BUSINESS

Amazon Scraps Plan to Compete Against Ticketmaster

Amazon Tickets Logo

In the end, despite offering venue owners millions of dollars, Amazon found that it just couldn’t compete against Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

Amazon

Amazon is the largest e-commerce company in the world. They sell everything from books to technology to groceries. Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 as an online bookstore, the company has diversified into a major retailer. Today, the company today has over 541,000 employees and a net revenue of over $135.98 billion. A single share of their stock is worth over $1100. Amazon is also preparing to launch their second headquarters.

Tickets

Original Ticketing plans

Amazon initially sought to partner with Ticketmaster for its entrance into the ticketing market. Talks fell through when neither company could agree on how to handle consumer data. Ticketmaster is owned by Live Nation, and news of Amazon’s entry into the US ticketing market caused a minor dip in stock prices.  Many retail companies have found difficulty competing with Amazon.  Competing with Amazon in the ticket market could prove difficult for Live Nation, and profits would likely decrease. This would be a  legitimate cause for concern for Live Nation investors.  To promote the program, Amazon offered venue owners millions in sponsorship deals. Many of the targeted venue owners had existing partnerships with Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster

Amazon tickets in Europe

Amazon successfully competes with Ticketmaster in the United Kingdom and Europe. Through a program called Amazon Tickets, their sales often surpass Ticketmaster and they dominate the market.  This program could not be replicated in the United States. The United Kingdom and much of Europe utilizes an open distribution model for ticketing. Promoters allocate tickets to multiple sales platforms. Companies compete to sell tickets for every show. In the United States, ticketing companies adhere to an exclusivity system. Ticketing companies pay big upfront fees to venues for the rights to exclusively sell tickets to customers. As a result, Ticketmaster dominates the American ticket marketplace and excludes new companies from entering the market. Making matters more difficult, Live Nation owns a lot of major venues.  By default, these venues will use their own ticketing platform, Ticketmaster.

Tickets

Had it been successful, owning its own ticketing platform would likely have strengthened Amazon’s Prime membership offering. The e-commerce giant would’ve done away with service fees in exchange for a Prime membership.

Amazon could re-enter the market if conditions change.

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David Graff
the authorDavid Graff