Artists, live music industry
The secondary ticket market (or scalping, or dynamic pricing, “lateness tax” or whatever you want to call it, basically the re-sale of tickets at marked up prices by one method or another) was much discussed at ILMC (see our news pages from the ILMC) and one on which Trent Reznor has had a lot to say too writting a long rant on the issue making some very interesting claims about how some promoters, managers and maybe even artists are using the secondary market themselves so they can make more money from ticket sales without being seen to hike up prices too much with Reznor sayiong “The ticketing marketplace for rock concerts shows a real lack of sophistication, meaning this: the true market value of some tickets for some concerts is much higher than what the act wants to be perceived as charging”. Because artists don’t want to come across as “greedy pricks” by charging higher prices, he claims, “the venue, the promoter, the ticketing agency and often the artist camp (artist, management and agent) take tickets from the pool of available seats and feed them directly to the re-seller … there is money to be made and they feel they should participate in it”. He adds: “I assure you nobody in the NIN camp supplies or supports the practice of supplying tickets to these re-sellers because it’s not something we morally feel is the right thing to do. We are leaving money on the table here but it’s not always about money. Being completely honest, it IS something I’ve had to consider. If people are willing to pay a lot of money to sit up front AND ARE GOING TO ANYWAY thanks to the rigged system, why let that money go into the hands of the scalpers? I’m the one busting my ass up there every night. The conclusion really came down to it not feeling like the right thing to do – simple as that”. Reznor adds that it is this growing practice that explains why the secondary ticketing market has been able to grow despite opposition from some in the live sector. He argues that big players in the legitimate market – Live Nation and Ticketmaster in particular – “could have (and can right now) stop the secondary market dead in its tracks by doing the following: limit the amount of sales per customer, print names on the tickets and require ID / ticket matches at the venue. We know this works because we do it for our pre-sales. Why don’t THEY do it? It’s obvious – they make a lot of money fuelling the secondary market. Ticketmaster even bought a re-seller site and often bounces you over to that site to buy tickets!” Of course, Live Master and Ticketmaster are very involved in the upcoming Nine Inch Nails/Jane’s Addiction, but Reznor says, despite his feelings about secondary ticketing and those companies failure to tackle the issue, he has no choice but to work with them. “In the past, NIN would sell the shows in each market to local promoters, who then ‘buy’ the show from us to sell to you. Live Nation happens to own all the amphitheatres and bought most of the local promoters – so if you want to play those venues, you’re being promoted by Live Nation. I fully realize by playing those venues we are getting into bed with all these guys. I’ve learned to choose my fights and at this point in time it would be logistically too difficult to attempt to circumvent the venues / promoter / ticketing infrastructure already in place for this type of tour. For those of you about to snipe ‘it’s your fault for playing there’ etc. – I know it is”.