The problem with Ticketmaster, and how Web3 ticketing can solve it

Ticketmaster’s ticketing practices hurt artists’ ability to earn from their work, highlighting the need for smart Web3 ticketing solutions

Dec 1, 2022

Ticketmaster’s ticketing practices hurt artists’ ability to earn from their work, highlighting the need for smart Web3 ticketing solutions

Ticketmaster is having a terrible year. Facing a cascade of backlash and criticism for its problematic ticket practices–expressed emphatically by artists, fans, the media, and now even top-level legislators–the event industry titan’s policies have underlined the rotten underbelly of the ticket business.

In a recent article, we addressed how Ticketmaster’s monopoly over ticketing constantly causes barriers for artists and culture creators who aim to connect to their audiences and truly thrive from their projects. VINCI breaks through these barriers by giving artists a set of accessible, streamlined, and transparent Web3-based solutions, all designed to help them monetize their creations while fully engaging their audience.

Nevertheless, Ticketmaster’s problems remain too pervasive and ingrained into today’s culture and events industry. And although society is becoming more aware and critical of these industry practices–everything from scalping to price-gouging–the issue deserves a closer look, particularly in contrast to how Web3 can help solve such problems.

The many problems with Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster’s reputation as an unethical player in the events industry is not necessarily new. Their sky-high “service fees” (sometimes as high as 78% of a ticket’s cost) were often exaggerated and unnecessary, aimed at increasing their (or the venue’s) profits instead of properly compensating artists and event organizers.

Their ticket scalping programs and practices have also been scrutinized for some time, but most recently came into public light from reported anecdotes by news media and top-level artists. John Oliver’s Emmy award-winning comedy news series “Last Week Tonight” reported on Ticketmaster’s shady ticket practices, including scalping and price-gouging, which let them pocket revenue that could instead go to artists (or, better yet, making tickets reasonably affordable).

Recently, Ticketmaster has come under heavy criticism for its supply and demand manipulation tactics. One notable example has been Taylor Swift, who assured her fans that tickets would be reasonably priced and accessible, but later found out Ticketmaster was selling tickets for tens of thousands of dollars. Swift then had to repair the damage to her brand and apologize to fans for what was essentially a Ticketmaster policy error. Bruce Springsteen had to release a statement justifying his highly priced tickets (whose prices were largely influenced by Ticketmaster’s supply-demand manipulation) and even address the contrast that such high-priced assets have with his working-class rocker image. This means Ticketmaster isn’t only affecting the economic aspect of art, but even harming the art form itself, by severing the connection between artists and audiences with burdensome bureaucracies.

Taylor Swift has been embroiled in controversy due to Ticketmaster’s practices regarding ticket distribution and access.

Ticketmaster goes to Washington

Ticketmaster’s recent ticketing woes have gotten them the attention of top-level U.S. officials. Senator Amy Klobuchar has requested a Senate hearing with Ticketmaster executives to address concerns regarding their monopolizing practices. The bipartisan hearing–which received support from both Democrats and Republicans like Utah Senator Mike Lee–aims to correct the devastating effects that Ticketmaster has had on the culture industry and its communities.

These sentiments have been strongly echoed in Congress as well, with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling for Live Nation and Ticketmaster (the two companies that merged to become the problematic industry titan we know today) to be broken up. The breaking up of this monopolizing conglomerate, AOC argues, would begin a trickle-down effect of fair competition within the culture and events industry which, in theory, could help balance some of these problems.

Senator Amy Klobuchar has been one of various spoken opponents against Ticketmaster’s industry practices within U.S. Congress, and aims to hold a hearing aimed at improving them.

Now, even the White House has chimed in. President Joe Biden’s administration is looking into Ticketmaster’s inflated fees, monopolizing practices, and the effects they all have on the bottom line for both artists and fans. The future of Ticketmaster is getting even more problematic, and even more politicized.

What these problems mean for artists

As discussed in our previous article addressing the benefits of Web3 tech for artists, the landscape for value generation for creators today looks grim. Of course, Ticketmaster stands at the top level of these industry-wide concerns. But if companies like Ticketmaster have no problem abusing the trust of top celebrity artists (and their fans), then what can struggling and starting artists even begin to do to circumvent these problematic industry norms?

When artists have to rely on unnecessary middlemen (like Ticketmaster and many others) in order to engage fans and earn from their work, they’re subject to those middlemen’s potentially harmful policies. Without proper engagement tools, fans and communities lose faith in their favorite artists. Without appropriate agent and value distribution tools, artists can’t properly monetize their work.

How VINCI addresses the problems caused by Ticketmaster

VINCI addresses these concerns with its new set of Web3-based solutions. These solutions are based on three types of product: VINCI Connect, VINCI Store, and VINCI Insight. These tools help artists engage and reward their communities, monetize their art via relevant merchandise and digital collectibles, and measure their audiences’ engagement via user-data tools.

Unlike Ticketmaster, whose practices remain obscured and unknown to their artists, VINCI’s comprehensive Web3 agent tools are made transparent by its blockchain-based ledger system. This “ledger” keeps track of all interactions between artists and fans (while preserving user privacy), ensuring openness while allowing optimal engagement.

VINCI is not necessarily looking to compete against companies like Ticketmaster per se, but rather expose and educate artists and audiences on how problematic their practices are. Additionally, we aim to let artists and event organizers know the benefits of Web3 for their creative projects, and the ways they can overcome the obstacles keeping them from thriving through their art.

stay in the loop

Subscribe for more inspiration.

VINCI 2023. All rights reserved.
VINCI token