Welcome to Rye Country Day's Economic Blog. Here you will find perspectives by students taking Economics at Rye Country Day School. It is meant to be a forum where students can openly express their ideas and take positions on relevant economic issues. I urge everyone to participate in presenting their own ideas in an open manner so that we can all learn from each other. Regardless of whether you are currently taking Economics, everyone is invited and encouraged to comment on articles and get involved. Feel free to e-mail me, Alex Osborne at alexander_osborne@rcds.rye.ny.us , with comments or suggestions.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Featured Entry - Ticketmaster's Monopoly

TicketMaster is a problem. Ticketmaster is an automated capacity distibuter program for venues and arenas during shows and games. While on one hand very convenient, it is also strong reminder of why monopolies are no good. Last week, i purchased a ticket to a show in New York City that cost 20$ at the door. To secure my ticket, i decided to purchase it on ticketmaster. Instead of just giving me a 20$ ticket, they gave me a $20 ticket, a $6 convenience charge, $8 processing fee, and charged me $2 to print it out of my own printer. this brought my ticket to a grand total of $36. At a grand total of 36 dollars, it was almost twice the cost of the ticket. TicketMaster is making almost as much money as the cost of the band. this shows how a monopoly like ticketmaster has arbitrary control of the price of the ticket distribution service. At it's very best, the ticket distribution industry can be called an oligopoly becuase of services like LiveNation and Fidelity tickets. But the power of ticket control is still weilded and abused by these few.

-Louis DeSantis


Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

I agree. However, Ticketmaster as an oligopoly or even monopoly is better than the majority of alternatives. Second hand sites such as StubHub and Ebay have also become popular for ticketsales. However, they too have inflated prices. There are numerous ticket agencies as well, but sometimes they charge 2 or 3 times the original ticket price. So it seems the best (in way of ease) and most affordable service available at the moment is ticketmaster. And though the prices look out of proportion (because they are compared to any price at the door), they are reasonable in comparison to prices on other less hassle-free sites.

joshua Miller-Frankel said...

I hate ticketmaster for a few reasons. First of all if you want to see any major concert in the tri state area you have to go through ticketmaster. They tack on as much as 20 dollars a ticket in service charges and printing fees. This is ridiculous considering the price of tickets all ready. Also, 20 bucks to print a ticket is ridiculous, however you cant go to a show and avoid these fees. I think ticketmaster needs to be taken down. I know Pearl Jam tried to go on tour a few years ago without going through ticketmaster and they couldnt because i think ticketmaster makes deals with pretty much all the big venues and also won the decision against pearl jam in court. Honestly the best way to get tickets is go to the venue the day of the show and hope someone needs to get rid of a ticket asap.

Andrew said...

Personally, I wouldn’t consider TicketMaster a monopoly, as many other companies are in the same business. StubHub, for example, is a very successful service that offers ticket sales, and even has formal relationships with 8 NFL teams, 4 NBA teams, 2 NHL teams, and 15 NCAA schools for sporting events. Of course, TicketMaster may be at the top of the list, but unlike something like the Madden NFL video games (its publisher, EA Games, bought out the rights for the NFL as well as ESPN, so no other professional football video games can be put on the market), other services can and do exist and succeed. If, however, this was a monopoly in the sense of the word, that could lead to problems, as more people would simply buy tickets straight from the teams just to resell them, leading to losses in profit by the teams, forcing prices of tickets to rise. This could (though I don’t believe it will) lead to potential issues with the countless fans who could just as easily watch games at home for free, since teams lose a lot of money for every empty seat at a game.

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