I don’t buy my tickets.
But neither do you.
I don’t pay convenience/facility fees, and if I’m lucky, I don’t even pay to park.
Actually, my problem is too many people want me to go to too many gigs.
But that’s not the way it is with the hoi polloi. The hoi polloi want tickets, and they’re willing to pay whatever it takes, if they want to go badly enough.
Yup, that’s today’s concert business. Heavy desire, or no desire. With very little territory in between.
So I was in Burbank, doing my podcast with Celine, and she very excitedly told me she’d gotten tickets to see Keith Urban and the Wreckers at Staples in the fifth row, FOR FACE VALUE!
But then she appended that this was the only time TicketMaster came through for her. That usually, she just goes to StubHub.
And then, like any American consumer, Celine went on to ticketmaster.com to revel in her good fortune, to see how bad the remaining tickets available for the gig were.
So she plugs "Keith Urban" into the search window.
And then clicks on "Keith Urban" on the page that comes up.
And then clicks on "Keith Urban" next to "STAPLES Center" on the next page.
Then dials in "2" seats and clicks "Look For Tickets".
And then she has to enter a code.
"WHAT’S THIS FOR?"
I try to explain to Celine that this is to combat the bots.
The Net robots.
Then, after entering the code, she gets the Searching window, which seems to go on too long for something as simple as best available seats.
And the seats that come up…
Well, who knows where the fuck they are. I try not to go to Staples Center. It’s seemingly TWICE the size of the Forum. Who knows the section numbers?
But Celine clicks "seating chart", in small lettering under the available tickets. And a window pops up, and confirms that Celine has much better ducats than are presently available.
But then, moving the mouse, Celine rolls over "Convenience Charge", and says THIS really BUGS HER!
Okay, the convenience charge is $11.25. And it’s convenient for WHO?
I mean if you’re going to pick me up and take me to the show, that’s pretty convenient. Or, if I can print them myself…
But no, that’s an ADDITIONAL $2.50.
I feel like I’m being ripped off…
But then Celine fires up StubHub. Plugs "Keith Urban" into the search window. And almost INSTANTLY, a series of dates comes up.
And the dates are IN ORDER! And there’s only one place to click, on "Keith Urban Tickets". Whereas with TicketMaster you can click on the venue by mistake. Why would I want to click on the venue if I can click on "Keith Urban"? Why confuse me? And why is there ANOTHER clickable item "Find Tickets"? Which of the three should I click on, which is best, which takes me WHERE I WANT TO GO!
Now sometimes one has to wait for the ultimate results on StubHub. Like right now, replicating the process. But earlier, it was much faster. So, maybe TicketMaster’s "Searching" page isn’t that bad…
But the results! Right there on the StubHub results page are not only the tickets available, but a MAP OF THE VENUE!
Now rather than worry about the best seats available, rather than feel fucked in the ass like with TicketMaster, believing that I’ve got no chance against the fat cats and insiders, in the StubHub results window I can click on "Section", and some of the best seats in the house appear (meanwhile, when clicking to change the order of the results I get a searching message…mmm…why not one earlier? Then again, there’s no code entry necessary, to defeat the bots…)
Well, I can sit in Row 23 on the floor for $137. Now I’m excited about going! Suddenly I feel powerful!
So, I click through and buy the ticket. I’ve got to pay a FedEx fee, but shit, I’ve got to GET the tickets. As for StubHub’s 10%, god, they’re providing a service. If only the convenience fee for every TicketMaster transaction were labeled profit, and it was the same in each case.
In other words, STUBHUB IS A BETTER EXPERIENCE!
Oh, hands down.
TicketMaster is the enemy, StubHub is your FRIEND!
StubHub’s Website is easier to use. It looks better and is more user-friendly.
HOW DID TICKETMASTER FUCK THIS ONE UP?
Very easily. You see StubHub was created by youngsters with no constraints, trying to deliver what the public wanted. It’s got the tech imperative, we build it, you pay for it, we’re all happy. Whereas TicketMaster somehow seems SHADY!
Oh, but TicketMaster provides auctions!
But where are they on the homepage?
And when you try to buy tickets for Jimmy Buffett at MinuteMaid Park and find out you CAN’T, because it’s a PRE-SALE, and you don’t have the proper PASSWORD, how are you gonna FEEL?
Angry at TicketMaster, the SYSTEM! And probably mad at Jimmy Buffett too.
Boy has the music industry fucked THIS ONE up.
Fuck the fan clubs, the pre-sales, all you’re doing is sending buyers to the secondary market, where they can figure out what they want, easily, AND GET IT! The money is almost secondary to the SATISFACTION! How many gigs does the average person go to ANYWAY?
Yes, ticketmaster.com is only one step away from lining up outside the record store with a number, waiting to buy Springsteen tickets decades back. You’ve got to be early, you’re a victim of the vagaries of the system. Where with StubHub, you’ve got a FIGHTING CHANCE!
If the public determines ticket prices, then they won’t be considered to be TOO HIGH!
But then you’ve got to auction ALL the seats. So people don’t have to make an assignation with TicketMaster, to TRY and get good seats. God, you can TiVo a television program, but you’ve got to buy concert tickets at a SPECIFIC TIME?
But acts spew some bullshit about fans, about treating them right. Shit, it’s JUST these fans who’ll pay almost ANYTHING to get inside the building! They don’t want to pay a fan club fee and not know where they’re gonna sit, they want to pay what it takes for a GOOD SEAT!
TicketMaster and the managers and agents are up in arms over the secondary market. All that money going to third parties.
Well, they could COLLECT that money if only they threw out the rule book and gave the people what they wanted.
But that would be like getting the labels to monetize P2P. No, they’d rather leave all that money on the table. Since they can’t figure out a way to fix their own byzantine systems that were created years back in an era completely different from the one now.