TicketMaster + Live Nation = :( fans
After having spent a good portion of my life on the phone or internet trying to buy tickets from TicketMaster, a company that has been on the ‘Worst Companies in America’ list for years, I was really pleased to learn that Live Nation was pulling its business from TicketMaster and doing its own event ticketing service. The prospect of a choice made me wonder how soon the day would come when I could actually buy a ticket for a concert from the primary ticketing agent without a hassle! Alas, my dreams have been shattered as the Wall Street Journal reports that TicketMaster and Live Nation may merge.
This news is bad for consumers, but that will never matter. If it were bad for artists, you can bet it would never happen, but as long as it is only the fans who are getting shafted, well, so what? The problem is that TicketMaster is an old school corporation with a ‘stiff suit’ culture that has no interest in serving consumers. Though Live Nation is far friendlier to fans and is more progressive, TicketMasters size and management will surely screw this marriage in short order. As far as TicketMaster is concerned, the customer is the artist and promoters, the public is basically a second class citizen that has no choice but to deal with TicketMaster and its ridiculous fees. As exampled by their most recent snafu with Bruce Springsteen tickets where they basically re-directed people from the ticketmaster.com to ticketsnow.com (a high-priced ticket reseller owned by TicketMaster) the company is a self-centered abomination who was only motivated to apologize when Bruce Springsteen called TicketMaster out on its grave error.
Given the state of the economy and the fact that TicketMaster needs the ticketing business that Live Nation will return with the merger, we can expect that there is little chance this deal will cave. Once again, fans are literally left in the waiting line.