There was an article in the Los Angeles Times a couple of days ago about Ticketmaster and their negotiations with their largest client, Live Nation.
While it is an interesting article, and it does touch on the salient points: this could be a negotiating tactic, it has been in the past; high prices are hurting the industry, lower prices will grow the revenue base; information about the customer is valuable.
What I wish it delved into more, but at least it did gloss over it, is that Live Nation owns it’s own ticketing system (albeit an older one that it inherited from the acquisition of a promoter that ran a regional system). They also want to start pushing their brand as “Live Nation”. A smart thing… you’ve heard me say it before, “You spent millions on naming rights, why are you telling people ‘Get your tickets at Ticketmaster’?”
In the end, I think that little will change. Live Nation will get a much sweeter deal and Ticketmaster will retain the client. Not until there is a significant player in the industry (software/money/resources wise) will there be a threat to Ticketmaster….