Amazon has put its eye on yet another industry with an array of possibly disrupting outcomes: ticket sales.
Reuters broke the news in an exclusive report on August 10th, revealing talks between Amazon and U.S. venue owners to sell event tickets in a move that will represent a direct hit to the position of Ticketmaster as a market leader.
The main obstacle to Amazon’s efforts to disrupt this market will not be lack of expertise, as the Seattle-based company already has a ticket sale operation in Britain and has had moderate success. The principle concern of Bezos’ company should be the strong relations build by Ticketmaster with the principal venue operators which they may use as leverage to boost tickets sales along with consumers’ dislike of ticket fees.
According to the sources consulted by Reuters, Amazon wants to use ticket sales to attract new subscribers to its Prime service, and probably will bundle premium offers or other strategies to foster their growing Prime consumer base.
Even if Amazon is able to attract venue owners to a partnership, Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, owns 196 venues across the U.S. and exclusively sells tickets through them. The venues include House of Blues and Fillmore chains, along with an array of festivals and artists tours.
Amazon is not a stranger to Ticketmaster’s grip on the ticket sales market. Recently, the two companies started partnership talks in order to offer Ticketmaster services on Amazon’s platforms, but this negotiation stalled due to a dispute about data. Amazon wanted more control over the consumer data, which would give them valuable intel on who is buying what, which is vital information not only for tickets sales, but for programming concerts and anticipating trends in one of the last revenue streams of the music industry.
But for all that has been said about Amazon’s approach to ticket sales, the last word is yet to be written. Reuters also highlighted that Amazon has approached at least “one [sports] league” to enter into the resale business—a stream of revenue that gave Ticketmaster approximately $250 million last year.
With its deal to stream the ten Monday Night Football games of the 2017 season, Amazon has signaled its strategy to boost their Prime service: content and exclusive offers. “It’s all about Prime,” Brandon Ross, an analyst at BTIG, told Reuters. “The reason they are spending multiple billions of dollars a year on programming is to get more Prime subscribers and engage more consumers.”