Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Online Sales Make Hot Tickets Harder to Get

Two years after the repeal of New York State’s decades-old anti-scalping laws, the ticket marketplace has become a fiercely competitive game in which major corporations compete over resale prices with the fan next door, scalpers have a Washington lobbyist and thousands of tickets disappear in a fraction of a second.

After lobbying by ticket brokers to decriminalize reselling in the Craigslist era, many states in addition to New York have lifted restrictions on scalping, and large corporations have embraced what is called the secondary market for tickets, like eBay, which owns StubHub. New York’s scalping laws were softened in 2005 and have been suspended since 2007, allowing tickets for most large events to be resold at any price.

Once bought by telephone or at box office windows, tickets for concerts are now mostly bought online, pitting ordinary consumers against a network of professional scalpers who use ever more sophisticated technology to scoop up large numbers of tickets in a flash. “Presales” deplete the supply by offering early tickets to fan-club members. To see the hottest shows, fans must keep track of presale schedules and authorization codes (which are sometimes even auctioned on eBay), and coordinate friends and family members in multicomputer strategies for shows in danger of a quick sellout.

NY Times


At 4/01/2009 10:28 AM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

In this age of Twitter, You Tube, Facebook, Instant Messaging and e-Harmony it is somewaht reassuring that the live experience can be so much in demand. The ultimate experience for the entertainment consumer is not the I-Pod Shuffle but I Can't Wait to Go and See ___!
The Entertainer has to be careful not to alienate his or her audience with a rigged ticket system.

At 4/01/2009 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, the rudeness of crowds and the greed of promoters have permanently turned us off from concerts. We've paid for up-front seating and been shocked when security allows the people in the back to converge at the stage.

At 4/01/2009 3:23 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> it is somewaht reassuring that the live experience can be so much in demand.

There is a reason why The Grateful Dead, along with other bands (Phish comes to mind) openly allow concerts to be recorded, yet TGD continued to be the #1 or #2 concert draw for a decade until the passing of Jerry Garcia: There is no substitute for the Live Experience.

As band member John Perry Barlow put it in "The Economy of Ideas" fifteen years ago: True, I don't get any royalties on the millions of copies of my songs which have been extracted from concerts, but I see no reason to complain. The fact is, no one but the Grateful Dead can perform a Grateful Dead song, so if you want the experience and not its thin projection, you have to buy a ticket from us. In other words, our intellectual property protection derives from our being the only real-time source of it.

In a similar vein is the reasoning of Peter Gabriel:

I have worked with musician Peter Gabriel on several projects. At a workshop we were holding for AT&T he was asked, 'How do you deal with piracy of your albums?' Gabriel said, 'Oh, I treat it as free advertising. I follow it with a rock concert. When they steal my albums in Indonesia, I go there and perform.' Now that stands the whole relationship on its head.
- Peter Schwartz -

At 4/02/2009 8:49 AM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

However, it is nice that tickets are actually available to such events. Yes I may have to pay double to go to my Phish concert if I buy it from stub-hub BUT at least I can get one if I so desire (legally).

In my opinion the problem with tickets these days is that a single company (Ticket Master) has damn near a monopoly on the Market. I am going to a concert tomm and the ticket had a price of $15 but the fees brought it up to $25!

At 4/04/2009 5:12 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This is one more reason why anti-scalping laws need to exist.


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