Talks have stalled between Amazon (AMZN) and Ticketmaster, that would have made AMZN a ticket distributor for the Live Nation (LYV) subsidiary. AMZN found success selling tickets in Europe, but has been unable to crack the U.S. market with Ticketmaster (LYV) controlling 80% of all seats through a series of exclusive contracts. That dynamic has forced the retail behemoth to work with Ticketmaster, as opposed to competing against them. While Amazon’s reluctance to share consumer purchase data remains the biggest sticking point, fundamental differences remain. AMZN wants to drive Prime memberships by shopping tickets to the best shows, while Ticketmaster is looking for a partner to help unload the 40-50% of tickets that are typically unsold.
Howie Long-Short: There is simply no advantage for a venue/team to distribute tickets through a single channel. As existing contracts expire, look for an open, non-exclusive ticketing marketplace. That isn’t great news for LYV.
Fan Marino: A $200 face value ticket to Thursday’s U.S. Open has $33 in fees. In a non-exclusive ticketing marketplace, you could pay an additional $66 for the year, get all the benefits of being a Prime member and not pay another ticketing fee for 12 months. This needs to happen.