Ticket Masters chronicles the as-yet-untold story of the live entertainment industry, revealing its origins, development and ongoing strategies of companies such as Ticketmaster, Live Nation and StubHub and the efforts of numerous independent competitors. With over 100 exclusive interviews and utilizing many previously unreleased documents, this character-driven book explores the actions and impact of the iconoclasts guiding these companies while folding in related tales of scalping syndicates, old school music promoters and would-be Internet tycoons along with the brash business decisions of such world-renowned groups as the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam and The Rolling Stones.
Like no previous book, Ticket Masters sheds light upon the complex relationships between artists, promoters, ticketing agents and the public. Beginning with the previously unreported details behind the rise and demise of the once-dominant Ticketron, Ticket Masters proceeds to share gripping accounts and analysis of Ticketmaster’s eventual market supremacy, SFX and Clear Channel’s promoter rollup, the cutthroat battle for secondary ticket sales and numerous other tales of the industry’s most significant architects. Whether it’s Michael Cohl nabbing the Stones from Bill Graham, Ticketmaster’s defeat of Pearl Jam or the silent efforts of music superstars to mark up their ticket prices for complicit websites, Budnick and Baron examine the pivotal developments that have shaped the industry as we know it.
Yet, Ticket Masters is also a personal story for the millions who purchase tickets, as it addresses the often-asked (but unanswered) questions: How and why do concerts sell out so fast? Why do service fees vary on tickets to the same event? Why isn’t Ticketmaster considered an illegal monopoly? Is it worth joining a band’s fan club to qualify for a pre-sale? How do ticket broker websites like StubHub get all their tickets—isn’t scalping illegal? Who is pocketing all this money? What happened to the time when real fans could get great seats for a reasonable price? And (deep breath), just how did ticket prices get so high, anyway?
Ticket Masters, a timely account of the multi-billion dollar concert industry, answers these questions and many more. This engrossing book shares a compelling story of the many ways in which the American public is being scalped.
The new expanded paperback edition carries the story ahead to the present, with additional exploration of the secondary market, dynamic pricing, paperless ticketing (and ongoing battle between the Fan Freedom Project and the Fans First Coalition), the efforts of independent promoters and emerging ticketing companies as well as the latest strategies employed by Ticketmaster and Live Nation Entertainment