The e-commerce giant's UK ticketing business appears to be gearing up for a US launch as it bids to become "Earth’s most customer-centric ticketing company"
Sign up for IQ Index
The latest industry news to your inbox.
The launch of Amazon's ticketing service stateside has reportedly been shelved after failing to reach a distribution deal with market leader Ticketmaster
By IQ on 24 Nov 2017
The much-anticipated launch of Amazon Tickets in North America has reportedly been delayed indefinitely, after ecommerce giant Amazon failed to secure a distribution deal with Live Nation’s Ticketmaster.
That’s according to Dave Brooks at Amplify, who notes that after a year of trying to get the US edition of its UK ticketing platform off the ground, Amazon has largely abandoned the project in the face of Ticketmaster’s overwhelming market dominance and exclusivity contracts with many of the country’s top venues.
Despite the recent exits of top execs Geraldine Wilson and Jason Carter, Amazon Tickets is still operational in the UK and remains outwardly successful, notably partnering with AEG, launching its own concert series, Prime Live Events, and generally continuing to grow its product offering.
The US ticketing market, however, is a different beast, with big ticketers such as Ticketmaster, AXS and See Tickets eschewing the open-distribution model common in much of the rest of the world in favour of handing over huge amounts of cash upfront to venues to sell their tickets exclusively.
Ticketmaster reportedly declined to work with Amazon, offering it only the opportunity to sell discounted tickets to underperforming shows – a proposal that was rebuffed
According to Amplify, that model proved Amazon’s undoing: a source close to the company says Amazon Tickets US’s business model, as in the UK, would have been about “doing deals with all the ticketing platforms to pull inventory and help content owners allocate tickets”. Ticketmaster – which enjoys a 80% marketshare in the US – reportedly declined to work with Amazon, offering it the only opportunity to sell discounted tickets to underperforming shows – a proposal rebuffed by Amazon, which wanted to be able to offer members of its Prime scheme deals on premium tickets.
That leaves Amazon instead faced with the equally tricky prospect of negotiating directly with (often Ticketmaster-exclusive) venues and promoters – something the source says won’t be happening until market conditions change.
Despite this, Amazon Tickets continues to recruit in the US: the company still needs a Texas-based software developer, indicating there may be life in the platform yet.
Amazon declined to comment.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.