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.