Ticketmaster charges…still amazing after all these years

Truth be told, I haven’t gone to many concerts recently since becoming a father almost two years ago. But when I heard Tom Petty was going to be playing Summerfest during an upcoming trip to Milwaukee, I had to buy a pair. Here is how Ticketmaster is currently bending music fans over…

Ticket Price US $105.00 x 2
Facility Charge US $12.00 x 2
Convenience Charge US $15.20 x 2
Tickets/Items US $264.40
Order Processing Fee US $5.20
TOTAL CHARGES US $269.60

Wow, $59.60 in fees to print two tickets. This never ceases to amaze me. There is no way that Ticketmaster is that fat or inefficient. A good portion of the money goes back to the venue in the form of an exclusive contract with Ticketmaster, which allows Ticketmaster to have a monopoly…which allows them to raise prices without consequence. And they’re going to merge with Live Nation?!?

Ridiculous.

  

Live Nation offers feeble, self-serving discount to people who really kinda sorta want to see that one concert

Mega promoter Live Nation announced today that they will waive service fees for lawn seats at Live Nation-sponsored concert ampitheaters on all tickets purchased this Wednesday, with plans to offer similar deals on Wednesdays throughout the summer:

“We know the fan has been frustrated by the series of successive fees in the purchase process,” Live Nation Ticketing CEO Nathan Hubbard tells Billboard.biz. “There is attrition in the sales flow once you see your third page with some additional fees. The fan told us they just want to know up front how much the cost of the experience is going to be. We didn’t address that problem completely, but the first step was moving from fans paying a service fee — you might pay a shipping and handling fee, maybe a print-at-home fee, delivery fee, etc. — to consolidating it into a single up-front fee that is there as you cart your inventory.”

A noble gesture on the surface, but not quite as magnanimous as it might appear. After all, as you can see in the quote above, this is the company that has the nerve to make ticket buyers pay for the privilege of printing their own tickets. Let’s examine this supposed treat for the fans a little more closely, shall we?

Live Nation is running this promotion on Wednesdays. Most concert tickets go on sale Saturday morning, and if there is any chance of a same-day sellout (take Green Day’s upcoming tour, for example), no fan is going to wait another five days in order to save ten bucks. No one, of course, knows this better than Live Nation.

The only service fees being waived are lawn seats. This means that the diehard fans of an artist or band, who will naturally want to be as close to the stage as possible, will continue to get boned at the usual rate, while the casual fans of that artist – who are presumably on the fence about attending the show, otherwise they would have bought their tickets the day they went on sale – will benefit. While it would stand to reason that the diehards are the ones that deserve to be rewarded, in fairness to Live Nation, this is right in line with record labels’ tendency to market their wares to the people who are least likely to buy them.

Curiously, no one has discussed helping out the cash-strapped music fan by lowering the price of concert tickets. We suspect that the person who brought that up at the company meeting was tossed out the window like the guy in this Bud Light ad. Because that’s just crazy talk, son.

  

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