Monday, August 29, 2011

TicketMasters: How the Public Got Scalped

I just finished this thorough explanation of the volatile and often-times illegal business practices the TicketMaster/Live Nation conglomerate and its progeny use to rake in dollars at the expense of live music fans.  Budnick and Baron's analysis of "secondary ticketing" (otherwise know as coordinated scalping) is equal parts eye-opening and sickening.  

The large portion of the book explaining how ticket brokers like StubHub, ViaGoGo, and the like are able to skirt anti-scalping efforts and earn hundreds of millions of dollars from buying up good seats early and selling them at premium prices is only slightly less aggravating than its revelation that TicketMaster (and certain artists) have historically partnered with scalpers to turn a larger prophet. 

Hit the jump to read the book's press release:

Ticket Masters chronicles the as-yet-untold story of the modern concert industry, revealing the origins, development and ongoing strategies of companies such as Ticketmaster, Live Nation and StubHub and the efforts of numerous independent competitors. With over 100 exclusive interviews along with many previously unreleased documents, this character-driven book explores the actions and impact of the iconoclasts guiding these companies while folding in related tales of scalping syndicates, old-school music promoters and would-be Internet tycoons along with the bawdy business decisions of such world-renowned groups as the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam and the Rolling Stones.

Like no other previous book, Ticket Masters sheds light upon the complex relationships between artists, promoters, ticketing agents and the public. Whether it's Michael Cohl nabbing the Stones from Bill Graham, Ticketmaster's defeat of Pearl Jam or the silent efforts of music superstars to mark up their ticket prices for complicit websites, Budnick and Baron examine the pivotal developments that have shaped the industry as we know it.

Yet, Ticket Masters is also a personal story for the millions who purchase tickets, as it addresses the often-asked (but unanswered) questions: How and why do concerts sell out so fast? Why do service fees vary on tickets to the same event? Why isn't Ticketmaster considered an illegal monopoly? Is it worth joining a band's fan club to qualify for a pre-sale? How do ticket broker websites like StubHub get all their tickets? And (deep breath), just how did ticket prices get so high, anyway?

No comments:

Post a Comment