When The Best You Can Do Is Get Fake Facebook Fans, You Know You Have A PR Problem

from the get-some-help-please dept

Ticketmaster is widely considered one of the more hated companies in America, so it made a few people scratch their heads when they saw that Ticketmaster was near the top of the list in terms of the number of “fans” it had on Facebook. Valleywag points to an enterprising blogger who checked out who those fans were and noticed that many, many of the fans appear to be entirely fake creations. They have no picture, no other friends and they’re only fans of Ticketmaster. In other words, it looks like Ticketmaster is “stuffing the ballot box” in order to look more popular than it actually is. That’s pretty sad. Of course, as people in the comments note, it’s not so much that Ticketmaster created the fake fans themselves: they simply offered a promotion to give any “fans” five free iTunes downloads. So it looks like a bunch of folks set up fake Facebook profiles just to get those five free downloads — and Ticketmaster gets to “pretend” it has all these fans. Except, of course, now it just looks like a serious loser that has to pay for “fans” and gets a bunch of fake fans for its troubles.

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Companies: facebook, ticketmaster

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Comments on “When The Best You Can Do Is Get Fake Facebook Fans, You Know You Have A PR Problem”

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I Hate Ticketmaster says:

I Hate Ticketmaster

@Anonymous Coward – Surely you’re joking.

@Liam – You assume that going to the box office is an option for all venues. Not so if you want decent seats in the places that only open their box office on the day of the show.

Ticketmaster and their “convenience fees” can go to hell.

Yeah another AC whatever says:

Whats the big deal?

I have never understood the problem with TM. As far as I can tell they are simply a distribution service for venues and their prices are the “Box office” prices because in ost cases around here, they are the, and if it is not them it is another similiar smaller company.

The Ticket agencies that I have a problem with are the ones who buy up all the tickets and sell them for 2x+ face value, then charge you shipping to stick them in an envelope.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:


I hate TicketMaster as well.
They suck, that is all there is to it.
Like #7 said, if you want a PDF of your tickets so YOU can print them, they charge you an extra 2.50.
What the BS is that.

Not to mention over the last couple of years their “convenience fee” has grown crazily.
Come on, over 10$ PER TICKET to get it online?
Their overhead thanks to the internet is dirt freaking cheap compared to most other places, and yet they rape us.
In the case of a place like DTE in MI here, they also charge 3$ PER TICKET for parking, yet when you buy a bunch, you would think it would only charge once since I am driving the group anyways.
Lamest service ever.
And then you have to Race through their pages as you get an absolute maximum of 2 minutes to fill out any given page or they reset you back to start.
And yes, they really do have exclusive selling rights for plenty of venues. It is lame.

We should start a campaign against them to break up their exclusivity (that isn’t a word .. is it?) and come up with a cheaper alternative.

Danny says:

Re: TicketLoser

“I hate TicketMaster as well.
They suck, that is all there is to it.”

Here is my Economic Theory of Ticketmaster:

Although they technically don’t have a monopoly (as legally defined), they do have a functional monopoly or near monopoly for many shows. This permits them to set service (ahem, convenience) charges as they wish (some of their contracts with clients stipulate service charge rates.)

As we all know from basic micro econ, as the price goes up, demand goes down. If you think about it, if the price is set just below the point where a critical mass will refuse to pay it, the phenomenon we should see is that people will pay it, but they will bitch like hell.

So, when people write comments similar to the one I’ve extracted above, all this means to Ticketmaster is that they’ve got their service charge priced correctly.


There is actually more to it than this. The pricing is complicated because the industry deals are complicated. There are the acts, the promoters, and the venues. For any given show, some of those players have power, some do not.

A portion of the convenience charge gets contractually kicked back to one or more of those players. (There is nothing illegal about this kind of kickback, it’s just business.) And it is a way the powerful make more money.

Think of it like this: The acts want to look like good guys by having low ticket prices. Ticketmaster has a near monopoly, so it doesn’t matter how bad they look. So, we see a lower ticket price and higher service charge. Then Ticketmaster moves some of that money to the act (more likely to the promoter). Everyone (except the fan, of course) wins.

Caveat: I spent four years in the Ticketmaster corporate office in a previous life.

Powerkor says:

Its convenient. I don’t see a problem paying for it. Im sure they could charge less, but I know my tickets are there when I want them. Again, not a problem.

Stop whining about a few extra dollars.

As for the facebook thing, its not a big surprise… its been done before by walmart and other companies. Truthfully, who the hell is going to say ‘I’m a HUGE FAN OF WALMART’…. no one… No one considers buildings that hold services/products that way.

Like Walmart, Ticketmaster is a supplier. We use it because they offer something we want. One one is actually going to be a ‘fan’ of Ticketmaster… it makes no sense because no one cares about Ticketmaster, only the products they offer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ticket Master sets the ticket price for a lot of shows. Not the band/group/promoters. It goes like this, ticketmaster has exclusive rights to a venue, normally the more upscale large venues that groups would want to play at because of seat numbers. The promoter goes “We want to make X amount of money so we don’t go broke.” Ticketmaster looks at X amount and does some edge of the envelope math, will it sell enough to make X at all? If so, how much over X can they inflate the price by Y amount to get the final cost of Z. Z may be more than two times what the initial X was. So ticket master gets paid twice, once by you buying the ticket, and twice for the fees you pay to buy the ticket. Pretty nifty all said. The venue also gets paid twice. Once by the promoter of the show, and a second time by ticket master so they keep their exclusive monopoly of the venue. Its a slick system, and farking everything thats wrong with pure capitalism.

TheDock22 says:

Re: Re:

Ticket Master sets the ticket price for a lot of shows. Not the band/group/promoters.

Wrong, the band’s managers and promotions sets the price of how much the band is will to be paid for the show. The venue then sets how much each seat will cost, the more popular the band the more the price goes up because they know people will pay for the seats. The Ticket Master take the price per seat, adds their service fees for using their website, and that is your final ticket price.

Has no one else notice that the price TicketMaster lists is the price for the seats at the venue if you would actually go buy at the box office? They are, I buy tickets every year for various shows, sometimes at the box office other times at Ticketmaster because it is convenient for me (the closest large venue is an 8 hour drive away).

TicketMaster is not getting “double paid”. They buy a certain amount of tickets from the vendor (might be at a small discount) and then sell them and keep the service fee. I think people are exaggerating to make them seem like an evil company.

Personally I like TicketMaster. Like I said, being in the middle of no where with no venues that will pay for big bands it saves me a bunch of time driving. I would gladly pay the service fee for convenience.

Danny says:

Re: Re:

I do not believe very much of what you are saying is true, though some is.

The promoter is almost always the one with power in these relationships (except a very small or very new promoter; in which case the venue has the power.)

Ticketmaster hasn’t done back of the envelope (who knows what edge of the envelope means) since Fred Rosen was in charge many years ago.

Ticketmaster doesn’t get paid twice per event. Small houses may pay a fee to use Ticketmaster – it has a program for small venues that involves flat fees plus ticket fees. But big houses more likely are paid an inside charge FROM Ticketmaster to come on board (what you call the fee to keep the monopoly.)

Ticketmaster gets the convenience charge (per ticket) and service charge (per order) and maybe another transaction charge I don’t know about. For big houses, a fraction of that probably goes back to the house (or promoter).

Ticketmaster rarely (if ever) gets a cut of the base ticket fee.

I agree with you, it is a brilliant and slick system that arbitrages very well. But even with this system, Ticketmaster does not make money hand over fist. Stock price never did all that well. It’s a tough market with lots of fixed costs.

Danny says:

Re: What did you think the outcome would be?

This is an incorrect statement.

Paul Allen did own Ticketmaster for awhile. But he didn’t found the company (it was already large and successful when he bought it.)

To the best of my knowledge, he no longer owns a significant portion of it (but it is possible I am wrong on this point – I haven’t been tracking its ownership lately.)

Spike says:

Re: What did you think the outcome would be?

Complete and utter nonsense.

Ticketmaster is owned by Barry Diller. Anyone who has worked for Barry Diller knows what that’s all about and won’t buy from Ticketmaster.

Support local music. The bar takes the drink money and the band gets the door. More direct, more equitable, and Barry Diller gets nothing.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

No no no

Ticket Miser actually gave out 5 free itunes songs if you joined their group before they became a fan page (Music as a promotional tool, come on now, this is TechDirt!).

I am sure people just made up fake FB accounts to get more than 5 songs. I don’t think TM is behind all those fake accounts, I think enterprising young FB users are.

y8 says:

The real problem with Ticketmaster

The service fees (without any real service) is bad enough. The worst part of Ticketmaster is that they make it too easy for scalpers to screw the rest of us.

I haven’t been able to buy a concert ticket in Columbus at face value in 5 years. I wanted to take my 11 year old daughter to a concert of her favorite artist and it was sold out in 5 minutes. There’s no way I’m paying $200 a ticket to see a concert. And the Ticketmaster site was pointing me right to the scalpers.

Smells a little fishy to me.

Gunnar says:

I don’t know about you, but I love paying $15 for a $5 ticket.

Ticket Master sets the ticket price for a lot of shows.

No they don’t. They may offer consulting services to venues to help that venue decide what an optimal price would be, but that is not the majority service they offer.

Ticket Master are not the only online ticket company.

True, but it’s the only one many venues use. And since I live 2 hours from Philly and an hour from Baltimore, I can’t just drive to the venue when bands I like are in the area.

Stop whining about a few extra dollars.

It’s not a few extra dollars. It’s often 200% the cost of the ticket. $10 may not seem like much when you’re buying tickets to the latest crappy radio-hit band, but at smaller venues for regional or national underground acts, $5-$10 is what I expect the ticket to cost. And at small venues, I have no idea if a show is going to sell out. It only took getting burned once on a 3-hour drive to see how Ticket Master gets away with their prices.

What I don’t get is why the cheap alternatives like Missiontix and Ticketweb never get used.

Being in the middle of no where with no venues that will pay for big bands it saves me a bunch of time driving. I would gladly pay the service fee for convenience.

I’m in the same boat. And I don’t mind paying a reasonable fee. Ticketmaster’s fees aren’t reasonable. Not in any sense of the term.

anne (profile) says:

Fan of Ticket Master here

Several times in recent years, TM online has provided me with the chance to buy the best seats in the house. In my view, TM’s online site has leveled the playing field. No longer are the greedy whore ticket brokers able to grab up every single one of the best tickets to a particular concert.

If you sign up with a non-Ticketmaster fan club of your favorite musician, you can get tipped off to the dates and times that tickets go up for sale online, at least a day before they’re available by phone or to the general public.

None of these best seats in the house were free, but there’s a world of difference between paying TM $100 for a concert ticket plus the $8 service fee and the thousands of dollars that greedy whore ticket brokers charge for the same exact tickets.

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