Concert promotions giant Live Nation is launching a new affiliates program through Commission Junction, but brokers and resellers need not apply. As stated specifically...

Concert promotions giant Live Nation is launching a new affiliates program through Commission Junction, but brokers and resellers need not apply.

As stated specifically on Live Nation’s “Advertiser Details” page at Commission Junction: “Ticket brokers and other companies involved in the resale of tickets are not permitted. Companies, websites or newsletters that promote ticket presale passwords or access codes are not permitted.” In effect, Live Nation has shut out the secondary ticket market, even though inclusion of resellers could potentially boost Live Nation’s ticket sales.

In addition, Live Nation seems willing only to make a soft launch of their site at this time, advertising and taking applications on their CJ page only, but leaving their own official affiliates site empty except for a “ Live Nation Affiliates Program coming soon!” header.

What can sellers expect from Live Nation’s affiliates program? The company is advertising a 1.5 percent return on all sales made through their site, a significantly lower number than the industry average of about 7 percent. This means that on a given ticket purchase of $350, a seller would make a return of just $5.25. All sellers must first register with Commission Junction in order to participate in Live Nation’s affiliates program. Commission Junction tracks orders through referral cookies, but these cookies expire after just 45 days, allowing for receipt of commissions only on customers who purchase tickets up to 45 days after their initial visit to the site.

However, as clear as the site is about barring secondary sellers, it fails to clarify other important details of the program, leaving nagging questions about how this commission arrangement will work. For example, how will commission payments be managed? Exactly how many events will be tracked for sellers? Live Nation’s CJ site notes: “Affiliates will have access to Live Nation’s exclusive event data feed, which provides a comprehensive set of concert listings including all Live Nation concert events, all House of Blues events, and many concerts produced by third-party promoters.” This still does not clarify exactly how many events will be tracked for the program.

The company’s proposed merger with Ticketmaster Entertainment seems likely only to make this situation more complicated. How will commissions be tracked, as Live Nation will likely continue to work closely with Ticketmaster on sales? How will these two entities separate out their commission-eligible purchases? Similarly, what percentage of commission-eligible events will be Live Nation events, and what percentage will be those of Ticketmaster or another vendor?

Ticketmaster works independently with another affiliate program at BuyAt, a situation that would seem to be at odds with Live Nation’s launch at Commission Junction. What happens to either, or both, companies’s relationships with their affiliate sites in the event of a merger? What happens if the merger does not go through?

Despite repeated attempts to reach Live Nation to discuss this new program and the questions arising from its launch, the company did not return messages.