Talks between concert-promotion behemoth Live Nation and ticketing monster Ticketmaster have broken down, and Variety is reporting that an internal memo at Ticketmaster says that it’s “doubtful” the contract between the two companies will be renewed when it expires at the end of next year.
This opens the door for LN, which made up between 15 and 20% of Ticketmaster’s business last year, to get aggressive about developing its already-burgeoning ticketing offerings beyond VIP packages and MySpace widgetry, as well as more software to figure out how to sell more branded stuff to ticket buyers. Ticketmaster has been plotting fallback plans–its acquisition of echomusic, which designs and produces Web sites that handle fan clubs and ticket sales to those clubs’ members, could help absorb at least some of the music-ticketing shortfall it’ll experience after losing Live Nation’s business–with acquisitions of other companies, but this breakup is definitely a huge blow to its revenues.
One bright side: Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has, in the past, been an outspoken critic of Ticketmaster’s price schematics, so perhaps the days of paying two bucks so you have the privilege of using your own paper and ink to print a print-at-home ticket will be over. The downside: Rapino isn’t as harshly critical of his venues’ concession prices, so a beer at a show will probably still set you back seven dollars.
Ticketmaster losing top promoter [Variety]