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Live Nation/Ticketmaster to set about pricing changes

on May 13, 2010, 10:25am

Full disclosure: My cursory knowledge about the Business world goes little further than what I have gleaned from “The Office” and the one or two times I bought weed from a guy in college.

The Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger is still a hot point of contention between the new ticketing conglomerate and, well, everyone else. When the merger took place in January, no one had actually believed that it would bring down ticket prices and help out musicians and fans alike. But at the very least, today we’re seeing some change in the paradigm of the business of ticketing. Live Nation –after reporting that concert attendance was down 3% in the 1st quarter–  is looking for a way to bump those numbers, and Entertainment Chief Executive of Live Nation Michael Rapino believes that it comes in the form of dynamic ticket pricing as opposed to service fees.

The LA Times Music Blog took a look at some information disseminated during a conference call that took place after Live Nation’s earning report. Rapino states that, “Our fundamental belief at Ticketmaster/Live Nation is the answer to grow our business is less about trying to make $5 or $6 million in service fees off secondaries and much more important to figure out how to capture that $1 billion in up-sell on the face value of tickets.”  Those “secondaries” are brokerage sites, such as Ticketmaster’s own TicketsNow, who most recently was in the news for scalping and price gauging The Boss’ tickets.

“So,” continued Rapino, “whether it’s seat maps, dynamic pricing or just convincing the band that the front row is worth $400, not $100, we’re noticing a great reception by artists worldwide who would like to capture more of the upside, and our first goal is to figure out how to price the house right.”

To do that, Rapino plans to analyze at how tickets at venues are priced, and begin creating a wider variety of pricing for larger venues, claiming that this kind of pricing will benefit the artist directly and increase attendance at concerts.

In a related story, concert goers everywhere unanimously say, “Bullshit.”

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