Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc. is an American ticket sales and distribution company based in Beverly Hills, California with operations in many countries around the world. In 2010 it merged with Live Nation under the name Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV).
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
|Founders||Albert Leffler |
|Michael Rapino (CEO) |
Jared Smith (President of Ticketmaster North America)
Mark Yovich (President of Ticketmaster International)
Distribution of event tickets and information
Support of venue renovation
|Revenue||Sold 142 million+ tickets valued at $8 billion in 2007|
Number of employees
|Parent||Live Nation Entertainment|
The company's ticket sales are fulfilled digitally or at its two main fulfillment centers located in Charleston, West Virginia, and Pharr, Texas for both primary and secondary markets. Ticketmaster's clients include venues, artists and promoters. Clients control their events and set ticket prices, and Ticketmaster sells tickets that the clients make available to them.
Ticketmaster was founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1976 by Peter Gadwa, a computer programmer, Albert Leffler, a box office specialist, as well as Gordon Gunn III, Thomas Hart Jr., Dan Reeter and Jerry Nelson. The company originally licensed computer programs and sold hardware for ticketing systems before switching to computerized ticketing in 1982. Its first ticketed concert was Electric Light Orchestra, held at the University of New Mexico. By 1985 the company had moved to Los Angeles and was operating in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
In May 1994, the grunge band Pearl Jam filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice claiming Ticketmaster had cut the group out of venue bookings in a dispute over fees. The investigation was closed without action in 1995, though the Justice Department stated it would continue to monitor the developments in the ticket industry. Chuck Philips, a reporter who covered the issue, was told by sources close to the case that the investigation was closed due to a combination of a shortage of resources and the case being difficult and having uncertain prospects.
In 1998, USA Networks Inc., later named InterActiveCorp (IAC), purchased a majority stake in Ticketmaster. That same year, the company merged with CitySearch and was renamed Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch. In May 2000, Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch acquired TicketWeb Inc., a ticket vendor that sold tickets online and over the phone. In 2003, IAC repurchased the remaining Ticketmaster stock that it had previously sold off.
In September 2006, Ticketmaster President Sean Moriarty told NPR that Ticketmaster had lobbied several states to enact laws that would limit the ticket resale market to authorized companies. Economists worried these laws would harm competition, but Moriarty expressed the need to reduce corrupt scalpers and counterfeit tickets.
In January 2008, Ticketmaster acquired Paciolan Inc., a developer of ticketing system applications and hosted ticketing systems, after litigation over the potential breach of antitrust laws. Also in January, Ticketmaster acquired the UK-based secondary ticket marketplace, Getmein.com.
IAC spun off Ticketmaster as its own company in the summer of 2008. Later in 2008, Ticketmaster acquired Front Line Management, an artist management firm that worked with artists such as Aerosmith, Christina Aguilera and Jimmy Buffett. Front Line CEO Irving Azoff became CEO of the new company, which was renamed Ticketmaster Entertainment.
Live Nation merger
In February 2009, Ticketmaster entered into an agreement to merge with event promoter Live Nation to form Live Nation Entertainment. The deal was cleared by the U.S. Justice Department in January 2010 under the condition that the company sell Paciolan to Comcast Spectacor or another firm, and license its software to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), its biggest competitor. The new company, which would be called Live Nation Entertainment, would also be subject to provisions for 10 years that prevented it from retaliating against venues that partnered with competing ticketing firms. Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino was named CEO of the new company.
One year after merging, Live Nation settled a previous class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster which alleged that the company had misled plaintiffs in its descriptions of delivery and processing fees. In 2018, the United States Department of Justice began reviewing complaints by AEG that claimed the company had engaged in anti-competitive practices. As of April 2018, the Department of Justice hadn’t released comments on its investigation.
Growth and acquisitions
In 2015, Ticketmaster acquired Front Gate Tickets, a music festival ticketing service that provided services for festivals including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. The same year, the company acquired Universe, a DIY ticketing platform. In 2017, TicketWeb, Ticketmaster's self-service ticketing platform, acquired Strobe Labs, a marketing platform that allows users to market to fans through social media. In 2018, Ticketmaster acquired UPGRADED, a company that converts traditional tickets into secure interactive digital assets protected by blockchain, providing event creators with more control and visibility over ticket distribution, and protecting fans against fraudulent tickets.
Products and services
Ticketmaster sells tickets that its clients make available to them. In 2009, Ticketmaster released a digital ticketing system that required customers to prove their identity prior to purchase. The company believed this would help circumvent brokers and scalpers.
In 2016, Ticketmaster released a statement in favor of the Better Online Ticket Sales Act (BOTS Act), which banned the use of ticket bots to buy large amounts of tickets online and resell them at inflated prices. The following year, the company filed a lawsuit against the ticket broker Prestige Entertainment after the company used bots to buy more than 30,000 tickets to the Broadway play “Hamilton".
- Service charge – Ticketmaster's charge for its service.
- Facility charge – Charge added by the venue.
- Shipping, convenience and processing charges – Charges added dependent on the ticket delivery method and credit card processing fees.
Fee amounts vary between events and are dependent on the venue, available delivery methods, and preferences of the artist. Some economists and activist groups have claimed that high ticket prices are due to a lack of competition within the music industry.
A class action lawsuit was filed against Ticketmaster in 2003, alleging that it did not fully disclose UPS and order processing fees added to tickets sold online. The case settlement was approved in 2015 and Ticketmaster issued vouchers and discount codes to fans who purchased tickets online between 1999 and 2013. In a related case, Ticketmaster filed suit against its liability insurance carrier, Illinois Union Insurance Company, a subsidiary of ACE Limited (NYSE: ACE), in 2010 for failing to aid in its defense in the 2003 suit.
In 2013, the jam band The String Cheese Incident gave fans money to purchase 400 tickets to one of its shows in order to resell them on its own site with fewer fees. The band said they were protesting Ticketmaster's ticket fees, while Ticketmaster argued that the band was taking revenue from venues and promoters.
In June 2019, Ticketmaster was fined $3.4 million by the Competition Bureau (Canada) after it was determined that Ticketmaster Canada’s online and mobile app tickets topped advertised costs by more than 20% due to added fees. In addition to the required payment, Ticketmaster signed a consent agreement to ensure its advertising policies abide by Canada law.
In a 2009 article by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Ticketmaster argued that legislation was needed in Ontario to protect fans from scalpers and unauthorized ticket brokers saying, "You and I both know there is a thriving ticket-broker industry ... so the law is really a fiction ... We very strongly feel the law needs to be modernized to reflect the reality of internet commerce. By keeping a price cap in place, you're really just driving the [resale] business into the shadows.” That same year, musician Bruce Springsteen complained of a conflict of interest between Ticketmaster and TicketsNow after fans were directed to TicketsNow once tickets to his concert sold out on Ticketmaster.com. Irving Azoff, Ticketmaster CEO at the time, released an apology and stated that the TicketsNow link would no longer be shown for Springsteen’s concerts.
In September 2018, the Toronto Star reported that Ticketmaster was not enforcing ticket limit rules on its resale platform, TradeDesk. Ticketmaster denied the allegations, saying it would examine its resale policies on TradeDesk, and that it “never allows ticket scalpers to buy tickets ahead of fans.” One month later, a group of customers filed a class action lawsuit against Ticketmaster.
Ticketmaster launched TicketExchange in the United Kingdom in August 2018. In 2013, Ticketmaster quietly began rolling out Ticketmaster Plus, the company's resale platform, bringing the secondary market and primary market together on Ticketmaster. As of 2018, Ticketmaster was the No. 2 market for ticket resales.
In July 2019, Ticketmaster received media attention when it was determined that the band Metallica worked with Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s parent company, to place tickets directly on the resale market instead of selling them at face value through Ticketmaster.
In June 2018, Ticketmaster notified 40,000 U.K. customers that it had identified a hack caused by malicious software on a third-party customer support product it contracted. The company stated that customers who bought tickets between February and June 2018 may have had data compromised.
Ticketmaster has partnerships with venues, professional sports leagues, musical acts and theatre tours in the United States and internationally. Ticketmaster has partnered with musical acts such as Taylor Swift, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and theatre productions such as Hamilton and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Ticketmaster has been the ticketing provider for the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 2008, Ticketmaster entered into an agreement with the National Football League (NFL) to manage its resale market on NFL TicketExchange.
In 2017, Ticketmaster announced it would open the TicketExchange platform to allow the sale and validation of tickets on third-party websites, including StubHub. Ticketmaster has also partnered with the United States Tennis Association, Tennis Canada, and the PGA Tour.
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