Amazon Tickets may give Ticketmaster needed competition


A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I devised how to go about buying tickets to a Kanye West concert. The show was scheduled to be in Brooklyn, a day before New Year’s Eve. We knew competition would be abundant to get such tickets, nonetheless we planned it: We analyzed different scenarios and used the prices from the pre-sale tickets available to calculate how much money we would need and how to go about getting good seats. I gave my friend money that he deposited into his bank account to purchase our tickets (I had class so I could not buy my own).

A minute or so after the start of the pre-sale we were going to buy tickets from, I received a text from my friend. Due to some disconnect between Ticketmaster’s previous pricing info and our calculations, tickets were $10 more than we had anticipated—my friend was unsure how much money was in his checking account and he started freaking out that we were about to be a couple dollars short of buying already expensive tickets due to unplanned service fees. Long and dramatic story short, he ended up getting tickets and much to our dismay West cancelled his tour last week (My friend and I are getting refunded, on the bright side).

However, this is a scenario far too common for concert goers and music lovers: Getting tickets to see one of your favorite artists is more difficult than necessary, and in part that is because, more often than not, Ticketmaster is the only ticket marketplace to get tickets from. So if you cannot get tickets via Ticketmaster and the show sells out, your options grow limited to 1) Not going or 2) Second-tier marketplaces such as StubHub.

This may change, soon.

Rumors surfaced early last week that Amazon will be expanding its ticket marketplace—Amazon Tickets—service in Europe and potentially the U.S.

Although no outlet I have read has gotten comment or confirmation from Amazon, yet, if this is true it is a great initiative for concerts and for music lovers. It is unbelievable that Ticketmaster practically holds a monopoly over almost all major tours’ tickets and expanded that power when it merged with Live Nation in 2010 to form Live Nation Entertainment.

Any big company, in this case Amazon, that can water down the market that Ticketmaster holds by increasing competition will be a least a step—not sure if it will be forward or backward—toward making tickets more accessible to fans.

Hopefully the move will make it more difficult for scalpers to buy broad amounts of tickets (That they then capitalize on from die hard fans) and ultimately offer fans more than one option when devising plans to go to a concert, starting with the initial step of acquiring tickets to the concert.

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons