Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

You may not like ‘em, but here’s why Ticketmaster are still Number One

Music fans may be a disparate bunch, but there is one word guaranteed to unite them in fury: Ticketmaster. By now, the global ticket-selling giant is probably accustomed to its whipping boy status. The high service charges is usually the …

Fri, Nov 19, 2010, 10:10

   

Music fans may be a disparate bunch, but there is one word guaranteed to unite them in fury: Ticketmaster.

By now, the global ticket-selling giant is probably accustomed to its whipping boy status. The high service charges is usually the first bone of contention to be cited, followed by a string of other grumbles.

But as Wired magazine pointed out this week, Ticketmaster remains the biggest beast in the ticket-selling jungle. Other operators have attempted to muscle in on its patch, but they’ve either been sent packing or have been taken over by the company.

In Ireland, despite the efforts of companies like tickets.ie, Ticketmaster remains the premier agency for live event ticket sales. As elsewhere, it attracts the usual volume of ire and odium from punters, but it continues to be where you go if you want tickets for a big event. Basically, if you’re going to Slane, Oxegen or Croke Park, Ticketmaster is your first stop.

Ticketmaster’s omnipresence is down to the fact that it’s the number one choice for promoters and venue owners. Using Ticketmaster means they only have to deal with one company for sales and settlements – and promoters and venue owners (and artists too, it must be said) are happy that Ticketmaster are there to take the heat for high prices.

It’s better for them to have people giving out about Ticketmaster’s additional service charges than asking questions about why tickets for Irish shows are so expensive to begin with (clue: the fees charged by the artist).

Until a competitor comes along who can sweet-talk the promoters and venue owners into switching horses, expect the grumbling about Ticketmaster to continue unabated for years to come.