Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ticketmaster and Live Nation Get It On

(Via much to talk about, so precious little time!

So let's get to it. Anyone who knows me knows I love being right, so you can only imagine the glee I felt when I read that Live Nation had intentions of possibly bouncing out Ticketmaster to reduce ticket costs. During the first quarter earnings call, Live Nation Chairman, MichaelRapino, hinted at the "long discussion" they were going to have to have with Ticketmaster when their exclusive ticket retailing agreement expired in 2008. I noted Rapino's tone, and have been keeping a keen eye on the situation ever since. And now -ta da!--from the looks of things, that conversation may be happening sooner than expected.

Just a few days ago in the LA Times, Michael Rapino was quoted as saying, "Seventy percent of people didn't go to a concert last year, and even the average concert fan only attends about two shows a year. We can grow this industry by lowering prices."

According to a report from

Fees incurred by (Tickemaster) services frequently raise ticket prices by 25-35 percent. Last year, average ticket prices rocketed to $57 for the most popular gigs. Meanwhile, Ticketmaster collected almost $1 billion off of the fees and surcharges.

So it sounds like the Live Nation gang might be grabbing back the reins and bringing ticket prices back to a slighly saner range. There's no telling whether this can or will happen before 2008, but in light of Comcast's expansion of their ticket busines; developments in areas such as mobile ticketing; and Live Nation's forward march in developing brand identity through their website and many many acquisitions, Ticketmaster had better scramble or else the Ryder truck will be backing up in their garage.

Full article here.

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