January 31, 2019
Hawaii natives have had enough of primary ticket sellers, exclusive contracts, and ticket hold backs; the state has now introduced legislation to prohibit it and put numerous consumer protections in place.
If passed, the legislation would prohibit venues from entering into exclusive partnerships with ticket providers. These exclusive ticket contracts have been the disdain of performing artists like Pearl Jam and String Cheese Incident – consumer groups, privacy activists and venues are on the chopping block.
“This change will mean more artists appearing at venues, a larger diversity of events, and more local jobs, and revenue for Hawaiian residents,” Scot X. Esdaile, President of the U.S. Minority Ticketing Group (USMTG) and a human rights activist, said.
Venues secretly hate these exclusive contracts, but nonetheless, go along with them because they believe that Ticketmaster’s concert promotions arm Live Nation will be less likely to do shows at their venues if they are not a Ticketmaster client.
As detailed in this New York Times article, Hawaiian tourist and local economy would benefit from this legislation. Hawaii has the infrastructure to hold festivals other than those promoted by Ticketmaster’s parent company. Those promoters loathe the idea of giving Live Nation all the information that they need to compete with them – handing out email address, ticket pricing, and sales information.
One top industry concert promoter told TicketNews that they want these contracts to go away, but fear speaking up would mean they would be economically blackballed from doing business with Live Nation’s artists and venues.
Bands who were very critical of Live Nation, like Pearl Jam and String Cheese incident, were contacted by TicketNews but declined to comment, along with concert promoters who denied to comment on the legislation in the past. If this legislation passes, it will put Amazon and Eventbrite in direct competition with Ticketmaster.
Amazon failed to re-enter the ticketing market, citing that the exclusive contractual arrangements with Ticketmaster controls not only all the tickets, but the customer data as well. Low cost DIY event ticketing providers like Eventbrite.com and Ezevent.com are also in a position to capitalize on this legislation because of their low cost structure to promoters; Eventbrite costs approximately 3 percent, and Ezevent is free.
The proposed legislation also covers a few of the other hot topics, including the ability for venues to disclose hold backs, as well as data sharing of not only purchasers but guest of ticket purchasers. Additionally, it will expose the printing of personal identifiable information on tickets as a consumer safety issue and help both privacy and confusion issues at venues.