Ticketmaster ticks off consumers


Illustration by Manasvi Dotiyal

The Ticketmaster monopoly scams with outrageous prices that we all fall for unknowingly.

Asiyah Ally, News Editor

There’s nothing like a live concert experience. It’s something many music fans dream of.
But it seems only select groups of people get to enjoy this experience as live concert tickets are becoming increasingly difficult to find and afford.
This is because Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, controls more than 80 percent of the live concert market. With this power, Ticketmaster has been accused of manipulating prices and intentionally deceiving customers.
When buying tickets, fans can expect a service charge as high as 75 percent of the original ticket price, according to Investopedia. Ticketmaster also uses dynamic pricing, which means it can manipulate ticket prices based on demand.
Senior Gunnar Black feels live ticket selling websites have a tendency to exploit eager fans.
“I definitely think that ticket sellers are taking advantage of people by up charging them so much for the tickets,” Black said.
The added costs to already expensive tickets makes Black believe that artists can do more to help with the issue.
“I feel for the most part it’s good to support artists through buying their tickets,” Black said. “But also I think mainstream artists don’t need to be charging so much because they already made it and they’re rich. They should be doing their part by giving back to the fans that created their careers.”
Some fans may not even get as far as actually buying a ticket as Ticketmaster withholds around 90 percent of artists’ tickets for secondary markets, such as credit card companies, radio stations and fan clubs. This means there are a limited number of tickets for fans, who are then forced to buy from other even more expensive services.
This includes the resale market. If customers want to sell their tickets, they can do so on Ticketmaster. But Ticketmaster charges fees for the resale of tickets, hiking up costs more.
Whether it is a resale ticket or not, junior Ria Shivashankar thinks Ticketmaster’s pricing is unfair.
“The fact that they are more expensive than the actual tickets sometimes is actually crazy,” Shivashankar said. “It’s basically a scam.”
Many fans find that it is nearly impossible to buy tickets through other services because most artists are legally required to use Ticketmaster.
The problem got worse in 2010 when Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation Entertainment, which operates live music events and venues. Since Ticketmaster and Live Nation merged, they control 70 percent of the live events market. Artists can do little to avoid using Ticketmaster as venues as where they perform can require ticket sales through Ticketmaster.
According to Time Magazine, lawmakers are proposing legislation that would change the business practices of Ticketmaster. The federal government recognizes that its merge with Live Nation gives the company too much control over the live entertainment industry.
In the meantime, there are few solutions to combat the Ticketmaster monopoly. Fans can search secondary markets or try sites such as SeatGeek and StubHub.
“I buy tickets through other websites like StubHub,” junior Addison Erridge said. “Ticketmaster is just ridiculous with their pricing.”

The only way this unfair system can be stopped is if congress intervenes and passes legislation that will dismantle the control Ticketmaster, and Live Nation, has on the industry.