About seven months after the president promised to crack down on stay leisure tickets’ “hidden junk charges,” representatives from Dwell Nation, DICE, SeatGeek, and different firms are convening on the White Home to announce or reiterate their respective commitments to “all-in upfront pricing.”
The White Home formally introduced the assembly with execs (and outlined the represented firms’ efforts to put off hidden ticket costs) this morning; a livestream for the occasion is scheduled to start at 10:45 AM PST. Again in November, on precisely the identical day that Dwell Nation posted its Q3 2022 financials, the president in a tweet referred to as out “hidden junk charges – like processing charges on live performance tickets.”
Not lengthy earlier than the thinly veiled swipe at Dwell Nation and its Ticketmaster subsidiary – which have continued to submit robust financials this 12 months – President Biden had delivered a speech asserting an overarching marketing campaign towards allegedly misleading banking, airline, resort, and credit-card charges. And regardless of the initiative in addition to the concentrate on occasion tickets, Dwell Nation execs made clear that they weren’t involved with a possible pivot to all-in pricing.
“We don’t imagine there shall be any influence in any way if there was a nationwide mandate for all-in pricing,” Dwell Nation president and CFO Joe Berchtold spelled out in November, earlier than going through a bipartisan congressional grilling to kick off 2023.
And since Berchtold’s look earlier than Congress – a considerable portion of the corresponding dialogue involved the Eras Tour fiasco – lawmakers have pushed a number of payments (amongst them the Unlock Ticketing Markets Act, the BOSS and SWIFT Act, the Junk Payment Prevention Act, and, most just lately, the TICKET Act) that they are saying would curb the prevalence of extreme and hidden charges.
It’s towards this backdrop – in addition to an ongoing Justice Division antitrust investigation into the Dwell Nation-Ticketmaster merger – that the aforementioned firms declare to be taking steps to embrace all-in pricing.
In response to the White Home, Dwell Nation has particularly pledged “to roll out an upfront all-in pricing expertise in September.” And the lobbying-adept promoter’s Ticketmaster “may also add a characteristic to offer shoppers the choice to obtain all-in upfront pricing for all different tickets offered on the platform,” per the announcement.
SeatGeek, for its half, “will roll-out product options over the course of the summer time to make it simpler for its hundreds of thousands of shoppers to buy on the idea of all-in value,” the White Home mentioned of the corporate.
Early trade reactions to the president’s hidden-fee announcement and assembly seem constructive. The Nationwide Impartial Venue Affiliation (NIVA), for example, advised Digital Music Information that the developments signify a step in the direction of “complete ticketing reform.” (Des Moines venue and NIVA board member xBk has dedicated to introducing “all-in pricing for over 15,000 tickets offered to over 100 occasions,” the White Home relayed.)
“Up-front pricing needs to be the beginning of complete ticketing reform that protects shoppers from value gouging and misleading practices by predatory resellers,” NIVA government director Stephen Parker mentioned partially. “Different wanted reforms reminiscent of banning speculative tickets and misleading web sites would additional defend shoppers within the ticketing market.”