If you’ve been following the news this week, you’ve no doubt noticed a number of announcements of new digital ticketing services:
- Myspace is rolling out one that attempts to get back some of the traffic they’ve been losing to Facebook and Twitter,
- the new-ish service Bandsintown is partnering with EMI, ReverbNation, and, ingeniously, Shazam to make it easier for consumers to make spur-of-the-moment ticket purchases, and
- Apple, in its ongoing campaign to make iPhones completely impossible to resist, announced the patenting of a ticketing service that will do away with paper tickets, possibly include drink specials, definitely include directions to the venue, and possibly even the option of purchasing a live recording of the show itself.
The experience of trying to find concert tickets has, like so many other things related to music consumption, become easier. As consumers, we obviously win. But what about as artists?
For the most part, the answer is probably yes. Any artist that lists its upcoming shows on Myspace will enjoy the fact that visitors will be able to buy tickets now. But artists whose music is unavailable on these platforms may suffer as fans get increasingly accustomed to this instant access, thereby widening the gap between established acts and smaller, up and coming ones.
It’s also unclear what kinds of extra costs Apple et al will charge customers for the convenience involved. If Ticketmaster can get away with charging $7 in “convenience fees,” imagine what these guys might try.