General Question

jca's avatar

How and why did Ticketmaster get a monopoly on ticket selling?

Asked by jca (36043points) April 1st, 2013

I was just looking to purchase concert tickets and when I went to the site of the casino where the concert is taking place, it directed me to Ticketmaster for ticket purchase.

A family member was recently purchasing tickets for a local circus and same thing: even though the circus was local and at the County center, the tickets had to be purchased thru Ticketmaster with a surcharge of about $15 per ticket (“facility fee” and “convenience fee”).

When purchasing 2 or 3 tickets, you’re talking $30–50 total, just for fees.

How did it get that we’re beholden to Ticketmaster?

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7 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

It is the inevitable course of Capitalism.

bookish1's avatar

I don’t know, but I hate those bastards.

elbanditoroso's avatar

How? They bought out all their competitors. They are a monopoly.

Why? TO make a profit.

Why hasn’t the Consumer Bureau gotten involved? People are generally happy with the convenience and they feel the money paid is worth it.

glacial's avatar

You can still buy at the box office for less. You’re paying for a convenience that your venue doesn’t want to provide – hence the opportunity for a company like Ticketmaster to thrive. I almost never buy through Ticketmaster, because I think they charge too much simply for convenience. Just put a little more effort in, and don’t submit to their rules. They only succeed because we let them.

CWOTUS's avatar

There’s no conspiracy about this.

All event tickets are ultimately held by the event promoter or the owner of the venue. In the cases you’ve described, the promoter / owner has determined that they will have Ticketmaster be their sales agent. They could have selected any other agent (if any exist) or attempted to sell the tickets themselves (which, as @glacial suggests, they may do at their own box office at the time of the event or slightly in advance of that). It is unlikely in the extreme that they would attempt to give the ticket-selling franchise to two or more competing entities at the same time. Just thinking of the logistical nightmare that could ensue, with the possibility of multiple sales of the same seat for the same performance, is enough to make one’s head hurt.

This isn’t so different, really, from many other types of sales, including travel tickets (where even though many agents may sell tickets, they centralize all sales in one database), or homes. In the case of home sales, many agents may promote or display the home, but the selling broker is the one who actually represents the seller, and makes the sale on that person’s behalf.

Event tickets just haven’t gotten to that level of sophistication yet where multiple ticket agents can offer or “appear to” sell the same thing through a common database.

XOIIO's avatar

What about moviephone? lol

El_Cadejo's avatar

I love the fact that a lot of the bands I listen to seem to be sick with ticketmaster as well and sell the tickets directly from their website.

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