The proposed merger between Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticketing firm, and Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, met with huge uproar when it was announced back in February and is still being examined by federal regulators.
Most of the uproar was prompted by fears the combined company would have too much power and be able to control (read ‘raise’) concert ticket prices whenever they want. There were also separate complaints about Ticketmaster’s use of a secondary ticketing company (read: scalper) to sell tickets such as Bruce Springsteen’s at exorbitant prices.
Perhaps with one eye on getting the merger past regulators, both companies are this summer trying new ways to win over music fans. Live Nation, for instance, said it is expanding its “No Service Fee Wednesday” program to include every single ticket in each of its amphitheaters this summer.
Fans often complain about the ‘convenience fees’ when they buy tickets. Such add-ons to the ticket price can sometimes significantly increase the final bill. Live Nation said last week’s debut of No Service Fee Wednesday generated a sales spike 500 percent higher than the average number of tickets sold on a Wednesday.
Meanwhile over at Ticketmaster the company is hoping to “thwart scalpers” by introducing paperless tickets according to this Wall Street Journal story. Ticketmaster will launch its first major trial with teen pop star Miley Cyrus’ 45-date tour later this year (Cyrus pictured left).