Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ticketmaster is an Evil Monopolist and "Restrictive Paperless Ticketing" Will Give It Even More Power

From Fan Freedom Project: "We, the fans, own the tickets that we buy. That’s the way it’s always been, and the way it always should be.

But Ticketmaster, venues and sports teams want to change that. They want to use a new ticketing technology called restrictive paperless tickets to limit what we can do with our tickets.

Paperless tickets sound convenient. But in truth, they’re a nightmare for fans. Here’s two videos that explain how they work":

Here are FAQs about Restrictive Paperless Tickets.

MP: It's pretty amazing that many artists (Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Michael Buble, etc.) must be so blinded by their hatred of market-based ticket prices, ticket scalpers, and secondary ticket markets, that they now support anti-fan, anti-market, restrictive paperless tickets and Ticketmaster's evil attempt to completely monopolize all ticket sales (primary and secondary)! As I have argued before, for artists or their managers to complain about ticket scalping is really to acknowledge their faulty under-estimation of fan demand, and the blame should therefore be directed at the band for under-supplying tickets to its performances, not towards the greed of secondary ticket brokers.


At 8/11/2011 8:02 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

there oughta be a law?


At 8/11/2011 9:29 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Airlines have similar policies of non-transferable e-tickets and they do have their advantages (can't lose them, not easily stolen), but they also do suck. On the other hand, the airlines are much, much smarter about pricing. They actually price flights based on demand, and raise and lower prices based on whether the passengers are buying up the seats or not. If ticket-sellers were actually smart about pricing, the secondary market would be all but eliminated. Combining non-transferable tickets with under-pricing just means shortages.

At 8/11/2011 11:31 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

The market will take care of it.

I think you're already seeing people moving away from these types of artists, and more towards local artists in venues that don't have such draconian policies. There are always a few exceptions of course, but these are mostly the huge acts that already charge enough for tickets that re-selling isn't a big "problem".

The big labels might be suffering, but music as a whole is healthier than ever.

At 8/11/2011 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa, whoa, it's "evil" now for somebody to simply control how they allow people to access their work? I actually think it's a dumb idea but if they feel they have the power to do it, that's up to them. Ultimately, it's similar to DRM for digital content, where the big boys use it to lock up their big-budget stuff while smaller artists don't, because they want more of their stuff out there. The same seems to be happening with tickets and I think market competition will simply drive these non-transferable tickets and DRM out of the market over time. But let's not go overboard with the epithets: you might attract the attention of that nitwit Schumer and his ilk, passing idiotic laws that will just fuck the situation up worse.

At 8/12/2011 7:58 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

i agree with sprewell.

i think this is a stupid policy for artists and venues and think it clearly decreases the value of a ticket, but this is a free country.

a ticket is a contract.

a seller can offer it at terms and pricing of their choosing.

if you don't like it, don't buy.

there is no justification to legislate. just because you don't like the terms of an offered deal hardly makes it permissible for buyers to force the government to step in and force them to terms the buyers want.

these same people demanding such intervention would go nuts if the government tried to tell them for what price or with what conditions they could sell their home or car or co-op.

At 8/12/2011 8:11 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" there is no justification to legislate"

so who supports the anti-scalping legislation - the buyers or the original ticket sellers?

Even Amtrak these days bumps the ticket price on the runs with more demand...

but I don't think security is the real reason why I can't buy 10 tickets from Delta and stand in the concourse scalping them to desperate travelers. I think the airlines themselves support the regs to restrict that.

At 8/12/2011 9:03 AM, Blogger stevem said...

i have season tickets to a sports team and regularly sell tickets to games I can't attend online. if the team instituted these kinds of tickets i'd drop the season passes because I couldn't afford to eat the price of games i can't attend.

At 8/12/2011 9:08 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


a non refundable ticket costs less than a refundable one.

this is as it ought to be. the latter is more valuable.

by the same token, a non resellable asset will be worth less than a fungible one.

it's not clear to me why airlines would prefer to have to sell less valuable tickets.

it may give them better last minute pricing, but i have doubts about how that would net out.

but the same is not true at all of tickets to concerts.

popular ones sell out immediately.

i actually see no good economic reason for venues to choose this pricing model.

but i think you are missing the point.

the real question is not "is it a good idea", but rather: "why should we allow government intrusion into private contracts?"

no one's rights are being violated.

a venue offers you a proposition, you can take it or leave it.

"it would benefit me" is not a valid reason to abridge someone else's freedom.

At 8/12/2011 10:33 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

Morg - I actually agree with you but was pointing out that business is also in the business of asking for laws - to enhance their interests - at the expense of buyers interests.

In other words - business - the same ones who often complain about regulations.. themselves seek them.

A good example is limits on lawsuits.

At 8/12/2011 10:49 AM, Blogger George said...

Undersupply tickets, or underestimate price.

At 8/12/2011 12:00 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


i'm not sure limits on lawsuits is a good example of what you are referring to.

one could just as easily (and perhaps more accurately) describe that as businesses trying to protect themselves from laws like class actions that have run wildly amok.

i think a better example is licensing.

you get he state to require a "beauty license" to paint nails and keep your competition low.

certainly, many incumbents seek to create a moat around their business through legislation, but i'm not really sure what that has to do with the discussion on ticket sales.

At 8/12/2011 12:20 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Morg - in a "true" "free market" - the govt does not "protect" the sellers any more than the buyers and if you are alleged to have harmed someone what is the justification of the govt being involved in the price?

my point is that more than a few of the laws and regulations are ones that the business interests themselves have sought....even as they complain about the ones that the public has sought...

The Nuclear Power industry is another good example.

they want limits on their liability so what does the govt do?

the govt puts risk on citizens rather than the company and their investors.


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