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Live Nation Considers Ticket Price Cuts

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation is considering reducing the price of admission for concerts. As concert tickets start to price some buyers right out of the market, Michael Rapino is hoping to change that.

"Seventy percent of people didn't go to a concert last year, and even the average concert fan only attends about two shows a year," Rapino told the L.A. Times, "We can grow this industry by lowering prices."

Ticket prices have shot up in the last few years, with average prices hovering around 60 dollars and companies like Ticketmaster have been a significant factor in these price increases. Fees and surcharges can add as much as 30 percent onto the price of a ticket which often doesn't include the price of parking. Ticketmaster alone pulled in nearly a billion dollars in additional charges last year. Presently, Ticketmaster provides exclusive ticketing services to all Live Nation venues across the US but their contract is up for renewal in 2008 and Live Nation could shift the business to their own in-house ticketing. Ticketmaster would stand to lose upwards of 130 million dollars a year in profits if their contract was not renewed.

Moving ticketing in-house would only be one of the options open to Live Nation. Currently, Live Nation collects half of the additional fees that Ticketmaster tacks on. Live Nation could reduce their slice of that pie and reduce ticket prices accordingly.

Another issue is the customer data that Ticketmaster collects. The data is useful in a variety of product positioning techniques and Rapino is reportedly intending to attempt to garner more control over Ticketmaster's data, according to the Times. Additionally, Live Nation is starting to accumulate its own database. The data could be used to target customers for particular shows, ring tones, DVDs and other add-on products.

"When a fan buys a ticket, we learn an enormous amount about them: What bands they like, where they live, how much they are willing to spend," Rapino told the Times. "Someday, a fan will be sitting in a bar and his cell phone will text message, 'Sonic Youth are playing tonight. Do you want to go?' He'll buy his ticket over the phone and walk to the concert." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers.