Interview: Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino | Billboard

We talked a lot in the last year, especially at Billboard, about slow ticketing and competitive pricing. Are we approaching a cap on what customers can be charged?
We’re in a transition now. That 10 a.m. onsale and instant sellout is like a drug, even if the reality is it was a high percentage of bots and scalpers that bought the tickets. So over time, if you believe that the artist is going to be more empowered, they’re going to go from working behind the platforms to working in front of them. We want to make sure we are solving the artist’s job going to market with the best pricing strategy. As deep as you want to go, we want to take you there on pricing dynamically. We want to show you that you should not leave much on the table. Number Two, we should figure out how to lock down the pricing you want. If you really want to charge $129, even though you can get $250, we have to figure out how you the artist and we the distributor can deliver that ticket to your fan for that price. It’s just the start of the artist becoming more involved, and as he prices the house better, and technology delivers digital ticketing and more of a direct relationship, I think those two come together .

What was the artist reaction to seeing their tickets on secondary sites like TM+?
There are artists who don’t want to play in that space. They say “I just want to price it my way, and I want the fan to get the ticket at whatever price I want.” So, that’s when over the last two years, we kept cooking in the oven at Ticketmaster looking at how we verify fans. What would be the steps? Do we use Facebook? That idea had been brewing and this year we were able to bring it to life and give something to artists that allows them to price it as aggressively as they feel good about and then lock it down.

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Interview: Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino | Billboard.

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