Hey Live Nation If you want to Scalp Your Own Tickets, Don't Stop Others From Doing the Same!

The Dutch wing of Live Nation has canceled more than 1,000 tickets it deemed invalid because they’d been bought from sites known to be run by touts.
What’s wrong with this?
  1. Pollstar doesn’t report the hypocrisy of Live Nation doing this
  2. Live Nation owns Getmein! one of the largest ticket resale sites in Europe
  3. Live Nation owns TicketsNow.com the 4th largest Ticket Reseller in the United States according to TicketNews.com
  4. Live Nation scalps their own tickets via their season seat programs where they aim to double the revenue of the best seats in the house, which the artist gets no part of.
Is it fair for Live Nation to scalp their own tickets but restrict the ability of others to sell for a market based price?

euticketnews.com notes that the cancelled Mika tickets had a face value of €42.90 and were selling on Viagogo.com for €61.74.  What do we know about supply and demand?  If tickets are selling for not even €20 over face before fees, the market is likely crashing.  By cancelling over 1,000 tickets Live Nation is protecting themselves from a slow selling show.  Instead of people being able to buy Mika Tickets for under face value, fans are going to be forced to help Live Nation cover their ass for a slow selling show


Red Sox Strike an Online Partnership with StubHub for ticketholders (and themselves)

News has just been released that the Red Sox have agreed to work with StubHub.  What does that mean for the ticket buying public?
  • For season seat holders it will be much easier to list and sell your tickets on StubHub
  • For single game resellers, the Red Sox will now know who you are.
  • The Red Sox are now getting 7.5% of every sale on StubHub.
  • TheRed Sox will know the true value of all their tickets.  This is likely to hurt the single game ticket buyers in good years and everyone in losing years as box office prices will now be the “face” when demand is high and while “face” goes up, does it ever go down?
  • The Red Sox get to keep Ace Ticket and their sponsorship money and any revenue sharing money they have agreed to.
Makes you wonder why the Red Sox didn’t have this in their original Ace Ticket sponsorship deal doesn’t it?
The main benefit this will have for the ticket buying consumer is most likely more tickets on the market.  If you can just list your tickets on StubHub and have them transferred automatically when they sell, the owner is more likely to sell, than to just give the tickets away or bring them to a broker.  With more tickets on the market you may not have to pay as much from StubHub.  Also the seller may be willing to take less if StubHub’s 15% is less than a broker has been taking from them in the past.


The I'm Going to Ignore all Facts and Say What I Want Column of the Week goes to:

A few choice quotes from her about Bruce Springsteen Concerts:
In regards to the Wise Guys operation: One of the lawyers defending them complained to The Star-Ledger, “…the feds have decided to criminalize that.” Well, yeah…if you did that, you’d be allowed to purchase maybe eight tickets, not thousands.
  • Wise Guys were using other peoples credit cards and charging those people if they were able to purchase tickets using their cards.  Ticketmaster is very good at cancelling orders if a billing address goes over the stated limit on ticket purchases.
Then, as if by magic, ducats that were unavailable suddenly turn up for sale on eBay or StubHub for two or three times their original price.
  • Yes they show up at those prices the day they go on sale but Bruce adds so many shows that no one purchases the tickets at those prices except those who think they can make money.  Did you happen to check how much they were selling for the day of the event? The real fans know if they wait, they will be rewarded
I have an idea that I bet Bruce the Boss would go along with: have him and other artists whose fans can’t legitimately buy seats, announce a string of concerts. Let the Wiseguys buy out all of them before revealing that the events are bogus.
Then, with the money collected from those alleged cheaters, start paying back all the folks who were cut out by them in the past.
  • So you want to steal money from people but prosecute others who stole?  If stealing is wrong, there is no way to justify it at all.
  • If Bruce had cancelled any of his shows at the Meadowlands he would have been saving thousands of dollars for everyone who bought tickets.  The best tickets for those shows were selling under face and everyone would have received a refund.  Bruce Springsteen has probably cost ticket resellers more money than any other artist over the past 5-7 years.  It is rare, except for the occasional arena show in Jersey for the common person to have to pay more than $50 for a $115 face ticket to see Bruce.  When Bruce goes paperless the fans are forced to pay $115 for floor tickets.  When Bruce uses tickets the fans can often buy tickets on the secondary market for half that price.
Since you like to quote the Star Ledger I suggest you read all their articles, not just ones you can show your indignation to.   Born too cheap: How I saw Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium for $15


A Comment on the Comments from the Wilco Article

Going back to the article refered to in Monday’s posting regarding Wilco tickets, I want to visit the comments section of the article.
paulvail wrote on March, 7 8:40 PM:
Want to stop the scalping — I mean, brokering? Sell actual tickets. Stop the online sales. Get your tush down to the ticket office, have a ticket printed out, limit the number of tickets purchased at any one time to 4 or a total limit for any one purchaser. If the scalper wants to make a mint, then he can get back in line and do it all over again.
It is beyond ‘market forces’, which is often just a cute way of saying ‘greed’ anyway. Or, simply stop going to these events. Maybe the artist will wise up. It’s not like they are really maximizing their dollar with the scalping, anyway. Hats off to NIN.

Will selling actual tickets and stopping all online sales stop the resale market?
Simply put, no!  You see the guys outside the stadiums, arenas and various other venues?  What are they doing on Saturday mornings when the tickets are going on sale? Nothing.  Guess where they will be if ticket sales are in person only?  Thats right, right in front of you.  How will they get in front of you?  Greasing the person handing out numbers to make sure they and all their buddies get the best numbers to buy all the good tickets.
Will this ever happen?
No, online marketing is too valuable to the promoter, venue and artist to go back to the old days.  The less they have to pay for advertising the more money is going in their pocket.  Everyone would be incredibly happy if they could just send out emails to all the fans and never have to pay another dime for an ad.  Your email address that you give for the presale password is worth a lot to the promoter, venue and artist.  When you sign up for an account on Ticketmaster you agree that they can share all your purchase info for each event you purchase with the artist, venue and promoter.  This is why you’ll end up getting Neil Sedaka emails when you have only purchased Vampire Weekend tickets in the past.
“Hats off to NIN”
NIN and their manager Jim Guerinot definitely thwart the secondary market as well as any team in music, but by doing that, they basically say if you don’t know how to use a computer quickly, you’re screwed.  Those who can afford to pay $200-$300 a ticket and are willing to, are left out in the cold under their ticket schemes also.  The youngest and most computer savvy fans benefit the most with their method of ticket selling.


What happened to all the Wilco Tickets?

There was an article published in the News & Observer of the Triangle area in North Carolina over the weekend.  It is article about people complaining about not being able to purchase tickets, this time to Wilco at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  The author does a pretty good job of giving an overview of the situation for the upcoming Wilco show.  The biggest number left out is how many tickets are actually on the secondary market and does this show have more tickets than normal for a concert on the secondary market?  The generally accepted number for tickets appearing on the secondary market is that 10%-15% of a venues capacity shows up on the secondary market.  As of this writing there are 214 Wilco tickets on Stubhub.  Over the past month 47 tickets have sold on Stubhub.  This puts us at 271 tickets which is basically 10% and after accounting for previous sales on Stubhub, eBay, and Craigslist, we should be right at 15%.
Brent complains in the article that he tried for 30 minutes to get tickets.  Why wasn’t he able to get any?  Let’s look at the numbers:
  • 2700 capacity
  • 1050 pre sale tickets to member’s of the venue and/or the promoters mailing list
  • 300 fan club tickets (Ticketmaster’s venue contracts do not allow for more than 10% of a venue’s capacity to be sold off TM site, Wilco Fan Club handled by Front Gate Ticketing)
  • 250 students tickets only available at the box office
  • 100 likely holds for the venue that will be sold to friends/workers/local luminaries
That leaves 1000 tickets available for the public on sale.  Of that 1000 tickets 10% were bought by the “evil” resellers leaving us with 900 tickets. So let’s dig a little deeper.  900 tickets for sale and there are people trying to buy 2, 3, 4 or maybe more but let’s put the average at 3.  From that we get that only 300 people were able to buy tickets for the “public” on sale.  How many people do you think were trying to buy tickets?
What Could Brent have done to better his chances at acquiring tickets at “face” value?
  • signed up for Wilco’s mailing list and tried to buy the fan club tickets. (Those most likely sold out in 30 seconds)
  • signed up for the venues’ mailing list for a pre sale tickets password
  • searched blogs, forums, twitter for the password (shameless self promotion, ask me on twitter @ticketanalyst I’ll give it to you for freeeeeee)
  • paid a student to buy tickets for him (would you prefer giving a starving student $20 or the “evil” reseller $100)
What does the Ticket Analyst recommend Brent do now?

Brent needs to scour Craigslist.  There are currently over 200 tickets left for a show in a smaller metropolitan area which is a sizable supply.  Fan Club tickets should be arriving now that it is about 2 weeks before the show.  Setup an RSS feed (if you don’t know how, it is a great help to keep tabs on Craigslist postings, so you should learn to make it work for you) for “Wilco Tickets” on the local and regional Craigslist sites.  The tickets posted by brokers on StubHub and other secondary sites will show up on Craigslist with a phone number.  Don’t be scared if it is a broker they will soon be happy just getting their money back, or less.  Use a credit card and get the address of their business and Google them to double-check legitimacy before purchasing.  If dealing with someone local meet up with them somewhere safe and vet the tickets.  I predict that you should be able to buy tickets at or under face the week of the concert.


Free tickets to Festivals and other General Admission Ticketed shows Tips.

Can I really get free festival Tickets?
The economy is tough and oftentimes we don’t have enough money to attend every show that we want to see.  The call of the live show doesn’t stop though.  How is it possible to get into shows for free?  You need to work for it.  The longer you work the less you are going to have to pay.
What do you mean by working for my ticket?
You need to pound the pavement.  Free tickets don’t just show up in your hand.  You see how the ticket  scalpers at a show work?  They are asking EVERYONE if they have tickets.  Follow their lead, but ask for “just 1″ or “1 complimentary ticket”. Offer to walk in the door with the people you are asking, so they know you aren’t trying to re sell the ticket.  Almost every show, even most sold out shows, you will be able to get into.  The trick is to be persistent and not shy.  If the doors to the venue open at 7 it pays to get there at 6:30.  Your band may not even go on till 10:30 but it may take you three and a half hours to find that ticket.  It may get discouraging, but there are always people who have a friend bail on them, or a radio station winner that can’t find anyone to go with last-minute.  You may get lucky and get one in 5 minutes but you may end up working a good three hours.  Believe and you will most likely get in, for free, or next to nothing.
How can I increase my chances of getting a free ticket?
There are two likely scenarios in which you may get a free ticket.  One is from someone who got free tickets from the band, label, radio or press and have to pick them up at will call.  In this scenario it pays to be next to will call and politely ask everyone who walks up to the box office if they have an extra ticket and then explain your situation.  The second situation is large GA shows and festivals.  The more GA tickets there are the more likely people have been given tickets that won’t be worth much to ticket scalpers and more likely to give them to you.  Second is large festivals not near cities.  If you go to a large festival away from civilization there will be fewer people who are willing to drive the 2 hours without tickets.  Therefore most everyone who shows up has a ticket.  This is to your advantage as all those people who had friends bail on them now have no one to sell their extra tickets.
Finally, please don’t go on Craigslist and beg for tickets, or tell me about your great screenplay that is going to make you rich, but how poor you are in the mean time.  If you want something for free go and work for it.


2010 Dodgers Season Ticket Sales Down? Why?

Yesterday Bill Shaikin posted some notes about the Dodgers season ticket sales:
  • 20,700 currently
  • 23,900 last year
We also know that in the majority of years the O’Malley’s owned the teamed they capped the season ticket holder base at 27,000.  This for a team that has won two division championships in a row and favored to do so again this year. So where did everyone go and why?
  • We can come up with several reasons the renewals are down:
  • The fans just don’t like the McCourts
  • Ticket prices have been raised a lot since Fox and SKYROCKETED under the McCourts
  • The casual fan and season seat holder think the team will not win since they haven’t brought in a big name free agent
  • Fans have wised up to how much supply is available for Dodgers tickets.
I emailed Bill Shaikin and he mentioned that Dennis Mannion did acknowledge that StubHub may be having an effect on sales.  If you are a season ticket holder and go to sell any of your tickets it hard to not notice what your tickets are really worth.  If you can’t make the good games such as the Cardinals, Phillies or Mets you’re lucky to make $10-$20 a ticket on Craigslist or StubHub.  If you don’t want to go and see the Marlins you’re lucky to get half of the face value back.
Discounting and high prices are hurting the Dodgers season ticket base and may hurt their popularity in the future.  By now any real fan will know that you can get premium seats for less than face value for almost any Dodger game on StubHub and if you just want to check out a game it is best to wait for the Travel Zoo and Goldstar promotions for the unpopular games.  These promotions can be up to 70% off of the face value.  If you’re a season seat holder that paid $50 for a ticket how happy would you be if the person 5 rows back was able to pay $25 for their ticket.  Is it worth tying your money up for 6-9 months?
Another factor hurting sales is the price of postseason tickets. The past two years it has been almost impossible to give away let alone sell tickets for the post season.  If the biggest benefit of being a season seat holder is the ability to have tickets for the playoffs, are you going to keep them if you have seen the same seat sell for up to half the face value on Craigslist?  Now you can sit at home all year watch your big TV in HD and save money on food and come out for the exciting games while spending a fraction of the money the Dodgers would have you spend on tickets, even for the playoffs.

Another factor hurting sales is the price of postseason tickets. The past two years it has been almost impossible to give away let alone sell tickets for the post season.  If the biggest benefit of being a season seat holder is the ability to have tickets for the playoffs, are you going to keep them if you have seen the same seat sell for up to half the face value on Craigslist?  Now you can sit at home all year watch your big TV in HD and save money on food and come out for the exciting games while spending a fraction of the money the Dodgers would have you spend on tickets, even for the playoffs.


5 Secrets to Buying the Best Rose Bowl or BCS tickets

The following five tips will help you save money and enjoy your time at the upcoming Rose Bowl and BCS Championship games at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena CA.
  • Watch Ticket resale sites like Stubhub, eBay and Ticketliquidator.com like a hawk. You need to know which way the market is going to get the best deal. If you log in to Stubhub like you are going to sell tickets you can see the last 20 transactions. Act like you are going to sell a ticket and follow the steps till you have to put in a price, the details you enter do not matter. (Make sure you close the window before finalizing that you have tickets for sale) If the prices are going up it is most likely a good time to buy. If the prices are going down, hold out till they stabilize at a minimum to purchase.
  • Do you want a seat back? Sections 1-8 and 15-22 have seat backs. Seats will give you a little more room, though they are still small compared to modern stadium width wise and in terms of leg room.
  • The best rows at the Rose Bowl are rows 25-45, you have an elevated view where you can see the whole game from.
  • The low rows at the Rose Bowl are HORRIBLE!! If you are below row 15 you definitely won’t see much of the game. The low rows are pretty flat and you will be blocked by those standing in the rows below you or the teams or staff on the sidelines. Row 77 is a better row than row 10. When I worked at a ticket broker we would only sell lettered rows to those customers we didn’t want to sell tickets to again.
  • Know the seat numbers before you purchase. Call your broker to find out the seat numbers (click here to see why it can be good to use a broker). If you look at the seating chart the aisles go up the middle of the section at the Rose Bowl. For example sections 19 and 20 meet in the middle. Section 19 carries a premium to section 20, but if you know the seat numbers you could end up right next to or a few seats away from the other section for a couple hundred dollars less per ticket.

The Rose Bowl is a smaller more intimate stadium than most of the new monstrosities and a good knowledge of the seating chart will help you get the best bang for your buck.  If you have any questions on where to sit  hit me up on twitter @ticketanalyst


Why Ticketmaster's Paperless Ticketing is Bad for the Consumer

Currently the Billboard Touring Conference going on in New York City. Ticketnews.com published this article about the panel that discussed the issue of paperless ticketing with representatives from Ticketmaster, Live Nation, Stubhub and Ticket Network. Stubhub and Ticket Network as the owners of the two largest ticket exchanges on the secondary market have the most to lose from the paperless initiative by Ticketmaster and Veritix (formerly known as Flash Seats). Basically the primary ticket sellers are doing their best to lock out any secondary ticket providers hoping to capture that market for themselves. Consumers should be very weary of the paperless ticketing provided by Ticketmaster. Why is Ticketmaster’s paperless ticketing bad for you the consumer?

  • There is no transfer of tickets. 2 years ago Celine Dion put tickets on sale for her tour that was occurring a year in the future. A lot can happen in a year, the economy can tank, one can lose their job, or an employer could transfer you to another state or country. If you need to, want to, or have to sell your tickets you have no way to do this.
  • Consumers are also hurt because there is an artificial floor set on the selling price of tickets. The National Association of Ticket Brokers has stated that 40% of the tickets on the secondary market are sold at below face value. A few weeks ago the super group Them Crooked Vultures featuring Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters along with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin played shows in Philadelphia and Boston. The shows were instant sell outs. However on the secondary market the tickets were selling for $4 each in Philadelphia and $15 each in Boston. If Ticketmaster had its way the only amount you could pay for the show would have been $65.
  • Paperless ticketing only stops the casual reseller who flips tickets on Stubhub or eBay from “scalping” their tickets. The professional brokers are willing to fly anywhere in the country if they are able to make a lot of money and paperless ticketing isn’t going to stop them from doing so. I have talked to a few that flew to London knowing how much they would make from the Led Zeppelin reunion. Reducing the supply on the secondary market only increases the prices.

Until Ticketmaster implements a way to transfer tickets there is no reason that paperless ticketing should be used unless the show is within 3 weeks of the on sale. Veritix does allow transfers of tickets and therefore is not operating in such a monopolistic manner.

There is also a quote in the article from Ticketmaster president David Butler that states: “We provide a service for the artist to decide how they want to handle the relationship with their fans.” This seems a little hypocritical. If it is just a service they provide why do they not let the artist decide whose service they would like to use? If their service is so good they should be open to competition and wouldn’t need to have exclusive agreements with venues where the artist is not allowed to use any other ticketing provider for their show in that venue. Butler goes on to state “The artists are the rights holders.” If this is true why does Ticketmaster stipulate that artists are only allowed to hold back 10% of tickets for their fan club if they have another service issue the fan club tickets?

Paperless ticketing is about increasing the profitability of a large corporation and increasing the net worth of a billionaire and not about the artists. Instead of trying to shut out the secondary market these companies and artists need to embrace it. They have 1,000 or more salespeople who have all the best clients who are willing to spend loads of money on their product. Instead they are trying to freeze them out, which will just alienate all the fans in the end. The teacher who has been laid off no longer has something of value to sell and the CEO of XYZ company who must now focus on buying tickets instead of making more money at his company and just making a call to a broker at his or her convenience.


Picking out the Best U2 360 Tour Tickets from Ticketmaster

Tips the most enjoyable concert experience when buying U2 360 Degree tickets for their upcoming stadium tour. Ticket onsales are currently happening and going to start full swing this week and next. There are several things to think of when you are looking to buy U2 tickets from Ticketmaster. First is do you want a seat or do you want GA Floor tickets. GA Floor are good value for the money but require a lot of time to get close enough to make them an extraordinary value as you will need to be at the stadium upwards of 12 hours before the doors to be close to the stage. If you prefer a seat then you need to decide whether you want a great seat for a large sum of money or a cheap seat that could be a hundred yards or more away or just behind the band. The following tips are for the best concert going experience not necessarily the best value for your dollar.

  • 1. For the best GA experience go the auction route and buy the (R)ed Zone tickets. They have been averaging $250-$350 a ticket on Ticketmaster auctions. Don’t skimp here as they have been selling for upwards of $500 each on the secondary market. The (R)ed Zone tickets get you inside the stage and you won’t have to fight with the rest of the GA Floor people to get to the show EARLY.These auctions have been ending a day after the on sale.
  • 2. Buy the Citibank package. This will get you a good seat, can’t be great inside of a stadium, and a pre show package that includes food and some drinks. Definitely a good place to meet some people and maybe even pick up a client or two due to the exclusivity of the party. These packages have been going on sale to Citibank card members at the same time as the fan club Ticketmaster on sale and run about $550 a ticket.

Both these options require a large upfront commitment of money but will make your experience easier than having to fight with the hoi polloi.