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Amazon seeks to break into U.S. ticketing market

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The online giant Amazon is reportedly talking to U.S. venue owners in a bid to start offering ticketing services.

Amazon is clearly looking for new big ventures.  The company has recently made a leap into the grocery sector with its purchase of Whole Foods Market.  Now it has its sights set on the U.S. ticketing market.

It’s hardly surprising.  The online event ticket sales industry is valued at $5 billion. According to IBISWorld, it has seen an annual growth of 4.8 percent since 2011.

At present the U.S. market is dominated by Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation Entertainment.  It brought in revenue of $1.6 billion from initial sales of tickets to events in 2016.  This figure does not include the estimated $250 million it received in revenue from tickets sold on the secondary market.

Both fans and venue owners could be keen on the move.  For fans, the hope is that increased competition in the ticketing market might mean lower ticket fees.  For venue owners and sports leagues the lure is that more distributers would increase ticket sales.

At present Ticketmaster has the exclusive on ticket sales at many U.S. venues. “Any would-be challengers have struggled to compete in the face of Ticketmaster’s strong relationships with the operators of major U.S. sports stadiums, arenas, concert halls and other venues,” says Reuters.

The situation is different in the UK where Amazon has already been selling seats to West End shows in London. “It is less common for venues in Britain to have an exclusive ticket provider,” comments Reuters.

Initially Amazon had thought about teaming up with Ticketmaster to break into the U.S. market.  However talks apparently stalled on the question of control of customer data.

Reuters believes that the ticketing move could be part of Amazon’s ongoing mission to encourage more people to sign up for its Prime service.  Amazon’s involvement in ticketing could also boost merchandise sales – attractive for both retailer and artists.

It’s also reported that Amazon has reached out to at least one league regarding secondary market ticket sales.

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