|Founded||October 2, 1976|
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
|Founders||Albert Leffler |
|Michael Rapino (CEO) |
Mark Yovich (President of Ticketmaster Global)
Amy Howe (President of Ticketmaster North America)
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|
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. 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. In 1982, Fred Rosen convinced Jay Pritzker, the co-founder of the Hyatt hotel chain, and his family, to invest millions to expand the company, including switching to computerized ticketing. 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. Under Rosen, the company moved into publishing and set up a travel agency and acquired rival Ticketron in 1991, making it the market leader.
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. And finally, in that same January, Ticketmaster acquired TicketsNow, a ticket reseller in the United States, for $265 million.
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.
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 which converts physical tickets into digital ones, utilising blockchain.
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".
The company reported nearly 500 million tickets sold for 400,000 events in 2018.
In November 2020, Ticketmaster announced it will check the COVID-19 vaccination status of ticket buyers before issuing passes when live events return in 2021. Fans that either failed to verify their vaccination status or tested positive would be denied access to the event.
- Facility charge – Charge added by the venue.
- Delivery fee – Charges added dependent on the ticket delivery method and credit card processing fees.
- Service fee – Sum of charges added based on the "agreement with each client (artists)" and the order processing fee. Ticketmaster "may earn a profit on the order processing fee".
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.
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.
Criticism and controversies
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 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 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 had not released comments on its investigation.
As of 2016, ticket resale was Ticketmaster's fastest growing business.
Rewards program monthly fees
In May 2013, Ticketmaster agreed to pay up to $23 million for enrolling customers into a rewards program that charged $9 per month. Ticketmaster made $85 million in fees, from customers who took about eight months on average to cancel their enrollment in the program. 1.12 million customers were eligible to claim up to a $30 refund.
Secret scalping program
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.
In July 2019, a report by Billboard revealed a strategy by Live Nation, Ticketmaster's parent company, to secretly bypass placing certain tickets for sale on the primary market and instead, place them directly on resale sites "without giving fans a chance to buy them through normal channels at face value."
The company acknowledged it has "facilitated the quiet transfer of concert tickets directly into the hands of resellers through the years, though only at the request of the artists involved."
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.
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, in 2010 for failing to aid in its defense in the 2003 suit.
In June 2019, Competition Bureau (Canada) fined Ticketmaster $4.5 million Canadian dollars ($3.44 million US dollars) as part of a settlement after it was discovered that Ticketmaster "topped advertised costs by more than 20% -- and sometimes as much as 65%." In addition to the required payment, Ticketmaster signed a consent agreement to ensure its advertising policies abide by Canadian law.
Competitor computer hacking
In December 2020, Ticketmaster "entered into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors" and agreed to pay a $10 million fine after being charged with illegally accessing computer systems of a competitor. According to FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Williams Sweeney, "Ticketmaster used stolen information to gain an advantage over its competition, and then promoted the employees who broke the law." The allegations were first reported in 2017 when a former CrowdSurge top executive hired by Ticketmaster hacked into his former employer's database.
Ticketmaster has partnerships with venues, professional sports leagues, musical acts and theatre tours and target corporation 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.
- Pelofsky, Jeremy; Adegoke, Yinka (25 January 2010). "Live Nation, Ticketmaster merge; agree to U.S. terms". Reuters.
- "The Ticketmaster Racket". Stuff They Dont Want You to Know. 2019-05-02. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
- Lewis, Christina S. N. (2007-11-23). "Ticket Master's Place". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- "Rival to Ticketron : Ticketmaster Emerging as Force in L.A." Los Angeles Times. 1985-01-31. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- Sandler, Adam. "Industry's #1 has a ticket to rule". Daily Variety. p. 17.
- "Ticketmaster". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- "Ticketmaster Deal To Get Ticketron". February 28, 1991. p. 4 (section D). Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- "MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER PAUL ALLEN BUYS CONTROL OF TICKETMASTER". Chicago Tribune. November 22, 1993. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
- Reuters; Reuters (1998-03-24). "USA picks up Ticketmaster". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Bicknell, Craig (1998-08-13). "CitySearch Joins Ticketmaster". Wired. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Orwall, Bruce. "Ticketmaster Buys TicketWeb In Bid to Diversify Offerings". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Hansell, Saul (2003-05-06). "TECHNOLOGY; USA Interactive Is Acquiring LendingTree in Stock Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Davidson, Adam. "Ticketmaster Targets Secondary Market". NPR.org. NPR. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- Yahoo! Business Form 10-Q for Ticketmaster Archived December 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- White, Dominic (29 January 2008). "Ticketmaster moves into UK concert resales". Telegraph.co.uk.
- Smith, Ethan (2008-01-15). "Ticketmaster Buys Major Reseller". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "IAC to spin off ticket seller". 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Buskirk (2008-10-23). "Ticketmaster Acquires Majority of Front Line Management". Wired. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- "Ticketmaster takes stake in Front Line". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Live Nation and Ticketmaster Agree to Merge New York Times. 10 February 2009.
- Sisario (2010-01-25). "Justice Dept. Clears Ticketmaster-Live Nation Merger". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- "Live Nation to buy Ticketmaster". Reuters. 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- "Live Nation to Pay $22.3 Million to Settle Class Action Suit Against Ticketmaster". Billboard. 27 January 2011.
- "Ticketmaster Acquires Festival Ticketer Front Gate". Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Ellisngson, Annlee. "Ticketmaster buys marketing platform to help clubs engage with fans".
- Ticketmaster. "Ticketmaster Acquires Blockchain Ticketing Solution UPGRADED". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
- "How To Avoid Online Ticket Sale Fees". 2017-07-11. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "Ticketmaster tries to cut out scalpers again – Business – Retail – NBCNews.com". 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2013-10-10.
- "President Obama Signs Anti-Scalping Bill Into Law". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- Maddaus, Gene (2017-10-02). "Ticketmaster Says Bot Army Bought 30,000 'Hamilton' Tickets". Variety. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- Aswad, Jem (28 February 2019). "Live Nation Posts Another Record Year, Revenue Up 11%". Variety. Archived from the original on 18 February 2021. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
- CBSLA Staff (2020-11-12). "Ticketmaster To Verify COVID Vaccination Status Of Fans Before Issuing Concert Passes". losangeles.cbslocal.com. Archived from the original on 2021-04-15. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
- Roberts, Randall (2009-03-04). "Ticketmaster and Servants: Bands Get Cut of Service Fee". Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Conaway, Laura (2009-09-02). "The Economics Of Ticketmaster : Planet Money". NPR. Retrieved 2013-10-10.
- "Ticketmaster's new blog: 'We get it -- you don't like service fees'". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Sisario (2012-05-15). "String Cheese Incident Takes On Ticketmaster". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- Ticketmaster Help, "How are ticket prices and fees determined?". 2021. Archived.
- Randall. "Angry About Tickets? Here's Who To Blame".
- Sisario, Ben (2012-05-15). "String Cheese Incident Takes On Ticketmaster". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- "News". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2013-10-10.
- Philips, Chuck (1994-06-08). "Pearl Jam vs. Ticketmaster: Choosing Sides : Legal file: The pop music world is divided over the Seattle band's allegations, which led to a Justice Department investigation into possible anti-competitive practices in the ticket distribution industry". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- Philips, Chuck (1995-07-06). "U.S. Drops Ticketmaster Antitrust Probe : Entertainment: Abrupt closure of investigation lifts cloud of uncertainty over firm, catches others in industry off guard". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- Blumenthal, Ralph (1995-07-06). "U.S. Ends Ticketmaster Investigation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 11, 2021. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- Philips, Chuck (9 June 1992). "A Tangle Over Tickets : Ticketmaster, Target of Lawsuits, Says It Offers Broad Service". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Philips, Chuck (June 17, 1995). "COLUMN ONE : The Ticket King's Path to Power : As Pearl Jam just learned, Ticketmaster's Fred Rosen gets what he wants. His tactics have earned him some foes, but even critics admit he has transformed the industry. Now he's eyeing new realms". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Philips, Chuck (June 8, 1994). "Pearl Jam vs. Ticketmaster: Choosing Sides : Legal file: The pop music world is divided over the Seattle band's allegations, which led to a Justice Department investigation into possible anti-competitive practices in the ticket distribution industry". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- Philips, Chuck (May 17, 1991). "Ticket Flap: What Price Convenience?: Entertainment: A host of service fees, surcharges and taxes is riling concert-goers--and lawmakers". LA Times. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- The Canadian Press (January 2, 2009). "Ticketmaster says pricey resale tickets protect consumers". CBC News. Archived from the original on March 7, 2009. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
- Knapton, Sarah (2009-02-05). "Bruce Springsteen 'furious' at Ticketmaster". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- Kreps, Daniel (2009-02-04). "Bruce Springsteen "Furious" At Ticketmaster, Rails Against Live Nation Merger". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
- Sisario, Ben; Bowley, Graham (1 April 2018). "Live Nation Rules Music Ticketing, Some Say With Threats". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 25 May 2021 – via NYTimes.com.
- Cookson, Robert (13 March 2016). "Live Nation calls for more aggressive ticket pricing from artists".
- "Ticketmaster agrees to pay up to $23 million to customers in lawsuit". The Associated Press. Los Angeles. May 16, 2013. Archived from the original on June 5, 2021. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
- "Ticketmaster Has Its Own Secret 'Scalping Program,' Canadian Journalists Report". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
- "Ticketmaster Responds to Senate Letter Investigating Resale Controversy: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
- Wang, Amy (2018-10-01). "Ticketmaster Faces Class-Action Lawsuit After Scalping Report". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-05-02.
- "Secretly Recorded Phone Call Offers Window Into How Live Nation Helped Metallica and Other Artists Place Tickets Directly On Resale Market". Billboard. 19 July 2019.
- "Ticketmaster data breach: Thousands of customers may be affected". Which?. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "Ticketmaster admits personal data stolen in hack attack". BBC News. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "Ticketmaster admits user data was stolen in breach". Sky News. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "The Ticketmaster breach – what happened and what to do". naked security by SOPHOS. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "The Ticketmaster hack is a perfect storm of bad IT and bad comms". Wired. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "Ticketmaster warns Australian customers of possible data breach". Computerworld. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "Chat bot opens door to Ticketmaster payment card hack". CSO Online. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- Karp, Hannah (2014-06-03). "Ticketmaster Agrees to Tentative Settlement".
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-07-30. Retrieved 2016-07-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Ticketmaster LLC Locks Horns with ACE Group Company Over Errors and Omissions Coverage". 13 January 2011.
- Bliss, Karen (28 June 2019). "Ticketmaster Canada Settles Deceptive Pricing Lawsuit for $3.4 Million". billboard.com. Billboard. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021.
- Moghe, Sonia (30 December 2020). "Ticketmaster to pay $10 million in fines after admitting to illegally accessing competitor's computers". CNN. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021.
- Goodin, Dan (2021-01-04). "Ticketmaster admits it hacked rival company before it went out of business". arstechnica.com. Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2021-04-16. Retrieved 2021-01-06.
- Maddaus, Gene (27 February 2017). "Ticketmaster Accused of Hacking Rival Firm's Database". Variety. Archived from the original on 13 May 2021.
- Maddaus, Gene (2017-10-02). "Ticketmaster Says Bot Army Bought 30,000 'Hamilton' Tickets". Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "Ticketmaster To Use Next-Generation Venue Software For The NFL". 2017-10-18.
- "Scottish Comic Beats Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran in Ticketmaster UK Fan Vote For 'Ticket of the Year'". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "Ticketmaster Will Once Again Be the Official Ticketing Partner of SMG's UK Venues". Amplify. 2018-04-30.
- "Taylor Swift announces massive 2018 'Reputation' tour". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "Exclusive: Trans-Siberian Orchestra announces 20th-anniversary winter tour". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- Fierberg, Ruthie. "How to Buy Tickets to Broadway's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two".
- "Guarding The Gates: NHL Signs Multiyear Extension Of Deal With Ticketmaster". Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "NBA Renews Ticketmaster Deal for Two Years". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "StubHub Inks NFL Deal for Digital Tickets, Ticketmaster Integration". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "New Tech Offerings This Year At The US Open". NY Sports Day. 2018-08-26. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- "Rogers Cup goes digital with Ticketmaster". TheTicketingBusiness News. 2018-08-08. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
- Brasier, John (25 July 2017). "Wyndham Championship announces deal with Ticketmaster, new tier pricing". Retrieved 13 June 2019.