Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reznor Predicts Ticket Auctions on the Primary Market

NIN's Reznor has predicted that a TicketMaster LiveNation merger may imply more than just hanging on to ticketing rights to approximately 30% of the venues on TicketMaster. According to Reznor: "My guess as to what will eventually happen if/when Live Nation and TicketMaster merges is that they'll move to an auction or market-based pricing scheme -- which will simply mean it will cost a lot more to get a good seat for a hot show," he wrote. "They will simply become the scalper." (Reuters)

This is an interesting observation and a "silent auction" ticketing method has been used for the major reunion of Led Zeppelin. There are still some hurdles to overcome though including on site ticketing, PSL's, and Season Ticket waiting lists. However, it does appear that such a merger would allow certain major acts to choose how their tickets are sold for tours in multiple venues.

I'm not really sure if this is a boon for consumers. Setting aside a certain number of tickets for such a silent auction while upholding traditional ticketing methods such as direct box office sales and online cues may actually be better for the average user. However, a complete silent auction based system would seemingly limit a consumers ability to buy tickets offline.

It also establishes true market value fairly quickly, albeit for a limited snapshot time. Auctions could easily drive down the price of tickes for unpopular concerts as well as put some tickets at a premium students and young people, who may be willing to sit in line, are unable to afford, potentially aleinating core fans. A silent auction system will likely cut the price differential between primary and secondary tickets.

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