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Amazon Tickets GM Geraldine Wilson exits

Geraldine Wilson, the Amazon UK exec who had led the company’s ticketing business for more than three years, has stepped down, IQ has learnt.

Wilson was removed as a director of Amazon Online UK Ltd on 4 August, and an Amazon spokesperson confirmed today she has “decided to leave Amazon Tickets for personal reasons and to take some time off from full-time employment”.

Wilson joined Amazon UK in May 2014 as general manager of its Amazon Local business, which marked the ecommerce giant’s first foray into ticketing, initially via partnerships with several West End theatres. Amazon Tickets was spun out as a standalone division in September 2015, with Wilson becoming GM.

The service has since grown to offer tickets for most major UK tours, become the official presale partner of AEG’s British Summer Time festival and is in the process of being launched in the US.

Wilson’s exit follows that of Prime Live Events boss Jason Carter, who similarly left for personal reasons and to “take time off from full-time employment” in June. Prior to his resignation, Carter headed up Amazon’s first self-promoted concert series, announced in May as exclusively available to Amazon Prime subscribers.

 


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Amazon Tickets: “Fair prices”, no fees, no resale

Ahead of its rumoured international launch, Amazon Tickets’ general manager, Geraldine Wilson, has discussed Amazon’s fledgling UK ticketing operation, outlining its commitment to “fair prices for fans” with booking fees included in tickets’ face value.

Speaking at the 29th International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London last week, Wilson said concert ticketing is an “obvious” area of expansion for Amazon given the ecommerce giant’s strength in physical musical sales and streaming. “Our customers love music, and this was an obvious place to go,” she said.

On pricing, Wilson said Amazon its mission is to be “competitive on prices”: “When we are selling theatre tickets, for example, we don’t want the customer to pay any more than they would at the box office,” she explained. “We try and work within that.”

She also criticised the practice of charging booking fees on tickets at check-out, saying she “personally [has] a real problem” with hidden charges. “We always show an all-inclusive price,” she commented.

“We are all about getting tickets to fans in our customer base at a fair price. I think secondary is wrong on every level”

When the panel (Ticketing: The survival plan) moved onto secondary ticketing, Wilson was adamant Amazon was not going to move in that direction. “We are all about getting tickets to fans in our customer base at a fair price,” she said. “I think it [ticket touting] is wrong at every level.”

Wilson also appeared briefly during ILMC’s opening session, The Open Forum: The big round up, joining panellists as they discussed the ramifications of Amazon’s potentially disruptive entry into the international ticketing market.

Reactions were mixed: From a manager’s point of view, said Biffy Clyro’s manager, Paul Craig, Amazon Tickets’s launch – and more ticket sellers in general – are a good thing, as each has different reaches and user-bases. CAA agent Emma Banks, however, cautioned that too many cooks could make it difficult to effectively price shows. “Ticketing is very complicated in the UK,” she said. “You have arena box-office deals, promoter deals with ticketing companies… another ticket agency further squeezes the allocations.”

 


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