Ticket sales giant, Live Nation is introducing an “all-in pricing” experience, enabling prospective ticket buyers to know the full price before purchasing.
There’s a lot of debate and unrest in the ticketing world at the moment. Hidden fees and unfair pricing models have caused an outcry amongst fans, artists, and the touring industry. A new Live Nation ticket pricing initiative aims to solve some of the issues.
Live Nation Ticket Pricing Announcement
Last week (15th of June), Live Nation Entertainment revealed it would introduce an “all-in” ticket pricing experience for concert-goers. This came after President Joe Biden, in his State of the Union address, called out the ticketing giants for their “junk fees” back in February. His wish was for companies to do away with hidden fees, and disclose the full price of tickets upfront.
It wasn’t just President Biden who was vocal about their displeasure with the state of the ticket industry. On hearing this news, last week, National Independent Talent Organization (NITO) made a statement saying:
“We applaud President Biden’s announcement on ticket fee transparency as an important first step. NITO calls on all ticket sellers to clearly show fans the total price of a ticket up front but also provide an itemized breakdown so fans understand the ticket price set by the artist and the fees added by ticket sellers. Until Congress acts to eliminate excessive fees and secondary ticketing is carefully regulated, millions of consumers will still be the victim of predatory ticketing practices.”National Independent Talent Organisaiton (NITO)
Does the Ticket Industry Need More Change?
Whilst Live Nation, parent company of Ticketmaster, announcing it would be disclosing full ticket prices is a step in the right direction, many have been asking whether it’s a big enough step.
Last Thursday, Stephen Parker, the executive director of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), said that Live Nation’s move was indeed a step in the right direction, but should be part of a bigger overhaul.
“Upfront pricing should be the start of comprehensive ticketing reform that protects consumers from price gouging and deceptive practices by predatory resellers. Other needed reforms such as banning speculative tickets and deceptive websites would further protect consumers in the ticketing marketplace. We applaud the president for today’s meeting and look forward to working with his administration and Congress to make comprehensive, bipartisan ticketing reform a reality.”
Others have weighed in on this topic, questioning what an “all-in” Live Nation ticket really changes.
Ticketmaster & Live Nation Ticket Controversy
In the last 12 months, Ticketmaster has been at the centre of several controversies. The major story revolved around issues with tickets for Taylor Swift‘s Era tour in late 2022. Fans endured unbearably long wait times, and many fans were unable to buy tickets at all.
The key issue is the sheer market dominance of Ticketmaster and Live Nation over the event ticketing industry. According to Senator Amy Klobuchar, who chairs the US Senate committee on consumer rights, Ticketmaster is responsible for 70% of ticket sales in the US. This means that the company has huge control over tickets, and is able to inflate prices as it pleases. Klobuchar has referred to Ticketmaster simply as a “monopoly”.
Because of Ticketmaster’s dominance over the market, Senator Klobuchar stated that there is no pressure for it to innovate or improve. This leaves fans with no choice but to go through whatever rigmarole the ticketing tycoon has set up.
It is felt, generally, that Ticketmaster provides a dreadful consumer experience. Yet, music fans are left with very little option. They have no choice but to swallow excruciating waits, outrageous service fees, and stomach-turning resale prices.
Whilst it’s positive that higher-ups, including the president, have acknowledged the major issues around event ticketing, there is still a long way to go.
The Live Nation ticket experience leaves much to be desired, regardless of whether service fees are displayed upfront. Even with a breakdown of where these previously hidden fees are coming from, fans are still lumped with having to pay them. Until deceptive websites and speculative tickets are ousted, and fees stick to a reasonable level, the ticket industry will still remain far from fair or perfect.