If you’ve ever wanted to see a sporting event, concert, or other live show in the last 10 years, you’ve probably spent an arm and a leg on buying those tickets. Then when you were ready to check out online, a new box popped up and asked you for your eternal soul to cover the processing fee.
I don’t want to mention any names cough Ticketmaster cough but the extra fees we are charged to buy tickets are absolutely outrageous. And don’t even get me started on really popular events. Even if you are happy to pay the outrageous Ticketmaster fees, you might find your show sold out because the jerk faces from StubHub bought up all the tickets and are selling them at 3x face value.
Both Ticketmaster and StubHub can die in a fire. The only reason they haven’t died yet is because there isn’t a reasonable alternative for either. If someone could create a first hand marketplace to compete with Ticketmaster or a second-hand marketplace to compete with StubHub, that person would become very rich.
A Better Ticketmaster
As a consumer, there is really nothing I would like to see more than the complete and utter destruction of Ticketmaster. And with how their business model works, it shouldn’t be very difficult. It can’t be difficult to charge lower fees than Ticketmaster and still turn a very healthy profit. They charge convenience fees, service fees, printing your ticket fees, oxygen at the venue fees, and whatever else they can think of.
The technology behind Ticketmaster is exceptionally simple, and the cost to do what they do is very small. If you can charge even just half the fees that Ticketmaster charges, it would be very easy to get customers to use your site.
The problem is that Ticketmaster has so many contracts with pro sports teams, concert venues, and other places. The key to getting a startup to get thouse contracts would probably be to offer them a cut of the fees. Charge lower fees than ticketmaster to get customers, and then offer venues a cut of those fees to get exclusive contracts for venues or teams. Consumers pay less, venues get more money, and whatever company replaces Ticketmaster will almost certainly still be profitable.
There are actually quite a few companies that are trying to unseat Ticketmaster, because so many people realize how absurd the Ticketmaster fees are. Our job as consumers is to get behind these companies and let venues know that you are tired of paying ridiculous fees.
StubHub Fees are Stupid
StubHub is just as stupid as Ticketmaster, and this one should be even easier to kill. First of all, StubHub doesn’t really provide a valuable service at all. The site just connects buyers and sellers. And somehow, we as consumers have allowed StubHub to take a 25% cut of every ticket purchase. The buyer pays a 10% fee, and the seller gets 15% less than the sale value of the ticket. It’s freaking absurdity.
Imagine if there was a place that only charged a seller $2 to list their ticket. Seller would flock to this place because the fees are way less than 15%. Buyers will have to flock to wherever the sellers are. You can charge the buyer another $2. All in all, the intermediate company gets $4 from every sale and both the seller and consumer are better off.
And if that doesn’t work, there are plenty of free alternatives like Craigslist where you can buy or sell tickets without giving any money to some stupid intermediate company.
Please Go Away Ticketmaster and StubHub
There is so much money to be made in the live sports/concerts area, and right now these two companies are exploiting that opportunity. If someone can create or point me to a legitimate competitor to these companies, I will happily support them with my business. If you know of any good alternatives to these sites, post them in the comments. If you don’t know of any, someone out there: please start this business!