By Stacey Willets
Business is booming for this week’s TicketNews Top Primary and Secondary Live Event Ticket Sellers. But, as shows like Hannah Montana sell out, which sellers will make headway and which sellers will face headaches?
For secondary sellers, being able to provide tickets to sold-out events like Van Halen ensures big payoffs. Some fans are willing to pay almost anything to see their idols. Parents of those fans, however, are not.
Being Hannah Montana’s biggest fan, knowing the words to all her songs, having every episode of her Disney Channel show TiVoed, and standing in line for hours may not mean you go home with tickets. Many frustrated parents and heartbroken children have been sent away empty-handed. Amidst their broods’ promises to clean their rooms, refrain from poking younger siblings, and give up begging for a pony, not to mention the solemn oaths that they’ll be really really good forever, parents search the Internet for tickets. They find a wealth of choices, of course . . . for a price. . .
The ticket-buying public seems more sensitive to the cost of admission when it comes to children’s shows. They may spend hundreds of dollars to see The Police, but are not nearly as willing to part with the same money for a “kid concert.” The press is called, the attorney general is roused, and everywhere parents howl about the greedy brokers that are making sure even Santa Claus can’t get prime seats to the show.
According to research, and as reported on TicketNews.com, in states that have passed legislation to open ticket sales up to a free market, consumers generally benefit from better pricing. Concerts like Hannah Montana are the exception, not the rule. It is important to remember that tickets may go for five times their face value only because someone is willing to pay that much. It’s the age-old concept of supply and demand. Still, the high prices and inflamed passions cause the public to bring up that ugly word “scalper” and villainize the same broker that sold $3 tickets to Pirate Queen.
Among those making a profit at a PR expense are this week’s Top Secondary Sellers. StubHub.com tops the Secondary Sellers chart for the twenty-second straight week. The site is followed by second-ranked TicketsNow.com and third-ranked TicketLiquidator.com. GoTickets.com moves up to number four this week, pushing TickCo.com to five. ABCtickets.com and RazorGator.com remain at positions six and seven. EventTicketsCenter.com is the big mover this week, jumping from fourteen to eight and knocking OnlineSeats.com back down into the Top Twenty. Positions nine and ten are once again filled by TicketsPlus.com and TicketCity.com.
While angry consumers rant, “How can all these [secondary market] ticket service companies be charging $120 to $800 per ticket and shattering the dreams of all these young girls out of greed?” our Top Primary Sellers continue doing business stigma-free. Ticketmaster.com leads the pack at number one. LiveNation.com, Tickets.com, TicketWeb.com, and Etix.com hold their positions at two, three, four, and five, respectively. Telecharge.com moves up to the number six spot, pushing Tix.com to number seven. A two position advance puts comcastTIX.com at number eight, TicketsWest.com remains at nine, and BrownPaperTickets.com appears at ten.
Primary sellers often comment that it’s a shame the brokers get the tickets to hot events, but in part because they’re missing out on a piece of the pie. As the secondary market gains legitimacy, primary sellers are partnering with resellers for a cut of the profits. The integrations in the marketplace are not solely in our blended Ticket Sellers rankings, which features Ticketmaster.com at number one, StubHub.com at two, TicketsNow.com at three, LiveNation.com at four, TicketLiquidator.com at five, Tickets.com at six, GoTickets.com at seven, ABCtickets.com at eight, TickCo.com at nine, and TicketWeb.com at ten. Relationships between the primary and secondary market are being forged. There are the pairing of Tickets.com and RazorGator and the recent partnering of Major League Baseball with StubHub!, and industry leader Ticketmaster has its own reselling platform TicketExchange. The lines between primary and secondary sellers are blurring as primary agents, venues, and promoters realize resellers have a good thing going and try to work together to get the Best of Both Worlds.
To see all the Top Tens rankings, check out the press release in the Daily Buzz section of TicketNews.com. Visit the Industry resources section of TicketNews.com for full lists of the Top Twenty Secondary Ticket Sellers and the Top Twenty Overall Ticket Sellers, or to read an explanation of how we calculate the rankings.