StubHub isn’t the only big company selling tickets on the secondary market – Ticketmaster does, too, with its proprietary TicketExchange system. Ticket buyers can re-sell their TM ducats on the system, located at the TM Web site, for above face value. Ticketmaster tacks on a service fee that in general is about 10 percent of the purchase price.
TM says it’s a great service for many reasons, including because tickets reflect market value rather than the arbitrary pricing found on some secondary ticketing locations.
Better yet, it’s Ticketmaster tickets, sold on the Ticketmaster Web site, which gives some implicit and explicit peace of mind to buyers – as well as legitimacy.
But one of the big knocks against secondary ticketing portals like StubHub is it makes money – lots of money – off of its service fee and doesn’t share it with the people who helped put on the show – from the artist to the promoter.
So what’s the difference between StubHub’s service fee and Ticketmaster? It’s a service fee, and it goes to Ticketmaster. It was a question seemingly nobody was asking, so Pollstar did.
The difference, according to two people familiar with the situation, is that TM’s service charge generally is shared with the industry. The agreements may change from artist to artist, and the service fee may differ for every deal, but the resale cost is something set only by TM after negotiating it with the artist’s rep.
If they don’t want to participate in TM’s TicketExchage, the company will not resell an artist’s tickets.