Entries tagged with: Ticketmaster
"Yeah, we're getting really good at mergers and acquisitions at this point, so we've had a lot of companies that we've acquired and had to integrate. But we're working on our ability to do this much quicker. We have to keep some of these systems distributed; sometimes you just can't directly integrate them. You've got to keep running them to better integrate them into the overall enterprise."
[Joe Manna, CIO of Live Nation]
"Mr. Billy Corgan was busy in Washington today, first appearing before the House Committee on the Judiciary in a hearing on the Performance Rights Act, then delivering a letter in support of the controversial Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger. You can read Billy's words to the committee here, but essentially Corgan told congressional leaders that radio should pay performers, not just songwriters, for tracks played." [Stereogum]
"Bono said he had no opinion on the mega-merger." [Chicago Sun Times]
"I had a long conversation with a promoter who told me that with regard to a show he was promoting, Ticketmaster was guaranteeing the secondary market for the act." [Bob Lefsetz]
"In a meeting last May with more than 100 ticket brokers, Ticketmaster's then-chief executive, Sean Moriarty, acknowledged that the ticketing giant had used TicketExchange to sell 160 Neil Diamond tickets over two shows at marked-up prices." [Wall Street Journal]
"No Doubt is sticking it to Ticketmaster by selling 10% of the tickets for its North American Tour directly to fans. The goal, according to Jim Guerinot, No Doubt's manager, is for fan club members to buy tickets instead of 2nd party distributors such as TicketNow, the legal scalping division of Ticketmaster. This is the same problem Bruce Springsteen and his fans have been pissed about for weeks." [New York Press]
"AEG CEO Tim Leiweke slammed the proposed Live Nation, Ticketmaster merger, saying that it is 'not good for the industry.'" [The Busines Insider]
"Come on! Only Gene Simmons got into this business for the money. The rest of you were enraptured by the music. Can't you get the public on the same page? Can't you turn everybody into a club rat? Can't we get everybody to go out and see live music on a regular basis? Or do we have to wait until the labels fail, independent promoters are broken and every ticket is sold on TicketsNow and StubHub?" [Bob Lefsetz]
To accommodate overwhelming popular demand, AEG Live has announced the addition of a second Leonard Cohen show at New York's Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, May 17. This newly added second date follows the originally scheduled concert on Saturday, May 16, which attracted an incredible fan response when it was announced with an American Express early ticket on-sale last week. Audiences are clamoring for a chance to catch this intimate, superbly crafted concert as part of Cohen's 2009 North American Tour, featuring the singer/songwriter/poet, his acclaimed band, and a beloved catalog of music.A "friends and family" presale begins Friday at 10 AM for the May 16th Radio City show (the password might be
Tickets for both Radio City Music Hall shows-on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17-will go on sale beginning Monday, March 9th, 2009 at 10:00AM local time.... NPR is broadcasting select songs from Leonard Cohen's February 19th performance at New York's historic Beacon Theatre-his long-awaited first stateside performance in more than 15 years.
In related news, Ticketmaster can't get out of the news. To quote Reuters, "Ticketmaster settled with the state of New Jersey to resolve more than 2,000 complaints over how it had handled ticket sales for Bruce Springsteen concerts, and Canadians are now complaining about inflated prices to hear Leonard Cohen."
New shows have also been announced in Boston, Austin, Oakland, LA and Chicago. Videos from the Beacon Theatre show, and updated tour dates, below...
All of the senators voiced strong skepticism about the merger--including traditional foes Orrin Hatch (R-UT, and an amateur recording artist) and Charles Schumer (D-NY, and a Bruce Springsteen fan outraged by Ticketmaster's handling of the upcoming tour)--and they hurled barbed questions about skyrocketing prices, duplicitous ticket schemes and unfair competition at Ticketmaster head Irving Azoff and Live Nation boss Michael Rapino.Reuters covered it too, and points out that "Sen. Charles Schumer urged Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff to sell TicketsNow, which gave its parent company a public relations black eye just before the merger was announced."
A native of downstate Danville, Azoff stressed his background as a music fan who traveled to Comiskey Park to see the Beatles and who promoted acts such as Dan Fogelberg and REO Speedwagon during his time at the University of Illinois. "This business is in far worse shape than many people realize," he said, adding that the merger is necessary to save it.
Rapino cited the benefits of Live Nation shows to local economies, claiming that one two-day event last summer at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisc., pumped $5 million into the area. He did not name the artist.
Rapino also argued that competition is alive and well. He cited the example of Chicago, claiming that Live Nation only promotes 16 percent of the concerts here versus 29 percent promoted by Jam. Nationally, he said Live Nation only controls 38 percent of the concert business.....
[Continued at the Chicao Sun Times]
"Ticketmaster faces a Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday about its plan to merge with Live Nation, but at least the company managed to resolve its conflict with the state of New Jersey just before the hearing takes place.Wired further points out that the hearing will be webcast starting at 2:30pm EST.
Bruce Springsteen's home state settled with the ticketing giant after fans filed thousands of complaints that Ticketmaster gouged them and others by directing them to its secondary ticketing market, TicketsNow, which offered tickets marked-up hundreds or even thousands of dollars above their asking price on the first day in which they were available.
As penance, the company paid New Jersey $350,000 and promised to compensate approximately 2,200 people who were overcharged as part of the flap, according to the Wall Street Journal (whose article can't be read without a subscription). Their means of compensation is a bit odd; out of those 2,200 disgruntled Springsteen fans, 1,000 will be entered in a random drawing to receive permission to purchase two tickets to another show on the tour without having to pay Ticketmaster's notoriously onerous convenience fees (so that's how you avoid those fees: by winning a lottery?).
In addition, Ticketmaster must erect a better wall between its primary and secondary ticketing businesses and must prove that it is selling its tickets first to the primary market, as opposed to injecting them directly into TicketsNow, whose auction style bidding generally results in higher prices.
Barry Diller, CEO of Ticketmaster, originally pinned blame for the foul-up on Visa. The company later clarified the problem was with its credit card billing system in general, which was overloaded by consumer interest in these shows -- never underestimate the popularity of Bruce Springsteen in the tri-state area.
Top brass from Ticketmaster and Live Nation will appear in a Justice Department hearing on Tuesday to determine whether they should be allowed to merge, called "The Ticketmaster/Live Nation Merger: What Does it Mean for Consumers and the Future of the Concert Business?" [WIRED]
FORBES: Then what are the challenges for the next five to 10 years?The interview, done by Forbes in light of the Ticketmaster/Live Nation deal, goes on to discuss Radiohead, U2, festivals, ticket prices, Coldplay, The Jonas Brothers, and Katy Perry.
AEG's Randy Phillips: In 2009 and 2010, our biggest challenge is the economy. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I put two tours on this year--Britney Spears and Taylor Swift--and they both blew out. However, at some point this massive unemployment is going to bite us. I think it's going to happen around June or July, when we start to put tickets on sale for the summer. We're trying to determine what level of staffing and overhead we need for a decreased business model. That's the biggest short-term challenge.
FORBES: What about long term?
Randy Phillips: My biggest concern honestly past the economy is where the headliners of tomorrow are going to come from. That's scary. The record industry has so many of its own problems in terms of sales of music and how to make money on it, so they're not really breaking acts at the rate we're used to. At some point, supply and demand is going to catch up to us. The sweet spot in touring going forward is going to be the 5,000- to 7,000-seat theaters. I think the consumer would rather spend more money on something that means something to them in a more intimate setting.
The world's largest concert promoter Live Nation Inc plans to buy Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc for about $400 million in stock in a bid to create a company with dominant holdings in concert promotion and ticket sales.
But shares of both companies fell on Tuesday, amid concerns the acquisition would be blocked by U.S. antitrust regulators under the new Obama administration.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer slammed the deal ahead of its formal announcement on Tuesday, calling for a federal probe into Ticketmaster, the top U.S. ticket vendor.
"This merger would give a giant, new entity unrivaled power over concert-goers and the prices they pay to see their favorite artists and bands," the Democrat senator from New York said in a statement The combined company will be called Live Nation Entertainment, and sell more than 150 million concert tickets a year, promote 22,000 concerts annually, and own more than 140 venues globally. It will also handle more than 200 big name artists including Madonna, Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus and the Eagles.
Ticketmaster shareholders will receive 1.384 shares of Live Nation common stock for each share of Ticketmaster they own, the two companies said in a joint statement. Live Nation will own 49.99 percent of the combined company, while Ticketmaster will hold the remaining 50.01 percent.
The deal, which the companies called a merger of equals, will create a company with an enterprise value of $2.5 billion including debt.
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino will run the new company as CEO while Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff will be executive chairman. Ticketmaster chairman Barry Diller will be non-executive chairman. [REUTERS]
Smashing Pumpkins @ United Palace (more by Chris La Putt)
Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc was hit with a C$500 million ($410 million) lawsuit in Canada on Monday, alleging the company broke the law by reselling tickets at inflated prices.
A Toronto man who tried to buy two tickets to a November 2008 concert by the band Smashing Pumpkins alleges Ticketmaster's website said none were available, but redirected him to the website of the company's TicketsNow resale unit...
...The suit mirrors complaints in the United States that people trying to buy tickets to singer Bruce Springsteen's current tour were redirected to Ticketmaster's TicketsNow site, where they were available at much higher prices. [Reuters]
If the prospect of a single company mounting a Guns n' Madonna tour worries you, it also concerns some in the business. Via e-mail, Tom Morello, the guitarist in Rage Against the Machine, told me that a Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger could have huge consequences.NY Senator Chuck Schumer not only agrees with Tom, he has now joined the fight against Ticketmaster started by angry Bruce Springsteen fans...
"Fewer and fewer gatekeepers mean fewer choices and higher prices for fans," he wrote. "One huge monolith means no choice at all. Fans and artists must develop some organized counterweight quickly or resign themselves to their fate." [David Carr, NY Times]
"Fans who thought they were going to 'The Promised Land' of Springsteen found themselves in the 'Badlands' of ticket scalpers," Schumer said. The senator added that he wants to put the brakes on Ticketmaster's proposed merger with Live Nation, the nation's largest concert promoter. [Newsday]NJ's Star Ledger newspaper hasn't forgotten yet either. Today's paper has an article entitled "More music fans claim scalpings by Ticketmaster". In it they talk to people who have come forward with similar claims of Ticketmaster-to-TicketsNow trickery.
alternate headline: Bruce Springsteen fans more mad at Ticketmaster than Phish fans were at Live Nation...
You may have noticed that sometimes when you try to buy a ticket at Ticketmaster, you are instead redirected to TicketsNow which is a scalper site owned by Ticketmaster. In turn, TicketsNow will offer to sell you the same exact tickets for a higher price. Ticketmaster describes it like this...
TicketsNow provides consumers access to live entertainment event tickets, no longer available via primary distribution channels, through its leading online marketplace where buyers and sellers meet in open exchange.The potential shadiness involved there is pretty obvious, as a NJ politician pointed out in a letter he wrote to the federal government this week...
Tickets listed on TicketsNow come from licensed brokers, as well as from individual sellers. All tickets listed on TicketsNow are 100% authentic or your money back.
A New Jersey congressman has asked the federal government to investigate allegations that tickets to two Bruce Springsteen concerts were diverted to a ticket resale agency moments after they went on sale Monday morning.The Superbowl (halftime show) was Sunday, Bruce tickets went on sale Monday, and the above letter was in the papers on Wednesday (yesterday). In no time, both Ticketmaster and Bruce Springsteen personally responded with letters of their own...
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8th Dist.) said his constituents complained that Ticketmaster, the primary ticket seller for the concerts, said tickets were sold out and directed consumers to its subsidiary, TicketsNow, a secondary marketplace where tickets were being offered for resale at three and four times the cover price.
Pascrell wrote a letter yesterday to the Federal Trade Commission and the antitrust division of the Justice Department asking them to "investigate the relationship between Ticketmaster and TicketsNow to ensure that the procedure for purchasing tickets remains fair to the average consumer."
"There is a significant potential for abuse when one company is able to monopolize the primary market for a product and also directly manipulate and profit from the secondary market," he wrote. "The speed with which tickets were made available on Ticketmaster's official resale site raises questions about whether TicketsNow brokers were given preferential treatment." [NJ.COM]
Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. and Live Nation Inc. are close to a merger, people familiar with the matter said, in a deal that would consolidate two of the most powerful forces in the music industry under one roof.Crazy. I'm guessing if it goes through, Live Nation would go back to selling tickets on Ticketmaster. That would also be weird since many of Live Nation's competitors use Ticketmaster and Ticketweb to sell tickets (Bowery Presents and AEG for instance).
The combined company would be called Live Nation Ticketmaster, and would merge the world's biggest concert promoter with the world's dominant ticketing and artist-management company. The resulting firm would be able to manage everything from recorded music to ticket sales and tour sponsorship. It could package artists in new ways, for example, allowing corporations such as a cellphone provider to sponsor a concert tour and to sell an exclusive download of a song.
Because it would be so vertically integrated, the new company would also be able to muscle out competing concert promoters and have more power to dictate ticket prices to consumers.
The boards of both companies have yet to approve the all-stock merger, these people said. Terms of what these people described as a merger of equals have yet to be worked out. It was unclear last night which company would be acquiring the other. Live Nation's market capitalization, at $390 million, is slightly higher than Ticketmaster's $351 million. But the concert promoter has more debt and less cash.
Sticking points remain to any deal. Because a merger would concentrate so much power in the music industry under one company, it would require review by antitrust authorities. The deal, which wouldn't entail any exchange of cash, could be announced as early as next week, these people said. [Wall Street Journal]
"Former Live Nation executive Michael Cohl made news last week when according to Pollstar, he reportedly sold about forty percent of his shares in the company worth an estimated $1.73 million. The move comes after a $19 million loss Live Nation suffered in December when U2 exercised its right to have the company buy back shares it paid the band, dealing a new blow to investor confidence in the entertainment and ticketing company. Cohl resigned as chairman of the company in June 2008."Anybody that spent any time on Live Nation's clunky website in the months leading up to, and during, their recent swtichover to selling their own tickets probably could have predicted this. Nobody loves Ticketmaster, but at least they, after years of experience, know what they're doing. The above slightly-altered screenshot was taken shortly after tickets went on sale this morning for Phish's 2009 summer tour. I tried it after reading some of the reactions people were leaving in the comments...
[IT Business Net]
"Wow LIVE NATION IS WORST THAN TICKETMASTER! Anyone have luck?" [Anonymous]
"TOTAL LAME, I was on the screen, pressed reload at 10:00 and haven't been able to get on livenation since." [Anonymous]
"I got to the point where I put my ticket request in and then the security code and then it crashed. What a joke." [Anonymous]
"Same thing just happened to me! Never thought i'd ever say this, but i want ticketmaster back!" [Anonymous]
"So much for the big Live Nation ticket website. What a joke. Come back ticketmaster, all is forgiven" [Anonymous]
"Live Nation Ticketing is live. The bulk of the world's largest promoter's 10-year contract with Ticketmaster has expired and the company has now launched its in-house ticketing company.If you've started to notice you can't find something on sale on Ticketmaster, for a show at Irving Plaza for instance, that's maybe why.
"Anytime you have a major rollout, you hold your breath and hope there are no major glitches," Live Nation CEO of global music Jason Garner tells Billboard. "We went live over the [holiday] break and I didn't hear one complaint from anybody about the system."
Garner admits the rollout was "pretty complex, only because we had a bunch of events that had to be transferred from Ticketmaster over to Livenation.com. The rollout went as flawlessly as we could have hoped. I think in general you'd have to call it a major success."
The bulk of the events transferred from Ticketmaster to Livenation.com so far are club shows, as existing ticketing contracts remain in effect for most larger indoor venues. "What we went live with was our own venues, and no amphitheater shows are up yet," Garner points out. "So it was a bunch of small club shows, which in many ways is more difficult because of the volume."
As the launch moves forward, Garner says the primary facet of Live Nation controlling its own inventory is flexibility. "Our goal is always to have a system built around being able to satisfy what the artists and fans want," he says. "We realize in this economy the guy that gets creative and thinks outside the box on ways to create new revenue is going to win. It's about creating new music products for the fan."....
....It is likely that more Live Nation tickets will be priced "all-in" as opposed to service charges being added on. "We're trying to strip the structural rules off and say to artists, 'How do you want to reach your fan? All-in price, status quo, a lower service charge on the lawn? We're just trying to be real flexible and keep options open so we can serve artists," Garner says." [Billboard]
Find your event, and look for the Ticket + "Years of Refusal" iTunes download ($9.99 added). After purchasing, you'll receive a code to download the digital album on iTunes when it's released.Tickets for all four NYC-area shows go on sale Friday at 11:00 AM.
Offer valid Thursday 1/8/09 10AM - 10PM local
venue time for the following cities:
New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY - Webster Hall
Mashantucket, CT - MGM Grand at Foxwoods
Offer valid Friday 1/9/09 10AM - 10PM local venue time for the following cities:
Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Club/The Rave/Eagles Ballroom.
In a move designed in part to boost its public relations and possibly drive future sales, Ticketmaster Entertainment has begun to offer some concert tickets that it claims do not carry additional convenience fees.
The admission by Ticketmaster President Sean Moriarty came Monday during the release of the company's third quarter earnings, and Moriarty said the company started experimenting with "all-in pricing" with tickets to an upcoming concert by The Eagles at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina, which Ticketmaster is selling for between $60 and $190 each.
"We've been advocating for some time that the industry make the fan-friendly move to no-fee or all-in pricing, eliminating add-on fees," Moriarty told a group of financial analysts and investors. "The reaction of fans has been overwhelmingly positive."
The new all-in pricing model, however, does not lower the price of a ticket - the face values of tickets throughout the popular Eagles tour are all about the same - but it does potentially open up a new revenue stream for Ticketmaster, according to Moriarty. Currently, Ticketmaster does not typically earn fees for tickets sold at a venue's box office, but with all-in pricing, there will be one standard price for a ticket "across all channels, including the box office, which will create new revenue streams for artists and Ticketmaster," he said.
"We think that fees broken out by line item are awkward and confusing for consumers," Moriarty told the group, virtually ignoring the fact that the company has operated that way since its inception. [Ticket News]
My Bloody Valentine @ Roseland Ballroom (more)
Live Nation, the Los Angeles-based concert promoter that's moving into everything from recordings to merchandise, has signed up its latest ticketing partner, the Roseland Ballroom in New York City.Trey Anastasio plays Roseland Ballroom tonight (10/16).
Live Nation's first big ticketing deal last month was a massive national deal with SMG with potential of up to 10 million ticket sales. But the deal with Roseland is still worthy of note.
Firstly, it's a key mid-size music venue in New York and has hosted the likes of Madonna, Dave Matthews Band and Coldplay in the last few years and was previously serviced by Ticketmaster, Live Nation's soon-to-be-ex ticketing partner.
Secondly, this deal means Live Nation execs are getting closer to Cablevision's New York City empire of live venues like Madison Square Gardens and Radio City Music Hall. [Reuters]
In a victory for IAC/InterActiveCorp's Ticketmaster, a federal court ordered a maker of software used by ticket brokers to pay more than $18 million to the world's dominant ticket seller.
Last year, Ticketmaster sued Pittsburgh-based RMG Technologies Inc. for creating software that allowed its users to gain access to tickets via the Internet much more quickly than average customers of Ticketmaster.com.
Ticketmaster said the RMG software violated its terms of service and other rights by automatically circumventing controls designed to verify that a given user was a real person. That allowed brokers to inundate Ticketmaster's system with thousands of requests for seats when popular events went on sale, "in effect allowing them to cut in line," according to Ticketmaster. [Wall Street Journal]
from the inbox....
I bought my tickets last month, for a grand total of $156.20 for two tickets in Row E. Earlier this week, they started selling tickets for both shows at $19 each, which the guy at Irving told me was simply because they hadn't sold enough tickets.the email is continued below...
As if this wasn't bad enough (Why do I have to pay more? Because they couldnt sell enough tickets?) for those of us who are the real fans who paid upwards of 4 times more than those who didn't bother buying their tickets early, the geniuses over at ticketmaster are now selling the same seats for Saturday's shows for two different prices ($64 or $19). That's right: apparently you get to CHOOSE whether or not you want to pay a quarter of the price for your tickets.
We just learned that tickets to ALL Metro and Smart Bar shows are only available through their websites, or the Metro Box Office. There will still be service fees for tickets bought online, though we believe they will be much reduced due to Metro handling all sales internally, and there is still never a service fee for tickets bought at the Box Office.(thx Jason)
What does this mean? Ticketmaster has just lost one of the venues it's had long-standing relations with. We asked Metro spokesperson Jenny Lizak for the reason behind the switch and she said, "Basically, we're responding to customer requests and technological advances that have occurred over the years, and this change is going to help us simplify the buying process and bring customers an affordable ticketing solution." [Chicagoist]
Iif you buy tickets on ticketmaster, you can sell them back to someone else using Ticketexchange.
TicketExchange is Ticketmaster's new online service that enables premium and fan-to-fan transactions. Buyers simply select the ticket(s) they want based on price and seat location, without having to bid against other buyers, without having to coordinate delivery from anonymous sellers, and without the gamble that the tickets are legitimate. Sellers are guaranteed payment for tickets sold, without having to collect payment or deliver the tickets to the buyer.Have you tried it?
Concert giant Live Nation says it will have its own ticket-selling service ready by 2009. It has struck a deal with CTS Eventim, which dominates the ticket business in Europe, to bring the company's platform to the U.S.; CTS will handle Live Nation sales in Europe.(thx Adam)
LYV says it will sell tickets to its own shows, and will also sell tickets for third-party events. That means that IAC's Ticketmaster, which has handled Live Nation up until now, will not only lose its biggest customer, but it will gain a competitor as well. Live Nation, meanwhile, is pushing to spread out beyond its core concert business, which is a low-margin affair at best. [Silicon Alley Insider]
On the heels of a stunning collaboration at the Chicago Crossroads Guitar Festival in July of 2007 and after much speculation, Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton announced today three eagerly anticipated concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden. In what will be one of the must see shows of this decade Winwood and Clapton will perform together February 25th, 26th, 28th, 2008.continued below...
Morrissey @ Hammerstein Ballroom - Oct 22, 2007 (CRED)
Morrisey played Monday night and Tuesday night. Morrissey plays again Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Some of these shows were reduced in price at various times. This time it's for the Sunday show. "Beginning Thursday, October 25th at noon, purchase $20.00 Tickets for the October 28th show - while supplies last. Tickets can be purchased at The Irving Plaza Box Office, Ticketmaster locations, charge-by-phone, and ticketmaster.com."
So, Morrissey cancelled an MSG show, and then announced 5 new NYC shows at the smaller (but still big) Hammerstein Ballroom. Tickets are & were like a gazillion dollars, and then tickets for one of those shows - the October 23rd one - were reduced to $20 (but then were really $22) (+ charges). Then the October 22nd one went down to $32.00 (+ charges), and NOW (just a few days later) the October 22nd one went down again - this time to $20 (but will it be $22?). They go on sale at the reduced rate on Tuesday October 16th @ 10am.
Thanks for the reminder! ANOTHER Morrissey show was reduced in price yesterday. You can now get tickets for the October 22nd show at Hammerstein Ballroom for only $32 (+ Ticketmaster charges). The other show that went on sale was October 23rd. He's playing 5 NYC shows total. Is anyone going to all of them?