Considering The Ticketfly Alternative

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Earlier this year, Merriweather Post Pavilion became the first major venue in the country to shift from using Live Nation/Ticketmaster for ticketing since the companies merged. As you might remember from April’s Phish onsales, MPP has started selling tickets through Ticketfly.com, just one of 50 venues that has signed on with the company since it was founded in 2008.Wired’s Epicenter blog profiled Ticketfly and it looks like this “david” may have a shot against the Live Nation/Ticketmaster “goliath.”


There are two groups that Ticketfly needs to win over – consumers and venue operators/promoters. By offering venue operators who are in competition with Live Nation a chance to keep business away from Live Nation, Ticketfly has been able to take advantage of the animosity surrounding the merger helping them to sign on the 9:30 Club, Brooklyn Bowl, Maxwell’s and the aforementioned Merriweather Post Pavilion as clients.  Live Nation/Ticketmaster contracts with venues expire all the time giving Ticketfly a chance to gain market share over the next few years.

Does using Ticketfly lead to lower prices for us ticket buying folk?  According to the AP, “Ticketfly boasts that its add-on fees are on average 40 percent lower than those charged by Ticketmaster, and that it has no charge for printing tickets at home.” One thing Ticketfly needs to work on is their ability to handle high-demand shows. We had a bitch of  a time getting on to the site when Phish tickets went on sale.

The ticketing landscape continues to evolve and despite what you might have heard, Ticketmaster/Live Nation isn’t the only player in the field. AEG and Comcast/Spectacor are in the ticket selling business, but unlike Ticketfly both of those companies own venues. Will Ticketfly’s focus on selling tickets and lowering service fees allow them to compete with the big boys? Reality says TM/LN has control of too many venues and has too much cash to lose much ground. Yet, if Ticketfly really cut fees by 40% without raising the base price, we sure hope more promoters and venues turn to them.

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6 thoughts on “Considering The Ticketfly Alternative

  1. Typhooie2002 Reply

    So what is 40% less than BatShine Crazy? I work for Brown Paper Tickets and our fees are 99 cents or $1.99. Period. Done. Plus, we offer better service to boot. However, I’m totally biased.

  2. Whitperson Reply

    good write-up scotty. despite their issues with Phish on-sales for MPP, Ticketfly is a great little competitor and it’s nice to see them continuing to get some good press. I feel like Inticketing and Brown Paper tix are other good alternatives, but aren’t getting as much attention is TF.

    Of course, they are still tiny in comparison to the other larger players and have a huge fight to win over any other major venues. The MPP switchover was a huge for TF, but Seth Hurwitz (MPP owner) has been one of the most outspoken indie venue owners of the LN/TM merger, so it wasn’t terribly surprising he made a big show of it.

    one of the key issues will be marketing reach. LNE now has enormous marketing power (mainly via email) and venues/promoters rely on it rather heavily. It will take some additional major venue contracts for TF to provide any useful competition, but I think we’d all like to see it happen. I am def. rooting for the little guys.

  3. Bob O Reply

    I live in DC and used Ticketfly many times since the 9:30 club is awesome and so many shows come through there. I will say the tickets came quick, the service charges were less and are reflected as to how much a ticket costs. A $40 ticket after fees and shipping turned into $50. An $18 ticket after fees and shipping was $25. So it is slightly cheaper, i personally like it because it is not TM/LN.

    It is better than the other major ticket outlets for sure.

  4. Muddy Reply

    Brown Paper Tickets are the best ticket source going these days. I’m just a concertgoer, and I go to more Brown Paper Ticket shows than any of the alternatives. It’s been 9 years since I went to a Ticketmaster event.

  5. Jay Reply

    I’m much less fond of Ticketfly with my latest experience: trying to purchase two tickets to a Futureheads’ show here in LA on October 6th (at the Troubadour).

    THE MATH: Ticket face value: $15. Two tickets mailed to my house? $40.38. That is an additional $5.19 charge PER TICKET, or an extra 34% fee per ticket. This is deplorable.

    Hopefully Brown Paper Tickets can take a proper stand (one that is moral and doesn’t fleece its consumer base). Don’t be fooled– Ticketfly is poised to become the next Ticketmaster.

  6. Bruce in DC Reply

    How can anyone say they’re prices are friendly? My $50 ticket purchase for the 9:30 club turned into $66. That’s 30% which is quite a convenience charge.

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