Ex-CEO of Ticketmaster defends company after Taylor Swift ticket Senate hearing

Fred Rosen, who ran Ticketmaster in the 1980s and 1990s, was fed up with people complaining about the company’s role in Taylor Swift ticket failure last year-and certainly impatient for this week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

In a candid interview with Canada’s CBCRosen blames fans and artists for the problem, as it were paints Ticketmaster as the villain in the story is “absurd.”

“First of all, it’s called capitalism,” he said, when asked about the harm of more regulation and competition. “Second of all, this is the biggest mistake everyone makes. Many ticket companies will not change the price. What determines the price is the demand. You can have 400 ticket companies and the same number of tickets and the prices will not change.

Artists, today, make 90% of their income from live ticket sales, Rosen admitted, adding that consumer music piracy is the cause of that.

“It’s very easy: [Fans] stole all the music,” he said. “Ticketmaster does not set prices. Ticketmaster does not determine which shows are sold. Ticketmaster does not determine how many tickets are sold.”

He also pointed a finger Swift and his teamsaying that the decision to put tickets for all shows on sale at once was a poor one that contributed to the problems.

“It’s easy to blame Ticketmaster and say it’s their fault. But here is the truth. I’m sure the action reps were told not to put on all the sales shows at once. And they chose to do it,” he said. “I find it absurd that people aren’t smart enough to understand that that’s the game.”

Noting that he doesn’t go to many events himself, Rosen rejected criticism about higher ticket prices, as well as that if the price of sporting events goes up, it’s a sign of success, but when music acts get paid more, people complain.

“The truth is – and here’s what anyone wants to face – nobody pays more for a ticket than they want to, because you don’t have to go,” he said. “No noblesse oblige. The truth of the matter is entertainment. … In sports, when the price goes up, it’s a badge of honor. At concerts, prices go up, it’s the end of the world as you know it, and the ticket company is accused of everything except kidnapping the Lindbergh baby.

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