You may have heard that the Department of Justice approved the merger between ticketing goliaths Ticketmaster and Live Nation this week. We here at TwentyFourBit are more than skeptical after having been gouged time and again for the privilege of printing our own tickets, but we’re in good company: Bruce Springsteen and Trent Reznor, among other Important People like Senator Charles Schumer, have both decried the merger.
Wait, I take that back, because Reznor’s camp has apparently changed its mind after Ticketmaster and Live Nation played nice with Reznor/NIN manager, Jim Guerinot (whose other clients include No Doubt and the Offspring): “I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of cooperation from them on fan-oriented programs to prevent scalping and lower ticket prices,” Guerinot told the L.A. Times. Okay, sure, but these anti-scalping measures remind me of that Chris Rock bit about congratulating yourself for something you’re supposed to do in the first place, you know, like trying to protect your customer base from scammers.
Oh, who am I kidding—it’s the economy, stupid! Guerinot continues:
If these two companies don’t survive, it’s all a moot point. If they do survive by merging, the question becomes, are they better equipped together to maintain a legitimate business model while creating a better opportunity for consumers. How is it going to be better for consumers? It has to be A) a business that is viable and B) one that grows the pot.
He goes on to explain (and I’m paraphrasing here) that by lowering ticket prices he can include more shows in smaller markets. More shows equals more fans equals more money spent equals thicker linings on the pockets of the ticketing companies, the bands and Guerinot himself.
Business is business, right? Fair enough, but can’t Ticketmaster and Live Nation (sorry, that’s Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. now) help us, the music-loving consumer, out a bit and not shock us with ginormous convenience and processing fees after we OMG!justgotperfectseatsandonlyhavethreeminutestobendoverandbuy!? Well, Live Nation is trying to do just that, in a very pathetic concession, by giving us “no service-fee Wednesdays.”
Really. I ask you, Live Nation, when tickets go on sale at 10:00 on a Saturday morning and sell out by 10:03, what good does your little Wednesday clearance sale do? (That’s of course rhetorical.)
Anyway. Final thought on the merger? Booooooo.