Flat-Rate Ticket Pricing On The Horizon


>Live Nation Commits To All-In Ticketing, White House Says

(Source: JR Lind – Pollstar)

Live Nation will transition to an all-in ticketing system by September for events at its venues and festivals it owns, the Biden Administration announced Thursday morning. In addition, Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster will offer an all-in option for all other tickets sold on the platform.

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A Ticketmaster sign hangs on the wall at what was then FTX Arena ticket window on November 18, 2022 in Miami. The Justice Department is reportedly investigating the parent company of Ticketmaster for possible antitrust violations. News of the investigation broke days after Taylor Swift concert ticket sales overwhelmed the Ticketmaster system. Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images

In essence, the move will allow consumers to see the total cost of a ticket up front, a change President Joe Biden has pushed for since announcing his war on so-called junk fees in January’s State of the Union address.

“President Biden has been working to lower costs for hardworking families by bringing down inflation, capping insulin prices for seniors, and eliminating hidden junk fees,” said National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard in a written statement. “More companies are heeding the President’s call so that Americans know what they’re paying for up front and can save money as a result.”

The announcement comes ahead of a White House roundtable with representatives of numerous companies frequently associated with the fees that steamed the president (and many consumers). The companies at the meeting are already using all-in pricing or, like Live Nation, have committed to doing so, including not just Live Nation, but also SeatGeek, xBk, Airbnb, the Pablo Center at the Confluence, TickPick, DICE and the Newport Festivals Foundation.

SeatGeek says it will roll out all-in features throughout the summer, the White House says.

“Live Nation is proud to provide fans with a better ticketing buying experience,” Tom See Live Nation’s president of venues, said in a statement. “We’ll continue advocating for innovations and reforms that protect that amazing connection.”

Live Nation’s commitment and the White House meeting come in the post-Swiftian environment in which lawmakers at both the state and federal level have vowed to reform the ticketing business legislatively. The reaction has taken many different — and often contradictory — forms, as, for example, some states seek to protect the secondary market and others try to push back against it.

NIVA executive director Stephen Parker says the White House meeting is a good first step, but more reform is needed.

“Up-front pricing should be the start of comprehensive ticketing reform that protects consumers from price gouging and deceptive practices by predatory resellers,” he said in a statement. “Other needed reforms such as banning speculative tickets and deceptive websites would further protect consumers in the ticketing marketplace.  We applaud the President for today’s meeting and look forward to working with his Administration and Congress to make comprehensive, bipartisan ticketing reform a reality.”

NITO chimed in with its support as well.

“We applaud President Biden’s announcement on ticket fee transparency as an important first step. NITO calls on all ticket sellers to clearly show fans the total price of a ticket up front but also provide an itemized breakdown so fans understand the ticket price set by the artist and the fees added by ticket sellers. Until Congress acts to eliminate excessive fees and secondary ticketing is carefully regulated, millions of consumers will still be the victim of predatory ticketing practices,” the group said in a statement.

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