Stray notes from SXSW III: Ticketmaster's trickery

SHARE Stray notes from SXSW III: Ticketmaster's trickery

As I continued mulling over what really bothered me most about Friday’s interview with Ticketmaster CEO Sean Moriarty, it finally struck me: the slight of hand comparing Ticketmaster fees to cable TV and ATM fees, which hits at the heart of the lie behind the company’s PR efforts.

Ticketmaster provides a service, as does the cable company and a bank ATM. But the cable company charges the same every month, no matter if you watch one hour of TV or 100, and if you watch a movie on demand, it’s the same price, whether it’s a blockbuster or an obscure indie film. Similarly, the ATM charges the same fee whether you’re withdrawing $20 or $200.

In the end, it costs Ticketmaster no more money to provide the service of selling a $30 ticket or a $300 ticket, yet the fee for the former might be $7.50 and the fee for the later $37.50.

Of course, the company needs to maintain and upgrade its infrastructure; no one denies it that, just as no one denies it should be reasonably paid for the service it provides. But wouldn’t one ATM-like fee across the boards and per transaction be much clearer and more fair? Moriarty’s arrogance toward journalists aside, why shouldn’t consumers keep questioning the price of those service fees and demanding the pie-chart breakdown how much goes to Ticketmaster? the artist? the venue? when no one can see any logic behind the differing fees other than kickbacks to promoters and artists on one hand, or Ticketmaster’s greed on the other?

The Latest
The 33-year-old man was shot in the 3800 block of South Wells Street at the Wentworth Gardens residential complex, police said.
Chicago police say the person was seen running with a handgun and attempted to throw it away but was “unsuccessful.” When the person picked the handgun up again officers opened fire, striking them multiple times, according to police.
Cuypers is enrolled in the UEFA Certificate in Football Management class.
The Hall is getting ready to welcome its second class of inductees next month at the Circa sportsbook in Las Vegas.
It does have a feeling of being incomplete as Summer League is in full swing, but luckily for the executive vice president of basketball operations he still has time to continue building out the youth movement.