Ticketmaster pretends to care about the customer, but in reality nothing they have done in their entire history has ever lowered ticket prices to the public. This despite the huge scale of its operation, which should provide some cost efficiencies. It is a corporation, after all, and its reason for being is to squeeze every penny it can out of the shrinking wallets and pocketbooks of the people who attend live performances.
The fact that this ravenous corporate sponge has not made any inroads into the Berkshires is one reason our music, theatre and dance organizations are so much healthier than those other places who have to cede a large portion of their potential revenues over to “service” and “convenience” and “on line ordering” fees. These can amount to one third of the price of a ticket.
Over the years they have dreamed up new excuses for charging ticket buyers more, and today, they announced a doozie. It’s dynamic ticket pricing, and it is based on the way airlines sell tickets – raising prices as the seats become fewer. What they want to do is to cut the scalpers out of the mix, and grab their profits, too.
Under the dynamic ticket pricing scheme, from the first moment tickets go on sale they will watch the sales and if the demand seems high, raise prices, and it stays high, raise them more, until the price reflects the maximum people will pay. In theory, if there is slack demand, the prices will come down.
I wouldn’t count on that happening often.
Under the “dynamic pricing” system, tickets to major shows and sporting events will be priced according to consumer interest. If an event is in high demand, initial prices for desirable seats will increase, while harder-to-sell tickets will see price cuts. The new approach is designed to ensure that scalpers don’t inflate prices by snatching up the best seats and reselling them for a profit, according to Ticketmaster Chief Executive Nathan Hubbard.
It’s all a complicated business, but the bottom line is extracting more money from the public. In the past few years we have read of the decline in the demand for concert tickets. Tours have been cancelled, and the number of offerings has declined. Part of that is the loss of a large segment of the audiences for live events who have stopped attending due to the double whammy of higher ticket prices, and ever-higher service charges.
Ticketmaster, and Live Nation who owns them, they’re killing the business.
But just read their PR release to see how they make it seem they are the best friend the ticket buyer and entertainment business ever had.
Apart from the standard ticket price, you can select from the following delivery options: $19.50 for two day delivery, $14.50 for three day delivery, or $25 for Saturday delivery — that’s for a bookmark-size piece of paper that weighs under an ounce, including envelope.
The Ticketmaster Announcement
LOS ANGELES, April 18, 2011 Ticketmaster, a Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. company LYV, today announced a partnership with MarketShare, the leading cross-media analytics company, to develop a suite of sophisticated dynamic pricing tools to help clients set and adjust prices for their live events. The unique demand forecasting tools and next generation pricing engine will allow sports teams, artists, promoters, and venues to better understand the value of their ticket inventory throughout the entire ticketing process – both prior to, and during the onsale. The company will begin rolling out its products for select leagues and venues, including Live Nation amphitheaters, this year.
The suite of pricing tools will be one of the signature offerings of Ticketmaster’s recently launched new venture LiveAnalytics, a Ticketmaster company. LiveAnalytics is focused on utilizing the company’s global fan data resources to develop rich data analytics products that provide clients with holistic fan insights aimed at improving ticket sales.
“At Ticketmaster we have been relentlessly focused on improving the fan experience and giving our clients amazing tools to sell more tickets,” said Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Ticketmaster. “Efficient pricing is one of the most important and untapped opportunities to unlock value for fans, clients, artists and teams. Our partnership with MarketShare adds to our unparalleled combination of data and analytical resources that inform our clients on the true value of their tickets, while giving them the flexibility to rapidly respond as that value fluctuates over time.”
MarketShare, which also shows companies where and how to drive demand across all media, sales, price and distribution decision points based on predictive analytics, is comprised of some of the world’s leading marketing scientists, and has developed world-class demand forecasting models used globally by companies in every business vertical, including entertainment companies such as Hollywood studios and videogame companies. MarketShare has served eight of the top ten global brands as well as more than half of the Fortune 50.
“We are excited to work with Ticketmaster and help them usher in a revolution in pricing live events,” noted Jon Vein, Co-founder and CEO MarketShare. “Dynamic pricing has been a goal of the ticketing business for a long time and now, with MarketShare’s powerful analytics platform and software products, we’re proud to be revolutionizing the industry with Ticketmaster. Leveraging our combined resources, we will bring science to live entertainment ticket pricing for the first time by providing Ticketmaster’s clients with the tools they need to make truly informed sales and marketing decisions. MarketShare’s core strength is taking inefficiencies out of business environments, thereby creating substantial value to its clients, and this is a perfect application of that ability.”
Mr. Hubbard continued, “By utilizing MarketShare and Ticketmaster’s technology, our clients will be able to retain economic value that is normally siphoned off by the secondary market, and to sell more of their tickets that go unsold today. Meanwhile, more fans will have more opportunities to enjoy live entertainment events because tickets will be more accessible and pricing options will broaden.”
Since the beginning of the year, Ticketmaster has been actively working with four professional sports teams and Live Nation’s concert business to develop a range of data analytics products that take a holistic approach to ticket demand analysis. Ticketmaster plans to roll out its dynamic pricing tools for the MLB, NBA and NHL and concert tours. The company also has future plans to develop a tool for arts and theater. Additionally, Ticketmaster will offer initial pricing functionality across those segments.
The tools will use a wide range of data sources, from historical ticket sales to search and video activity and social media data, allowing clients to see a snapshot of meaningful data that would be otherwise impractical to track.
About Live Nation Entertainment:
Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s leading live entertainment and eCommerce company, comprised of four market leaders: Ticketmaster.com, Live Nation Concerts, Front Line Management Group and Live Nation Network. Ticketmaster.com is the global event ticketing leader and one of the world’s top five eCommerce sites, with over 26 million monthly unique visitors. Live Nation Concerts produces over 20,000 shows annually for more than 2,000 artists globally. Front Line is the world’s top artist management company, representing over 250 artists. These businesses power Live Nation Network, the leading provider of entertainment marketing solutions, enabling over 800 advertisers to tap into the 200 million consumers Live Nation delivers annually through its live event and digital platforms. For additional information, visit http://www.livenation.com/investors.
MarketShare is an analytics company that enables businesses to grow efficiently by uncovering which actions really drive results. Founded in 2005, MarketShare has a track record of ground-breaking innovations in data, modeling and software and has worked with over half of the Fortune 50. MarketShare’s platform provides a combination of technology, data, modeling and business intelligence solutions that lead to improved decision-making for businesses. For more information, please go to: http://www.marketshare.com; follow us on twitter@marketshareco.