With the merger of its parent company Ticketmaster with Live Nation essentially complete, secondary ticketing company TicketsNow is adopting a new business plan to boost its revenues.
On the sales side, the company this week raised the percentage it charges in service fees from 15 percent to 18.5 percent. As a result, a Taylor Swift ticket on the site that costs $80 now carries a service fee of $14.80 instead of $12.
Separately on the sellers side, TicketsNow has changed some of the rules it uses to reward larger brokers with better prices for the tickets they list. Smaller brokers who don’t meet certain sales thresholds will see their rebates lowered or eliminated.
The moves mark the first major initiatives under the direction of new CEO Ron Bension, who was tapped for the company’s top spot last month. Whether the changes were in the works before he was hired is unknown. Periodically, the major ticket exchanges – TicketsNow, StubHub, RazorGator and TicketNews parent company TicketNetwork – make adjustments to their fee and rebate schedules to reflect changes in the market, which can sometimes raise the hackles of brokers and fans.
Spokespeople for TicketsNow did not return messages seeking comment.
In TicketsNow’s case, the company is coming off of a tough 2009 during which its business practices with Ticketmaster came under intense scrutiny, and the two were the subject of multiple lawsuits. In addition, Ticketmaster was forced to settle a complaint with the former New Jersey attorney general for the way the companies allegedly mistreated consumers who sought to buy Bruce Springsteen tickets.
“TicketsNow is trying to force brokers into giving them a discount while simultaneously their parent company is on record looking to put us out of business,” said one disgruntled TicketsNow broker/client. “When will the greed and apathy of the brokers get replaced by the reality that this company should not be selling our seats and having access to our information?”