More Ticketing

This makes me crazy. I was just on a radio show about ticketing. Of course they gave most of the time to the college professor economist, who understood the facts but missed the point.

How come every business is seen as professional except for ticketing? People don’t understand medicine, nor do they understand Wall Street finance, those are seen as professional businesses, but ticketing? Oh, those are inexperienced idiots, we could do it better.

We can delineate the splits of the fees, which most people still don’t understand, but they don’t get to the heart of the business, the history, and the fact that THE ACTS TAKE ALL THE MONEY!

But in order to make the business work, there must be promoters to pay them. So how do those promoters get paid?

You see the acts commission the monies. Never mind that they get steep advances. The fees are outside the commission base. That’s where promoter profit is. Get rid of the fees, and you’ve got no concert business.

As for including the fees in the overall price… Stubhub did this and sales went down. Because fans are cheap and delusional. They buy Spirit Airlines tickets and then are surprised when they have to pay for overhead baggage space. Try to protect these people and they complain, they think they’re being ripped-off.

But there are no miracles. A new Mercedes-Benz doesn’t cost $10,000, why should every concert ticket be $50? Why is someone, why is EVERYONE, entitled to such a deal? THEY’RE NOT! So you’ve got uninformed people who are convinced they are right bloviating loudly. Just like politics!

I’ll make it simple, don’t go! No one is forcing you to.

So the act only has one career, they don’t want to look bad. But they’re pissed because scalpers are getting all the uplift. So either they charge more or they give up all that profit. But charging what the tickets are worth? A no-no! People spend $100 bucks for dinner, but for a concert, too much! And they’ve got to tip, otherwise the waiters wouldn’t make a living, but even worse, they wouldn’t show up to work!

And how come Taylor Swift is skating here? How come there’s no press that no one had attempted a sale of this scale previously? First time always takes risks. And the reason no one took on a sale of this magnitude is because they were worried about exactly what happened, the system being overwhelmed. As for Ticketmaster saying they could do this… Try saying no to a superstar act, good luck.

And why did all the tickets have to be sold at the same time? So Swift could spew it all over the press, the number of tickets sold, the cash generated, that’s the only reason. And is that worth the risk? OF COURSE NOT!

And everybody in the business knows Verified Fan is flimsy. Sure, it weeds out some bad actors, but tons are left. But the public thinks it’s gonna get a good ticket and at a good price which is just b.s.

So everybody has dirty hands. But, once again, the focus is only on Ticketmaster. Because the acts can’t be guilty, even if you tell the fans they don’t believe it. And the government is looking after duplicitous fans? Come on.

The fans are never happy. And a very small minority is making most of the noise, the delusional ones.

So let’s go back to the on-sale. The goal is to create mania to make the dates go clean, i.e. sell out. Yes, you hear tickets are going for a grand and you think you’d better buy yours now. And sometimes this mania works, and sometimes it does not. There’s hoopla for a day or two, and then…tickets go unsold and they never sell. Maybe they were priced too high to begin with. But everybody thinks good tickets are gone and they don’t even go back to the ticketing site. And the tickets are not sold and the promoter, who works on less than a 5% margin, may end up losing money. Apple works on 30% margins, but concert promoters, who guarantee the acts the money, huge sums, far, far in excess of record company advances, are the bad actors here? Just like the bozos believe Spotify is the devil. No, the label is taking most of the money. But it’s preferable to hate on Spotify, because Daniel Ek is young and rich and the musicians are not. Musicians whose music isn’t listened to much to begin with.

As for starting musicians…

They’ve got someone wet behind the ears testifying in Congress. Because he wrote an opinion piece in the “New York Times.” Yes, all you people who think the “Times” doesn’t count, the joke is on you. This guy went from nowhere to D.C. almost immediately.

But where is the club owner testifying? Who takes all the risk, just in opening the doors. Yes, there’s a ladder. At the bottom, the deals are worse, when you become a household name, the deals are better. They call this leverage. And club business is so good…that most of them went out of business. Been to the Bottom Line recently? Those clubs existed because the labels supported them, bought tickets and drinks, which they no longer do. As for what the industry calls “clubs’ today…many are what were previously labeled “theatres,” they hold thousands of people. But this guy testifying in Congress can’t sell that number of tickets. Where are the people who can? Who are getting good deals? Why should leverage work everywhere but the concert business?

And how about the people who love scalpers? Because they can buy good tickets at the last minute. And it’s not only the rich, the superfans do this too.

And the fans want to scalp the tickets they purchased so they can go free, or at a profit. You can make tickets cheap and get rid of resales by going paperless, but the fans HATE THIS, because they can’t scalp.

But even worse, the fans don’t understand that scalping is a professional business. You can’t compete against the pros the same way you can’t play in the NBA.

And the dirty little secret is…

Everybody can get a ticket. Taylor Swift is playing stadiums! Just show up before the show, there will be tons of tickets available, people who got caught up in the mania and bought four when they only needed two, not realizing no one is going to overpay to sit in the upper deck.

Any arena show it’s the same thing. You can almost always get a ticket.

But no, Ticketmaster is the enemy.

Furthermore, the consent degree extension has nothing to do with all this, it’s got to do with Ticketmaster strong-arming venues to sign up with Ticketmaster in order to get shows.

Wow, never have so many known so little.

Meanwhile, Taylor Swift and the acts end up smelling like a rose, when they’re the ones generating all the problems.

You want to improve the situation? Have multiple sellers of tickets like in Europe. But then what happens to the payments to the venues, all that money from Ticketmaster that goes straight to their bottom line as payment to be exclusive? The government is just going to take that away?

But I’ll go even further. If you’re not on the Ticketmaster site, good luck people knowing about your show. That real estate is the most valuable in concertdom. Getting the word out is impossible. You can’t reach everybody. Ticketmaster is actually providing a service here. Never mind their e-mail list. You want to use Ticketmaster!

Oh, there could be change in the sphere, but someone would have to suffer.

Acts could charge what the tickets are worth, but fans would pay more.

Acts could keep tickets cheap, but fans wouldn’t be able to resell them.

The fees could be rolled into the deal… But then the promoter would get screwed or the act would have to take less.

This system didn’t happen by accident, there was evolution. And it’s not only about Ticketmaster. In fact, most of the innovation came from Ticketmaster. Picking your own seat…you couldn’t do that with Ticketron.

So Amy Klobuchar grandstands and the fans rail against Ticketmaster and what happens?


Unless Lina Khan gets involved and then…

Someone’s going to suffer.

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