After selling out comedy clubs and theatres across the nation, famous comedian Matt Rife has announced his most extensive set of shows yet: the Problematic World Tour will encompass over 100 performances this year and next.
Dice will support this tour with ethical ticketing services that display all fees upfront in an attempt to restore trust in the industry and prevent overcrowding at events.
If you love live music, Ticketmaster is undoubtedly the ticketing service of choice for most events worldwide. But, many may be shocked to learn it’s also a notorious monopolist that charges exorbitant fees and doesn’t always make the right decisions when it comes to customer satisfaction – from website crashes and overpriced tickets, many reasons exist why people are calling for an antitrust investigation of both Live Nation Entertainment (which owns Ticketmaster) and itself (whose parent company it is).
Since 1982, Ticketmaster has experienced considerable growth through acquisitions and innovations that made life easier for fans, such as an automated ticket purchasing system that made buying tickets on the fly easier for customers. Seagram’s whiskey magnate Edgar Bronfman invested in Ticketmaster to boost expansion efforts; however, after experiencing setbacks due to competition on online ticket sales platforms – such as internet launches – its focus shifted toward selling tickets via this channel instead. By 1994, profits had skyrocketed, and its market cap had exceeded $200 million!
Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, purchased Ticketmaster in 1996 with plans to invest in various media-related projects – including an event magazine and one-stop entertainment shop – all the while hiring Rosen as CEO and targeting concert ticketing as an area with high-profit margins.
After experiencing rapid expansion for over a decade, Ticketmaster became the go-to ticketing platform for concerts and other events. Their success has allowed them to charge higher service and convenience fees – now reaching nearly 30% of ticket face values – yet critics claim that these charges do not justify themselves; instead, they represent compensation for Ticketmaster’s monopoly power.
Although Ticketmaster was involved with the Eras Tour debacle, many consumers remain supportive of its monopoly power. Many cite that concert promoters and artists cannot find viable alternatives to using them and that Ticketmaster must be held accountable if its service fails them; others even question a government antitrust investigation against it.
Resale ticket markets have quickly become an integral component of the concert industry, serving both fans and resellers to sell tickets at exorbitantly inflated prices. Fans regularly rely on these services, while resellers take advantage of this market by manipulating its processes to sell tickets at higher-than-market rates. Some of these sites operate in tandem with white-label websites that deceive consumers into thinking they are purchasing directly from an originator. Although efforts were made to protect consumers, ticket resale sites have continued to raise prices despite consumer protection measures, with significant players like Viagogo and Seatwave engaging in misrepresentations of themselves and charging high service fees that aren’t always clearly disclosed at checkout. This has led to calls for boycotting these websites; The Guardian Money recently tested some of these sites and discovered they can charge as much as 40% over face value for tickets sold through them.