Ticketmaster and Live Nation forge unholy alliance
Because concert-going still isn't quite pricey enough for us
Concert scalper Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation have agreed to merge.
Live Nation started life as a promoter of big concerts - Coldplay, Madonna, U2, Jay-Z are all signed to Live Nation. It does some business as a more traditional music label as well as running stadium gigs.
Ticketmaster scrapes a living by adding service charges, booking fees, handling charges and credit card fees to ticket prices for concerts and other live events. The company turned over $339m in the third quarter of 2008 and made a gross profit of $123m.
Neither company confirmed the deal, revealed by the Wall Street Journal. But it is likely to worry regular concert goers and could also worry regulators - the merger gives the new firm a stranglehold on certain kinds of live music.
Joe Cohen, Founder and CEO of Seatwave, the UK's largest fan-to-fan ticket exchange, said
The combination of Live Nation and Ticketmaster will create a company that controls over 70% of the UK ticketing market, the country's largest music promoter and management of over 200 of the world's top artists. Neither party has suggested how this tie-up in any way could be in the interests of fans.
Such an entity could easily control prices and supply in the market, crowd out other promoters and stifle innovation in a sector that sits in the centre of the UK culture. This deal will most certainly mean that we will see increased prices on tickets and job cuts in both companies.
Cohen is not the only one who opposes the deal. Bruce "The boss" Springsteen recently said any such merger would be bad news for fans.
Ticketmaster is also under investigation in Canada for allegedly diverting tickets to scalp sites which resell them at inflated prices. ®
No really, who cares?
Can't we just see the latest band down the local gym?
Since it costs absolutely nothing to make records, there should be an unlimited supply of artists playing the nearest dive bar - who needs those greedy "Rock Stars" anyway?
LiveNation confirm merger with Ticketmaster!
MusicWeek issued the story this morning, LiveNation are confirmed to have agreed a $2.5bn merger with TicketMaster.
Actually, it'll come to about $3.7bn once you've added on the booking fee, convenience charges, and card handling fee.
Mine's the one with the Springsteen tickets in the pocket.
Support the other venues.
Back before "tribute bands" when local groups did their own interpretations, it was often very disappointing to finally see the headline act and find out that they were not as accomplished as the local musicians or the best part of the track was a local impro. I may still stroll down and see a local band in a local pub, but the headline bands are put on locally in large venues that add their extortionate fees to the already extortionate ticket price so would I fork out for a headline band or act often to find lip syncing! - very unlikely.