It’s bad news for concert fans as Live Nation and Ticketmaster are planning on taking concert ticket prices up to a whole new level according to Live Nation Entertainment’s Michael Rapino, with $400 front row seats standard for most concerts as reported by the LA Times. But they’ve already gone way over the $400 price with $750 tickets for Roger Waters that only guarantee you a seat, somewhere in the first 15 rows.
This comes just months after Live Nation and Ticketmaster assured Congress they would not be raising prices significantly and they would be hiring, not firing employees. Well that didn’t last long either as they started cleaning house right away and have fired hundreds and hired none.
It’s hard to believe a word Rapino says when he also states that the loss of sales for Ticketsnow, their secondary ticket site, are due to taking away the link from Ticketmaster to Ticketsnow. Rapino states that this caused Ticketsnow profits to plunge from about $15 mil to only $1-2 mil. But he fails to point out that the link was only in place for a few months, and Ticketsnow had been making those profits for years.
The truth is the loss of income for Ticketsnow has more to do with the horrendous ticket prices that have resulted in the merger. Expect rage from concert fans as Live Nation and Ticketmaster jack up concert ticket prices to the extent that only the well to do can afford a good seat. At least in the past a fan had a shot at a good seat at a reasonable price, but no longer with any concert promoted by Live Nation. Even ticket brokers such as Preferred Seating Tickets have been selling many concert tickets below face value for the past couple of years, and much of that would end with paperless tickets.
Another problem that hurts the fan and helps restrict ticket prices from dropping is the restrictions placed on most of these overpriced premium tickets. By forcing fans to go paperless they are preventing the market from adjusting the price of the ticket. Paperless tickets cannot be resold, so the price of the tickets cannot fall below the face value on the secondary market, forcing fans to buy only from Ticketmaster. You won’t find discount tickets on Craigslist, Ebay or any ticket site if Michael Rapino and Ticketmaster have their way.
By this time next year Live Nation and Ticketmaster should surpass Comcast as the most hated companies in America. And time will tell what the market will bear. How long can artists sustain these prices when the average fan is making less, not more? Do they really want to perform in front of the elite, knowing their best fans are the furthest ones away from the stage. Do they even care? Or is the money more important to the artist than the music and the fans? As it is to the corporation pulling their strings.