be so much cheaper. Instead, it's TicketMaster/LiveNation using venue lock-in to prevent artists from escaping their tendrils. There are some bands that have explicitly attempted to avoid using TicketMaster, and what they usually find is that it becomes very hard to find venues. In smaller cities/towns, it's often the case that there are no large non-TicketMaster theaters, so you can either feed the beast or abandon your fans in that location.
(So in a very indirect sense, TicketMaster is hiding behind zoning/licensing laws and that's why it can offer such anti-competitive pricing.)
They buy venues and operators/promoters. Some of these "facility" fees are really just payments going into the promoter/operators pockets. In many cases, those people are TicketMaster.
But yeah, it's not the proximate cause. That's just vertical control of the market, where TM took over online sales for people who needed a POS service for the web, then merged with LN to get control over promotion and venue operation (which among other things means that many box offices charge fees that get passed on to TM).
This is the point that so many people miss about Ticketmaster. The customer is the venue and not the ticket purchaser. For the venue, there is no one who offers as complete a package of services as Ticketmaster. They provide so much more than the consumer facing ticket sales website that is the only piece of Ticketmaster that most fans see.
I worked for a startup years ago that got traction with its ticketing solution for certain markets which eventually brushed against TicketMaster. TM was distracted at the time with .com gold rush stuff, and we had traction. They ended up buying the company at a really high premium. A real rarity at the time.
"Competition in the live entertainment industry is intense. We believe that we compete primarily on the basis of our ability to deliver quality music products, sell tickets and provide enhanced fan and artist experiences. We believe that our primary strengths include:
• ticketing software and services;
TicketMaster's big advantage is that competition between venues isn't intense. Smaller cities will generally only have 1-2 venues of a decently large size, especially if you require things like alcohol licenses and permission to stay open late at night.
In any market where opening a new competitor was easy, someone would be fighting TicketMaster on prices and services. But since they deal in heavy venue lock-in, and opening new venues is essentially impossible (hi there, zoning laws), they get to gouge basically everyone involved.
Really? "Usually?" I don't believe that.
They do have far more exclusive-license venues than that, though.
http://www.houseofblues.com is one of the biggest conglomerates for small size venues, also owned by Live Nation.
> one of the biggest conglomerates
House of Blues is 10 locations in 9 states.
One of the major reasons for Ticketmaster early success was its flexibility. Other systems expected you to conform to predefined contracts. Ticketmaster didn't. Want to slice your inventory into 10 price groups on Friday & Saturday, 5 on Sunday, and 2 during week? No problem. Want a $20 ticket price & $5 fee, no problem. Want a $15 ticket & $10 fee? That works too. Need to sell the Staples Center with one configuration for Madonna on Monday & a different setup for U2 on Tuesday, easy peasy. Need to put 3 more nights on sale? Done.
In a nutshell whatever the ticket owner wants (usually the promoter) Ticketmaster can do.
It was really hard to find that type of flexibility in the 70s. Let alone a system that can scale to the demand associated with live events. (LiveNation spent north of $100M trying to do so before throwing in the towel & buying Ticketmaster outright.)
Source: I'm a former TM engineering director.
Second, the reason Ticketmaster, StubHub, AXS, etc. break out the fees is because it sells more tickets. Revenue will trump PR concerns every time.
Whether that cut is "most of the fee" or 50/50 or a smaller percentage like 20% is unspecified. We'd probably need an ex-employee from one of those venues familiar with a Ticketmaster contract to disclose that figure.
Live Nation is essentially the largest music promotor and owns or operates a huge number of venues. The majority of Ticketmaster-branded sales in my city are all at Live Nation operated venues, so those fees in many cases will funnel right back to Ticketmaster's holding company even if they're passed through to the venue operator. And since Live Nation is running the tours for so many acts, they just book them at Live Nation affiliated (owned or operated) venues as often as possible.
I'm curious how the fees are booked on the accounting side. For example, Live Nation won the bid to operate the Nashville Municipal Auditorium for the next three years. Live Nation pays $1mm/yr to the operating fund, the city covers the rest. And Live Nation keeps all profits from the venue until over $2mm in profit is made (then it's split 50/50). That's after $2mm profit, not revenue. The venue is only projected to make $1.5mm/yr in program revenue and costs $2mm/yr to operate. When the city was running the venue, that led to a $500k/yr operating deficit. But if those projections hold with this new contract, our city is on the hook to subsidize Live Nation to the tune of $1mm/yr unless bookings change dramatically. Depending on how they're accounting for those ticket fees, they very well could be shielding that fee revenue from the profit calculation and shafting our city. It's pretty darn easy for "Ticketmaster" (the subsidiary processing the tickets) to siphon off those fees and make them hide from the revenue that "Live Nation" (the promoter booking the tickets) sees. Even if one is owned by the other. Not that I know for sure this is happening, but I've been exposed to enough Fortune 500 accounting shenanigans to know there's usually a tax or liability advantage to these kind of things.
I can confirm that while Ticketfly keeps the fees, they pay the venue a pretty substantial contract-signing fee every time we renew. In this fashion, the act gets a certain percentage (even 100%) of ticket sales, but the venue ends up participating in Ticketfly's revenue stream on top of that. I'm sure Ticketmaster and others have similar strategies for creating and concealing incentives. While some ticketing companies may be abusive, there's a certain amount of letting the ticketing companies take the heat for revenue streams that others (venues and performers) benefit from, either directly or indirectly.
Separately, on one point OP is wrong: "Facility Fee" goes entirely to the facility and would be charged at the box office as well.
I eventually only got an offer of credit for Ticketmaster, so I just informed my credit card company that they had not delivered what I had paid for and did a charge-back. Only remotely satisfactory outcome after spending hours on the phone with them. Not even an apology - just constant passing the buck.
Got 200K Twitter followers? Ticket sites will "reach out to the team" to get you seats when they mess up.
No? Well, you'll get a "so sad, too bad, credit toward future purchases from us".
Also happened (one of the most egregious) - someone bought tickets to the Lakers in what would become, months later, Kobe's last home game. -MONTHS- after the purchase (and when ticket prices were now sky high for that game), buyer got an email saying "Sorry, the original seller told us he sold you those tickets by mistake. Here's a refund."
That was resold tickets via StubHub, not Ticketmaster.
Interestingly we bought them from Ticketmaster both times, but he had the deal with TM to ensure no extra fees.
I plan to keep going every year - especially if he plans to keep up this honest, up-front ticket-price deal.
The reason those tickets all sell out in 30 seconds is that they are too cheap.
Ticket sale starts at 10am. I enter line. Sit in virtual line for 3.5 hours. Get to the front of the line, the tickets I wanted were sold out (The $1700 GA tickets mind you).
Right below the 'sold out' button Ticketmaster has a 'Premium Tickets' CTA. I click that. The $1700 GA tickets are being scalped for $5,500 on Ticketmaster's partner sight.
Ticket prices for CL final are :
Category 4: €70
Category 3: €160
Category 2: €320
Category 1: €440 
It IS Ticketmaster's fault that fans don't even get a decent shot at buying the tickets. How do you justify site not loading at 1:00pm and tickets selling out at 1:01 pm. There was a per-sale that started at 12:00pm and by 12:10pm, pre-sale tickets were sold out. Let's say, there actually was demand, but then how come rows and rows started to appear on stubhub for ~500 bucks whereas original ticket prices were ~100-150 bucks (you missed that point of mine completely).
The relative quality of the games also doesn't really matter, what matters is there are a lot more people in Toronto who want to see an MLS final than there are places to put their butts in. Maybe there should have been a lottery for them but that's also not up to Ticketmaster.
"but people will pay it" is not a proper response to the argument that people are being gouged. Especially given the monopoly conditions often in place.
The TFC demand in Toronto is a very recent thing though. They pretty much sucked for most of their existence, and there's a huge hunger in Toronto to win a title from a "big league" sport, even if it is "just" MLS.
That was my main point. Maybe you just don't understand what i said or maybe you don't want to.
I suppose I don't.
How exactly is Ticketmaster at fault?
Their site is to quick for users?
They sell tickets to people who want to buy them?
They can't telepathically tell scalpers from normal people?
Here's how the charges work here:
- You decide how much your ticket should cost. Let's call it $100.
- Ticketmaster takes an "inside charge" off that for the privilege of selling your tickets. From memory, it's around $8. So you get $92.
- Ticketmaster adds an "outside charge", which is the processing fee that the punter sees. So your ticket actually costs $108, plus any additional credit card, postage, etc. It's likely to end up costing ~$112.
So, that's a rort. What do they do for their $20/ticket? Very, very little. The main thing is that they have access to enormous EDMs that, especially as a small indie producer, you really want. They'll send a message or two out to that list for you.
Otherwise, their actual database software is hideous. Putting on a stage show involves complicated ticketing - what seats are reserved for the house, which rows are A reserve, which are B reserve, all of which can be different for each instance of your show, blah blah. I ended up writing my own database in FileMaker Pro to interface with theirs; the other producers I saw literally printed out the seat maps and highlighted them with marker pens before manually entering all of the seat information in and sending back to TM.
A disgrace of a company.
Edit: I know why they do it, but it isn't necessary for most ticket sales. Just turn it on when there's high demand.
When the countdown reaches zero, they randomly, yes randomly, place you in the giant queue. When it's your turn, you just select what day and place you want and confirm.
There is no slowdown unless you check in the pool at the last minute. If you register after the countdown, you get placed at the end of the queue and your chance of getting anything are basically zero.
A 'presale' at 5x price that ticks down to normal prices over say 2 weeks would solve this problem. However, Ticketmaster makes more money getting a cut from scalpers without paying the bands their cut.
I remember trying to get tickets for my younger cousin to The International and I didn't evn have a chance. Even worse was neither Valve nor ticket master at the time has announced they weren't allowing ticket transfers so trying for tickets from those lucky enough to get some was useless as well. My uncle unfortunately was out $400some on eBay as a result; the guy I found on Craigslist was luckily way more understanding and when he was unable to initiate the transfer after a cash in hand meetup, he gladly offered to stay in contact until he could sort the issue on his side and transfer.
It's honestly a mess and it leaves a lot to be desired for most users. I get that ultimately they can't satisfy all customers because we all want the same scarce product, but it's very hard to shake the feeling that botting and ticket scalpers get too many of the tickets, a
In the UK there's been some investigation into this business practice (select committee) but I doubt anything will come of it.
ticketswap.com solves this problem in coop with also ticketmaster if I'm not mistaken
I mean I get it's a hard problem and a large crowd like that can't be easy, but if anyone can do it, Ticketmaster should be able to.
Ticketmaster sucks but not because they hold your seat for you while you place your order.
Back when I was a teen we had to get up at 6am to buy tickets for popular shows and go wait outside our local reseller, which was usually a department store in the mall and join the long line of people ahead of us. I much prefer the web based system.
Also its worth mentioning that TM is only as evil as venues allow them to be. A lot of the fees and charges are kickbacks to the venue. That's why there's no competition. Venues say, "Look we're getting an extra $7 per ticket with TM, can you beat that?" They're not interested in less fees as these fees are free money for them.
If you decide to not go to a show you bought tickets for, you can relinquish them and they goes back into the stack to be re-sold. Once the standard stock of tickets is exhausted, your tickets get put back into the pool of available tickets. If someone buys them, you get your money back minus the service fee. Whenever I've put tickets back in the pool this has happened, often within minutes of them being re-listed.
Yes you can probably get more £ for your tickets by hawking them on gumtree or craigslist, but thanks to countless horrible transactions with ticket touts I'm always more than happy to use this system, as I know I'm getting a fair amount of my money back, and I know that whoever buys my tickets is getting a fair price too.
I find these to be weasel words.
I don't use Ticketmaster. Full stop.
If your concert uses Ticketmaster, I'm not going to that.
It's not a problem because all the cool acts don't use Ticketmaster. Only lame old decrepit acts use Ticketmaster anyway. And if I wanted to see those, I'd go to Vegas, and at least get a comped all you can eat buffet as well.
Brown Paper Tickets is an alternative that is fair and reasonable. Oddly, many fantastic acts I've see such as The Orb use them for ticket sales instead of the vile corrupt corparate boondoogle that is Ticketmaster.
Ticketmaster was corrupt and horrible 30 years ago. If you are still using them or claiming to buy tickets from them for any reason then you're either a corporate shill or terminally clueless.
If you want to see a concert that can sell out very quickly, buying tickets online is the only option. The only time I have used TM is the past several months (I go to a lot of shows), was for a concert that eventually sold out in two minutes.
Let's take just one example: I'm going to see Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds in NYC. I have three options to get tickets directly:
-Over the phone
Since I don't live in NYC, I don't want to give my CC number to some random theater employee over the phone, and I am not going to skip seeing my favorite band in the world, what do you suggest I do?
I seriously wonder why people are so paranoid about their CCs. Most cards have really good fraud protection with pretty much zero liability, and there's also the option of a virtual CC. E.g. some banks like Citicards allow you to generate a temporary CC number with a very low limit, and then you can safely give that number to any merchant over the phone or internet.
See them somewhere else, in a venue that hasn't sold out to Ticketmaster.
There were a couple of times I had no choice this year but to go through Ticketmaster because they were the only times when the day & location aligned. I had little choice when booking an Iron Maiden ticket, or a ticket to two Dream Theater shows. I generally avoid Ticketmaster when I can and when it is convenient enough to do so, but I'm not going to idiotically avoid going to a show I want to go to and sacrifice enormous time & money to not use Ticketmaster.
The reality is that Ticketmaster is largely immune to a ticket purchase boycott - their involvement in owning venues mitigates the effect of a boycott because they're the only way to see a huge swath of entertainment.
Just buy the music. Cut ticketmaster out, cut live nation's venues out, and listen to a great performance with good acoustics in the comfort of your own home as often as you wish. For much less money.
Basic economics isn't on your side here, putting the blame on others for the situation that is almost wholly Ticketmaster's fault is laughable and disgusting.
Give regular credit card over the phone.
Buy tickets on craigslist (at least not directly supporting TM)
Go a day early, buy tickets at the venue.
Have friend buy extra tickets at the venue.
... and a few little sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, and NHL (for primary sales).
There are a few groups like SoFar Sound doing the Uber thing of creating safe-but-quasi-legal competition, but it's not a simple task.
Uber would have to literally become what they replaced to avoid this.
I too would rather get one simple straightforward price, rather than the pointlessly itemized breakdown Ticketmaster provides. But that's just because I want to read and click less to make my purchase.
"If Hitler owned Halliburton, it would not be as evil of a company as Ticketmaster."
If there are enough complaints, things can actually happen.
They strongarm venues into exclusivity agreements: all phone and online tickets at those venue must be sold through Ticketmaster.
Even walking up to buy a ticket at some box offices results in a venue using Ticketmaster as point of sale.
Their parent company Live Nation also outright owns many venues, a true monopoly in my opinion.
Hmmm, maybe this Internet thing might be useful after all, assuming you can set up a decent streaming service and avoid the pitfalls.
Computer speakers are incapable of replicating the sounds and air distortions that your body can actually feel. Computer screens are incapable of emulating the pyrotechnics that your body can actually feel even from way back of the venue.
There are plenty other nuances that limit the utility of a streaming service.
All have lost. Nothing has changed.
edit: oh yeah, and news is that Ticketmaster / Livenation supplies tickets directly to touts/scalpers whatever they call them in your locality, so yes they truly are a horrible company.
Our primary focus is to make disgraceful secondary ticket pricing impossible, something from which TM profits directly through subsidiaries such as seatwave.
But we also just want to have a fair price for fans. No hidden fees or absurd prices for minimal features. No dark patterns.
The fact that our tickets can't be copied, faked or printed makes this a lot easier - we couldn't charge for an fraud insurance or printed tickets even if we wanted to :)
And even though a lot of the market is locked-in there's still a huge long-tail of events and organizers that are free to chose their ticketing company. Hopefully the rest will follow :)
I remember being told it was with a member of the technical team, and it was a technical recruiter who asked me questions straight off of a paper that made no sense
I hate having to use their service but they seem to be the best worst to use when it comes to selection.
They screwed me a bit too when I bought a pair of pricey US Open tickets ($800+ total) and wanted to sell them through their site. Apparently the combo I had purchased was not "resellable" but no where was that found on their site or terms.
I really hope a company "disruptes" them, as much as I hate that word, because as far as their service goes it's absolutely horrid.
Disruption is out there, but as long as Live Nation/AEG owns the big venues where you can see Journey or Kanye or whatever popular thing, there will probably always be TM extracting their pound of flesh.
That's misleading and should be prohibited. Unfortunately this seems to be common practice in most marketing now ... smartphone plans come to mind...
Finally made a purchase of a normal giftcard in Safari. Think it was just pure luck, had to go back and forth the contact details page several times to be able to check out.
Seems like Ticketmaster simply does not want our stash? :)
I have some really bad news for you. The venue is probably also using Ticketmaster as their POS and some of those fees will be the same.
Other than that completely agree, Ticketmaster is a racket.
No booking fees, timers, insurance, etc. Browse gigs and in 2 presses on the screen you could have a ticket.
I don't work for em, just a satisfied customer.
Anyhow, you need to be aware that venues absolutely will charge a venue fee. Even purchasing tickets at my local club in Toronto from the front bar there is a 10% markup or $1 minimum, whatever is greater.
You don't have to get tickets printed and mailed to you for $2.25. It's 2017 and virtual tickets work very well. In fact, they have advantages like being able to electronically transfer them to your friends in a way they can verify. That is better in every way except that you don't get a stub for your collection.
Anyhow, your post is a sign that their business model is working: you think that TM exists to sell you tickets, but their actual and entire business model is to provide a layer of abstraction over the venues+radio+promoters so that they absorb all of your bad vibes. It's literally the only thing that they add, and they do it really well.
First: how has TM gotten better? Their fees have gotten higher, they merged with Live Nation to gain market control and raised prices, and they lost a class action suit but are still doing exactly what they were sued for the first time.
Not all venues charge a venue fee - some of my local theaters are fee-free at the box office, some aren't. (They all take a cut somewhere obviously, but some build it into ticket prices and some even extract all their profit by selling merch and food at the show. $10 beer is damn profitable.) TicketMaster's website explains that they're merely collecting these fees on behalf of venues, but after their merger with Live Nation they own many of those venues, so this is pretty misleading.
Virtual tickets work great, yes. Except that TM charges an "E-ticket convenience fee". And a "will call fee" if you try that. So if 100% of ticketing methods have a fee, it's just an extra cost dressed up as a choice.
And no, they aren't just absorbing hate: when they do promotion as Live Nation, own the venue as Live Nation, and sell me the tickets as TicketMaster, they making every choice not given to the band.
"We don't know that he's lying, but do we know that he isn't lying?"
I have a long memory. You used to have to go to a physical location and wait in line while a student worker called up tickets on a green screen terminal. And TM's web checkout experience through the late 90s and last decade was AWFUL; none of the mapping, seat selection was there. You'd just sit there and refresh. You could also accidentally purchase two tickets by hitting Back. It was Not Good.
First, a venue that isn't charging a fee is a rare exception and I have two shoeboxes full of paper tickets that prove this. I'm going to draw a line and say that Real Venues charge fees. The fact that there are >0 outliers is still an outlier.
TicketMaster was acquired by LiveNation but functions as a separate business unit in all of the ways that serve their interests. So, of course they are collecting fees on behalf of venues. Just because they are all owned by the same corporate interests doesn't make this less true. Do you know that there are IT depts in major banks that charge other depts for installing network jacks?
Different venues and different countries have different fees attached to pickup methods. Here in Canada, I can get a ticket by email/SMS that shows up as a QR code that I don't have to pay extra for. The order processing fee (total bullshit) is in a separate category from ticket retrieval fees.
Anyhow, you're welcome to your opinion about whether TicketMaster exists to absorb hate or not. It doesn't make you any more correct, but if it makes you happier then I absolutely agree to whatever it is that you said next. Ticketmaster is awful, but not for the motivations that the OP suggested.
Yes you would, because the venue pays Ticketmaster a small slice of every ticket sold to use their system.
They just don't explicitly tell you as part of the transaction.
I ended up calling after reviewing my email I received afterwards and saw the added fee. They promptly removed it, but it seemed like that happens all too often...
Ticketmaster has 'earned' this spot in the ecosystem, and the benefits that comes with. To challenge that would be to challenge the nature of capitalism itself.
As a consumer I'm infuriated but as an entrepreneur, I can relate- why would I stick my neck out there if the potential benefits don't outweigh the costs? Every entrepreneur in the valley wants to be the "Tickermaster of X" or "Uber for X". Everybody wants the luxury of answering to nobody, including customers.
and this is why Louis CK decided to ignore ticketscam and sell his own tickets directly for 2012 tour. Interestingly I just looked up and current events are all handled by Ticketmaster, guess they offered him something he couldnt refuse, or he was simply unable to find venues willing to work around the scam (tickermaster has exclusive deals prohibiting competing inline sales).
> Ticketmaster is a horrible company, and I won't give them my business anymore
Ok, but what choice do you have, if Foo Fighters are playing in your City and you want to go? Or Manny Pacquiao is fighting Floyd Mayweather and you want to go?
It's not like there's a choice. There is, and that is to not go to the event. Because the core premise of TicketMaster's scam is the exclusive contracts they have with Venues and Artists.
Why hasn't this space been disrupted like how Uber disrupted the Cab Mob (oops, I mean the Taxi Medallions)
Uber disrupted the cab business because the cabs don't have exclusive rights on the road (although regulatory issues have perhaps indicated they do have exclusive rights on certain transportation verticals).
Although clearly opinion, it contains real slander and you should tread lightly. For example, "Which means that ticketmaster is purposefully delaying their efficiency in order to get people to purchase more expensive shipping times". This is the conclusion you came to but the company may be able to prove it has the delays for various other reasons. Because it's not a "fact", it's likely slander or defamation. The title is also problematic, "Ticketmaster is a horrible company". You might or might not be able to prove that as fact.
If the blogger is taking a risk (which I doubt is a significant one), I think he should be commended for it.