LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — After the recent Ticketmaster flap that saw Bruce Springsteen tickets sell out almost immediately on Ticketmaster, only to quickly reappear on their secondary market affiliate Ticketsnow for hundreds above face value, many in the public and press have been calling foul on scalpers. Well, what happens when the scalper in question is the artist themselves?
In a recent blog posting, Nine Inch Nails founder Trent Reznor talked about this and other issues surrounding the proposed Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger.
"The venue, the promoter, the ticketing agency and often the artist camp (artist, management and agent) take tickets from the pool of available seats and feed them directly to the re-seller (which from this point on will be referred to by their true name," Reznor wrote on his blog. "I am not saying every one of the above entities all do this, nor am I saying they do it for all shows but this is a very common practice that happens more often than not. There is money to be made and they feel they should participate in it," he added.
Reznor maintains that NIN doesn't participate in the reselling of tickets to his own shows.
"NIN gets 10% of the available seats for our own pre-sale. We won a tough (and I mean TOUGH) battle to get the best seats. We require you to sign up at our site (for free) to get tickets. We limit the amount you can buy, we print your name on the tickets and we have our own person let you in a separate entrance where we check your ID to match the ticket." Reznor said
Trent has been a vocal critic of the music business in the past and goes on in the post to take a shot at predicting the future. Reznor foresees a day when Ticketmaster/Live Nation dispense with set prices for seats and instead, fully integrate the primary and secondary market by offering market-driven variable pricing for event tickets.
"My guess as to what will eventually happen if / when Live Nation and TicketMaster merges is that they'll move to an auction or market-based pricing scheme – which will simply mean it will cost a lot more to get a good seat for a hot show. They will simply BECOME the scalper, eliminating them from the mix." Reznor wrote.
According to Reznor, Ticketmaster could do much to stop what he sees as problems in the secondary market with a few simple changes.
"They could have (and can right now) stop the secondary market dead in its tracks by doing the following: limit the amount of sales per customer, print names on the tickets and require ID / ticket matches at the venue. We know this works because we do it for our pre-sales. Why don't THEY do it? It's obvious – they make a lot of money fueling the secondary market." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers