A coalition of music companies and organisations in the US last week announced a new campaign called Fix The Tix which will “advocate for a ticketing experience better than the nightmare many fans and artists currently navigate”.
The ticketing business has been very much in the spotlight in the US in recent months after the issues that occurred when tickets went on sale last year for Taylor Swift’s current tour prompted renewed interest within political circles.
An assortment of issues have been raised with the way ticketing works, both primary ticketing and secondary ticketing. And some of those issues relate specifically to the market dominance of Live Nation and its Ticketmaster subsidiary.
Keen to lead the debate, Live Nation itself has called for a number of reforms to the way ticketing is regulated in the US. Most of those proposed new regulations relate to secondary ticketing, though the live giant also supports mandated all-in pricing, whereby all ticketing sites would be obliged to state upfront the full cost of buying any one ticket, including any fees.
Live Nation presented its proposals as a five point plan dubbed the Fair Ticketing Act, with a number of booking agents, artist management firms and music industry organisations subsequently backing that plan.
It remains to be seen how the new Fix The Tix campaign compares to the Live Nation-led initiative, but it could well put the focus on some of the issues that the live giant would rather politicians not discuss.
Within US Congress itself two sets of legal reforms have been proposed, one seeking to implement some aspects of Live Nation’s five point plan, the other setting out to provide “protection against the clear excesses and abuses of Ticketmaster”. Needless to say, Live Nation is supporting the former but not the latter.
Among those backing Fix The Tix are Ticketmaster rivals See Tickets and Dice, as well as companies like Wasserman Music and Universal Music, plus a number of industry organisations including the National Independent Venue Association, the Music Artists Coalition, the Artist Rights Alliance and the Future Of Music Coalition.
The latter two organisations last year also backed a specific campaign calling on the US Department Of Justice to investigate and potentially unwind the 2010 merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.
For now, though, the objectives of Fix The Tix are still to be confirmed. Organisers of the campaign said last week: “With representation from venues, promoters and producers, the performing arts, artists groups, recorded music, and independent ticketing companies, this coalition represents stakeholders who take on all the risk to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences and bring joy, employment, and economic impact to communities across America”.
“We are coming together to protect fans from price gouging and deceptive and predatory ticketing practices”, they went on. “There will be more to come from our coalition soon”.
We think you'll like these related articles.