Living Country Entertainment, which has been accused of anti-competitive practices by politicians, has proposed reforms to the global concert business, saying they would benefit fans struggling to get tickets to see top acts such as Taylor Swift.
Elected officials should give artists more control over ticket sales and limit scalper activity, management of the world’s largest concert promoter said Thursday in a statement accompanying the results of financial at the end of the year.
Artists should be able to decide how tickets can be sold and to whom, the company said. Across the industry, ticket sellers must more openly disclose the full price of tickets, including the fees they charge.
Live Nation proposed the changes on the same day it reported record sales of $16.7 billion for 2022, more than double a year ago and 44% from 2019, the last normal year. before Covid-19. The company has posted strong results since the pandemic, capitalizing on increased demand for personalized experiences.
Yet high prices to see acts such as Bruce Springsteen and a computer meltdown during the sale of Taylor Swift tickets have angered fans and led politicians to plead for industry reform.
Artists and competitors say Live Nation is abusing its power as the world’s top concert promoter and selling tickets through its ownership of Ticketmaster. The company has been operating under a consent order since it acquired Ticketmaster and is being investigated by the US Justice Department.
Live Nation and many of its allies have pushed back against criticism and rejected politicians who are ignorant of their business. They blame scalpers and resellers, as opposed to primary sellers like Ticketmaster.
Country star Garth Brooks called on the government to ban scalping during a panel on Wednesday at a conference hosted by music industry trade publication Pollstar.
Irving Azoff, the most powerful artist manager in the music business, moderated the session with Brooks, former Justice Department attorney Makan Delrahim and billionaire James Dolan, whose company owns Madison Square Garden.
Live Nation doesn’t want to ban scalpers, but wants to limit their ability to take advance orders for shows before the tickets actually go on sale. It also called for the expansion of the BOTS (Better Online Ticket Sales) action to neuter computer programs that vacuum tickets.
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