Ticketmaster has told investors that it will be more transparent about extra fees added to tickets after multiple recent controversies.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster were the subject of a recent hearing in the US Congress which examined the issues with the ticketing market that contributed to a well-publicised fiasco relating to the pre-sale of Taylor Swift’s upcoming ‘Eras’ tour.
Tickets for the tour went on sale in November and saw thousands of fans reporting lengthy wait times, website outages, and hyper-inflated prices on resale sites (including Ticketmaster’s own). The ticketing company later admitted it buckled under the “historically unprecedented demand” they faced from Swift’s fans before cancelling the general sale.
President Joe Biden recently called on ticketing companies to limit such fees, often called “junk fees”, that are added to ticket prices which he said “can easily add hundreds of bucks to a family’s nights out”.
Now, according to Billboard, the President and CEO of Live Nation – Ticketmaster’s parent company – Michael Rapino said to investors on a recent call: “We all want to know what is the true cost to see the show when we start shopping, adding that he wanted transparent pricing to be “mandated tomorrow across the board” which would “relieve a lot of the stress [and] the consumer’s perception that there’s this magical extra fee added on.”
“We’ve got to now go out and do a much better job so policymakers and consumers understand how the business operates,” he added.
““We’ve historically not had a big incentive to shout out loud that venues are charging high service fees or artist costs are expensive. But I think now [that] education is paramount.”
Last month, Live Nation and Ticketmaster called on Congress to pass legislation that will target the secondary ticket market and penalise touts more harshly.
Amid current interest in their operations within US politics in recent months, the company gave a statement that set out five key proposals to improve the regulation of the ticketing business.
“If there’s any chance of improving ticketing for fans and artists, we all need to focus on the facts,” began Live Nation’s statement.
“In the last few weeks alone,” it went on, “we’ve submitted more than 35 pages of information to provide greater context and transparency to policymakers on the realities of the industry. “These include the fact that this industry is more competitive than ever, Ticketmaster has actually lost market share since the 2010 merger, not gained it; and that venues set and keep most of the fees associated with tickets and are increasingly taking an ever-larger share.”