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Bands and Ticketmaster Wrangle Over Rules for Fan Club Sales

Monday, November 2, 2015   (0 Comments)

New York Times (10/04/15) Sisario, Ben

Ticketmaster recently unveiled an overhauled system to musicians' managers for handling services such as VIP packages and early ticket sales, but some managers are balking at its rules for these programs, with special emphasis on how many tickets artists can make available to fan clubs. Some managers complain Ticketmaster has lately been flouting the longtime practice of permitting acts to sell 8 percent or more of the tickets to events through fan clubs by enforcing obscure rules about what constitutes a fan club. Cited by complainants are such requirements as an artist's website needing to have a chatroom, which they claim makes little sense in the social media era. "The ultimate goal for Ticketmaster is to bring those fan club tickets onto their platform to have Ticketmaster sell your fan club tickets for you," says Underoath band manager Randy Nichols. Although fan club ticket sales represent a very small fraction of income, Ticketmaster and Live Nation are making aggressive moves to dominate such expanding markets. Live Nation may find addressing the issue of the fan club sector to be within its interests, in view of a growing direct-to-fan service provider rivalry and a push to repair Ticketmaster's reputation as a frustrating experience for clients. Some artists' representatives say they favor other companies' management of direct-to-fan services because they have more flexibility and customer data and can be more effective.


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