Archive for August, 2009
Back in the US summer of 2007, before Ticketmaster and Live Nation started to try and push through a merger, Irving Azoff when he headed up Front Line Management launched another monopolistic venture called “Project Showtime” which included Ticketmaster, AEG Live, MSG and ticket brokers.
The aim was to acquire six regional ticket brokers and “crush Live Nation” which was motivated by Live Nation’s break from Ticketmaster to lauch its own ticketing system.
“There was even a test run in the fall of 2007, according to numerous people with knowledge of the matter. Up to 500 of the best seats to each of about 20 concerts by Van Halen, the veteran hard-rock band managed by Mr. Azoff, were pulled from the Ticketmaster system and passed directly to the brokers being considered for acquisition.“
“The brokers kept 30% of the marked-up sale price for themselves, and the remaining 70% was divided among Ticketmaster, the band and its handlers. The band netted an extra $1 million, at least, from the arrangement, according to people familiar with the matter.“
Festival Fringe society appointed Pivotal Integration to create a new ticketing system last year. The “liquid box office” was “suspended the day after it went live, tickets were sent out late and popular shows were overbooked. The system was replaced by one created by ticketing company Red61, extra staff were hired, and by mid-August Pivotal had gone into administration.“
“Everybody knows that the implementation of a new box office was not a success and that’s why we have worked very hard to restore the confidence of our performers, stakeholders and most importantly our audience in our ability to run an efficient and cost-effective box office.” Fringe spokesperson.
I always thought that cost-effective was very similar in meaning to efficient? I think that many of their problems came back to a ticketing system that lacked effectiveness and an ineffective decision process in its selection.
As Philip Drucker says “effectiveness is doing the right thing and efficiency is doing the thing right. No amount of efficiency will make up for a lack of effectiveness.“
“INVESTIGATIVE accountants have found that promoter Kevin Jacobsen’s collapsed company, Arena Management, used money from advance ticket sales to help fund its day-to-day operations.“
“By the end of October last year, Arena had used $418,748 in advance ticket sales money and deposits to fund its operations. This was “in breach of the Code of Practice for Ticketing of Live Entertainment Events in Australia”, published by Live Performance Australia, of which Arena is a member.”
“Three companies were interested in buying the lease: Ticketmaster itself, AEG Ogden — the Brisbane-based arm of the international AEG group, whose worldwide interests include management of Acer Arena in Homebush — and the American company, Live Nation.”
“Ticketmaster was the first to withdraw, last March. The following month, Arena Management’s executive chairman, Michael Jacobsen, resigned. AEG Ogden withdrew in July, followed by Live Nation.”
“… participation, actually making music, is more important to inculcating an appreciation of classical music than passive attendance.“
“Building audiences for classical music has been a concern for several generations now, and many ideas have been put forward.
But the clearest advice is found in a 10-year study sponsored by the John S. and James Knight Foundation and published in 2006. Titled ‘Magic of Music Final Report: The Search for Shining Eyes,’ by Dr. Thomas Wolf, the study followed 15 symphony orchestras over the decade from 1994 to 2004. This longitudinal study, though about orchestras, would apply to opera just about equally.
Among the critical findings were the following:
a) There is no evidence that exposure programs for children — especially the large concert format offerings for school children — will turn them into ticket buyers as adults.
b) There is growing evidence that participatory music education — primarily instrumental lessons, ensemble and choral programs — will turn people into ticket buyers later in life.“
Former MD of Live Nation believes a merger with Ticketmaster would be bad for music fans and would bump up ticket prices. Stuart Galbraith was giving evidence at the Competition Commission in the UK.
“A company that would have that level of monopoly would potentially only have a detrimental effect,”
“I can hardly see how you get two companies which both have a history of charging high booking fees then going, ‘Great, let’s bring booking fees down’.”