Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino stated that concert tickets are an “incredible bargain,” relative to other entertainment options, and indicated that raising ticket prices are a “huge opportunity for our (investors and the company’s) bottom line.” According to MarketWatch, Rapino made these statements in a meeting with investors from Liberty Media Corp. last month.
The company’s president Joe Berchtold, echoed this sentiment and stated that “the vast majority of shows are very reasonably priced for fans.” Live Nation also owns Ticketmaster, the largest ticket-selling platform in the United States, along with various music venues across the nation.
Despite these executives claims, the average ticket price for the top-100 world-wide tours rose to $96.17 in the last year alone, while the average price for a top-100 tour ticket in North America has climbed more than 250 percent since 1996. Pollstar, which is cited by Bloomberg News, also revealed that prices have increased 23 percent in the past five years alone.
Live Nation had made claims that increasing ticket prices would help keep tickets out of the hands of scalpers who are known to place tickets on resale sites. A secretly recorded phone call however, revealed that the company allegedly helped bands such as Metallica and others place their tickets directly on resale sites such as StubHub.
This recent announcement comes at a time of heavy scrutiny for Live Nation. In 2018 the company had to settle a series of anti-trust lawsuits after being accused of committing antitrust and anti-competitive violations. Ticketmaster were named in a recent class-action lawsuit for price inflating tactics, and were also fined $3.4 million for misleading online pricing.
Live Nation has also been at the center of a recent Federal Justice Department investigation, where the company “reached an agreement in principle” on charges that it was that it was misusing its prominent position in the music industry. They alleged that the company “repeatedly” violated a consent decree that prohibited the company from withholding concerts from venues that don’t use Ticketmaster.
The seller is also one of six companies at the center of a US House of Representatives investigation regarding industry practices, particularly “high hidden fees”. According to a government report obtained by MarketWatch, these fees average 27 percent of a ticket’s face value.