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Ticketmaster, Walmart launch ticket selling partnership across U.S.

By Alfred Branch Jr.

Ticketmaster is finally making good on its partnership with Walmart by teaming up to sell tickets out of hundreds of Walmart stores throughout the country.

The move comes about 18 months after Walmart and Live Nation, Ticketmaster's parent company, first announced the partnership, but a little late in the current summer concert season to take full advantage of the added exposure. To kick off the deal, Ticketmaster is running a promotion through August 15 with specially priced four-packs of tickets to see artists such as Maroon 5, Toby Keith, Journey, and Ke$ha.

Tickets will be sold via touch-screen kiosks in entertainment departments in Walmart stores and printed on the spot.

According to the two companies, tickets will be sold out of more than 140 stores in Texas; more than 100 stores in New England; more than 40 in the New York-metropolitan area; more than 60 in the greater Los Angeles area; and hundreds of other stores throughout the country.

"By integrating ticketing into Walmart stores, we are able to offer fans this very convenient way to learn about upcoming events, purchase and take home tickets without leaving their neighborhood," Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard said in a statement. "In addition, Ticketmaster will continue to work closely with our clients to create exclusive high value offers for Walmart customers."

Ben Mogil, market analyst for the investment bank Stifel Nicolaus & Company, did not offer a pro or con opinion on the move, but seemed to question its necessity.

"I don't think Ticketmaster has distribution problems," Mogil told TicketNews, "it's not like people need to go to Walmart to learn about Ticketmaster."

Ticketmaster.com is one of the nation's most visited e-commerce Web sites, and the company has aggressively sought to further boost its online sales in recent months.

Don Vaccaro, founder and CEO of third-party ticket resale marketplace TicketNetwork, agreed with Mogil by questioning the move.

"It seems as if it's a step backwards for Ticketmaster to push into outlets," Vaccaro said. "It appears as if they are trying to make an argument that outlet sales make a difference when they truly don't."

TicketNetwork is the parent company of TicketNews.

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