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Ticketmaster buys stake in Echomusic

C|NET “Event ticket retailer Ticketmaster announced Monday that it has acquired a majority stake in online-focused music marketing company Echomusic.”

I don’t think that this was news to anybody, the only part that is news is the company they chose to invest in. Ticketmaster has long been in the services business, and those services have catered more and more to the actual act over the years. Don’t get me wrong, Ticketmaster still makes it’s money off of service/convenience charges, but that is changing.

Ticketing is a very mature business and there isn’t much more money to be squeezed from the turnip/rock/whatever. There are only so many tours. Ticket prices are sky high, and many have said that the way to more revenue in touring is more shows with lower ticket prices, generating a higher volume. That’s what The Grateful Dead did for years, but that takes a toll with a lot of time spent on the road! And most markets are already saturated with large venues that can handle concerts, so more of them isn’t going to “grow the business”….

Ticketmaster has done a very good job of getting $.07 out of every nickel. they have done it the old fashioned way, through attrition and head count. They have modernized and streamlined their processes and I’m sure are trying to do more. But efficiencies only do so much. Ticketmaster needs to find NEW revenue sources in order to continue to grow!

That is where a number of acquisitions have come into play. And these aren’t just the normal ticketing acquisitions that you would think of (their purchase of Museum Tix, Ticket Web, etc.). Ticketmaster has really been trying to expand into other services, including things such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and not just to venues, but to promoters and to artists themselves as well. This acquisition is a perfect example of this.

By providing all of these services and points of contact, Ticketmaster essentially becomes a “one-stop-shop”. Or to put it another way, they have become just like your bank or any other on-line portal…. You are so invested in them, that even though they don’t always provide the best service, it’s good enough so as not to endure the hassle of having to change service providers. Ticketmaster has you painted into a corner… :-). But don’t fret, it’s nothing that isn’t done every day, like I said, look at your bank as an example.

The difference is that banks have started to catch on. They now offer “kits” that make it easy to change all of your info (auto billing to your credit/debit cards, other billing info, direct deposit, etc.). One of these days someone will catch on that they need to provide more than just ticketing, and more than just ticketing to the standard ticketing crowd…. Then not only will huge new business markets become available as new revenue sources, but Ticketmaster will finally have some decent competition!