In short, yes, Live Nation and Ticketmaster work very closely together. Live Nation owns Ticketmaster and has done so since their merger in 2010. The two companies have an exclusive partnership where Ticketmaster serves as the primary ticketing provider for Live Nation’s concert venues and festivals. This setup essentially gives Ticketmaster a monopoly on ticketing for many major live events and venues.
The History Between Live Nation and Ticketmaster
Live Nation and Ticketmaster have had a intertwined history going back over a decade. Here is a brief overview of how their relationship has evolved:
- In 1991, Ticketmaster acquired Live Nation’s predecessor company, Ticketmaster Group, Inc. This gave Ticketmaster control over Ticketmaster Group’s ticketing operations.
- In 2005, Live Nation was spun off from Clear Channel Entertainment as an independent company. Clear Channel maintained ownership of Live Nation’s venues at this time.
- In 2007, Live Nation signed a 10 year deal with Ticketmaster to have them handle ticketing for Live Nation owned or operated venues and events. This established the exclusive partnership between the two companies.
- In 2009, Live Nation and Ticketmaster announced plans for an all-stock merger of the two companies. The deal closed in January 2010, bringing together the world’s largest concert promoter (Live Nation) and leading ticketing company (Ticketmaster).
- After the merger, Live Nation remained a separate operating entity but now owned Ticketmaster. Live Nation also took over ownership of venues previously owned by Clear Channel.
- The merged Live Nation Entertainment has continued to operate with Live Nation handling promotion and Ticketmaster providing ticketing services. The two divisions have worked closely together under the same parent company.
So in summary, Live Nation and Ticketmaster functioned independently for many years but established an exclusive partnership in 2007. The 2010 merger brought the two companies fully together under the Live Nation Entertainment banner, which has proven very beneficial for both businesses.
How Live Nation and Ticketmaster Work Together Today
As part of Live Nation Entertainment, Live Nation and Ticketmaster collaborate in the following ways:
- Ticketmaster serves as the exclusive ticketing provider for the majority of Live Nation’s owned/operated venues, festivals, and concerts. This includes major venues like House of Blues and large festivals like Lollapalooza.
- Live Nation provides promotion services for concerts and events that Ticketmaster sells tickets for. These include shows at Live Nation venues along with shows promoted by Live Nation at third-party arenas and stadiums.
- The two divisions share data, analytics, and marketing resources to enhance sales and track customer activity across live events and ticket purchases.
- Live Nation Entertainment has rolled out new features that integrate the Ticketmaster platform into the live event experience. These include digital ticketing, upgraded mobile apps, and RFID technology to manage entry into venues.
- Merchandise and sponsorships are also integrated between the two divisions to provide more bundled offerings for concert goers.
- Executives from Live Nation and Ticketmaster both report up to the same Chairman at Live Nation Entertainment, allowing tight alignment at the leadership level.
Essentially, the two divisions function as verticals within the same organization. Live Nation Entertainment leadership can coordinate Ticketmaster ticketing services and Live Nation event promotion/operations to provide the best experience for fans and maximize business results.
The Benefits of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster Relationship
The tight relationship between Live Nation and Ticketmaster under their current common ownership model has been beneficial in the following ways:
- It gives Live Nation reliable control over ticketing for its venues and events rather than having to contract with outside providers.
- It gives Ticketmaster a leg up on selling major concert and festival tickets by being affiliated with the industry’s top promoter.
- It allows the companies to bundle more offerings for live event goers, such as tickets, merchandise, VIP access, etc.
- It enables better data sharing and analytics to understand the customer journey across ticketing and live events.
- It provides more opportunities for cross-promotion across Live Nation and Ticketmaster assets.
- It leads to cost savings in areas like marketing, operations, and technology since the companies can combine resources.
Critics argue that the Live Nation-Ticketmaster relationship stifles competition in the industry. But supporters believe the model has strengthened Live Nation Entertainment’s position as the leading end-to-end live entertainment company.
Regulatory Challenges and Controversy
The Live Nation-Ticketmaster relationship has faced scrutiny from regulators and industry watchdogs going back to their initial merger in 2010. Some of the main criticisms and regulatory actions have included:
- Concerns from consumer advocates that Ticketmaster faces inadequate competition, allowing it to charge higher fees.
- Accusations that Live Nation leverages its promotion business to give preferential treatment to Ticketmaster for tour and concert ticketing.
- Regulatory review of the 2010 merger, which was approved but with certain conditions imposed by the DOJ on their operations.
- Ongoing monitoring by regulators in the U.S. and abroad to ensure fair competition in ticketing and promotions.
- Lawsuits by rival ticketing companies accusing Live Nation and Ticketmaster of anticompetitive practices to block competitors from getting event ticketing rights.
- Calls for the U.S. DOJ to reevaluate or undo the 2010 merger, though no major action has been taken yet.
Live Nation Entertainment maintains that their ticketing and promotions businesses continue to operate independently and with vigorous competition in the industry. But pressure from regulators is likely to remain given the singular power and size of the combined Live Nation-Ticketmaster entity in the live events business.
Using Ticketmaster for Live Nation Events
For concert and music fans, the main impact of the Live Nation-Ticketmaster relationship is that Ticketmaster will be the ticketing provider for the vast majority of popular Live Nation tours, festivals, and venue events. Some key things to know:
- If you want tickets for a concert promoted by Live Nation at one of their owned venues, Ticketmaster will almost always be the only authorized place to purchase them.
- Ticketmaster is embedded into Live Nation’s website and mobile apps to enable direct ticket purchasing.
- Live Nation will heavily promote and redirect fans to Ticketmaster when public ticket sales open up for its events.
- Ticketmaster has exclusive ticket resale (secondary market) rights for Live Nation concerts and festivals.
- For a given event, Live Nation and Ticketmaster set all policies and fees together, so prices are consistent across channels.
- If any unsold Live Nation tickets go to general on-sales, they will typically only be made available via Ticketmaster.
In summary, if you hope to get tickets to a major concert or festival promoted by Live Nation, Ticketmaster will be the platform you’ll likely need to utilize.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster act essentially as two arms of the same business since their 2010 merger under Live Nation Entertainment. Their relationship gives Live Nation primary control over event ticketing while providing Ticketmaster a pipeline to some of the most coveted tickets in the industry. It has raised anti-competitive concerns but also helped the combined company become a singular powerhouse in live entertainment. For concert fans, it means Ticketmaster is the exclusive ticketing source for Live Nation’s extensive roster of venues, festivals, and touring acts.
|Live Nation / Ticketmaster Milestone
|Ticketmaster acquires Ticketmaster Group, Inc., gaining control over their ticketing operations
|Live Nation spins off as independent company from Clear Channel Entertainment
|Live Nation signs 10 year ticketing deal making Ticketmaster its exclusive provider
|Live Nation and Ticketmaster announce plans to merge
|Live Nation and Ticketmaster complete merger