by Mike Masnick

Ticketmaster Decides The Richest Fans Will Get The Best Seats

from the is-this-good-or-bad? dept

Ticketmaster, realizing that they may be underpricing many of their concert tickets appears to be getting ready to make ticket selling much more of a market-based phenomenon. Instead of offering set pricing, they're now going to auction off their best seats to the highest bidders. I have mixed feelings on this. Already, the best seats do go for higher prices - which makes sense. Also, there's a brisk market in scalpers buying up the best seats and reselling them for huge profits - so it really is just a question of who gets to keep the profit. The downside, of course, is that the "best" fans are often unlikely to be the "richest" fans. Of course, this seems like an opportunity to me. It's still in the band's best interests to have its best fans get good seats (or it won't have many fans at all). So, why not reserve a portion of the tickets for those fans who have demonstrated themselves as loyal - such as members of a fan club.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 2 Sep 2003 @ 1:46am

    Think like a rich fella

    Rich people often buy seats around them, so that

    1. in case their friends come, or
    2. keep the rabble away

    Growing up in the Washington, D.C. area, there was the common knowledge that ambassadors of third world countries routinely bought out entire movie theaters to watch a movie, since they were so afraid of assassinations. There went all those dollars for the starving babies of the third world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wealthy Coward, 2 Sep 2003 @ 7:06am

    Good seating cost money

    I really didn't think that this was anything new. In the past few years I have paid outrageous prices for Elton John tickets and similar other such celebs. As these tickets were auctioned for charity I really did not care about the price and felt the investment was worth the outcome. If I can afford to pay more I have the right to the best seats. This also applies in restaurants, airplanes, hotels and other situations. I fail to see what is wrong with getting preferential seating based upon what I'm willing to pay.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Munich, 2 Sep 2003 @ 9:51am

      It's not wealth, it's choice

      I could probably easily outbid some teeny bopper (or her mother) for the next front row seat at Britney's concert, but that's not how I choose to allocate my personal resources. On the other hand there are probably fanatics of some group (Stones, whatever) that would be willing to allocate a large portion of their net worth to get the "life experience" of being up-close and personal just once with Mick.

      It's just supply and demand, and the seat should sell for whatever the market is willing to pay.

      I think the question is who GETS the value of the seat - the artist (which really makes the most sense), the ticket agent, or some scalper (who is providing a service to bring supply/demand into equialibrium).

      We know that "open seating" doesn't work since there always seems to be some trampling deaths when that happens. I specifically remember the Who concert way back when, but there seems to have been another few incidences when this happened.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    LittleW0lf, 2 Sep 2003 @ 3:53pm


    I already have a significant problem with TicketMaster (charging a hidden twenty dollar "convienance charge" on a thirty dollar ticket), and given their corporate mindset, this doesn't surprise me at all. Plus, online orders through them tend to be overpriced for the worse seats in the house anyway, so I don't see this as a big issue.

    However, I hope TicketMaster will provide the profits of such a venture back to the artist (though I know they won't.) There are already a number (and growing) of artists who will not sell tickets to their concert through TicketMaster, and there have been a number of lawsuits already against TicketMaster over ridiculous pricing schemes.

    With that all said and done, I recently went to the Blue Man Group tour in San Diego, and after talking with the woman over the phone at TicketMaster was told that we were getting a very good set of seats that were entirely unobstructed (and were paying a pretty good amount for them,) I was pissed off when I realized that "stage front slightly to the right" meant we were in the area about 40 feet above the stage and all the way on the farthest right portion of the venue, and our view was obstructed by speakers and curtains. Luckily, after the show started, the curtains dropped and the speakers were raised, and in reality, we did have really good seats, though I could have done without the anticipation and stress.

    For those above us, though, their seats were still obstructed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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