Industry News

Amazon could replace ticketing service charges with annual fee – report

Amazon could slash unpopular service fees for tickets and instead charge an annual membership fee, according to the latest reports about the internet giant’s entry into the ticketing sector.

The focus has fallen on the digital marketplace’s ambitions for the industry in recent weeks, with a Reuters report suggesting the company has been attempting to entice rights holders and venues from Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Other stories suggest Amazon may be pursuing distribution partnerships with the major ticketing companies, including Ticketmaster, rather than its own dominance of the market.

Now a Billboard report suggests Amazon’s plans could have a major effect on pricing and charging within the sector.

Billboard’s Dave Brooks wrote: “The company has discussed a pricing model that could slash typical service fees in exchange for an annual membership fee…a move that could impact promoters, venues and artists who rely on such charges and rebates as an important revenue stream.”

The company last week saw the departure of Amazon Tickets general manager Geraldine Wilson for “personal reasons”, just two months after Prime Live Events division head Jason Carter exited after just a month in the role.

There is a growing consensus that Amazon and Ticketmaster are in talks about a partnership, but it appears that stumbling blocks include the use of data. It is believed Amazon is reluctant to share information about its more than 80 million Prime subscribers, who outnumber the 70 million fans that attended Live Nation events last year.

However, Amazon’s involvement would ultimately prove advantageous for itself, ticket operators and artists as its marketplace could potentially ship tickets as well as CDs, streaming services and merchandise.

“We see a trend towards an open, non-exclusive market on the horizon,” Dan DeMato, president of industry consulting firm FutureTix, told Billboard. “There is a movement that is in its infancy that questions why a venue would want its tickets to be sold via one exclusive channel. Amazon has the consumer following and data to be a perfect tool to sell live entertainment admissions.”