Ticketmaster Criticized For Fan Club Rules

Ticketmaster rolled out a revamped system to handle premium ticketing, fan clubs and commerce in the wake of complaints from some bands over such programs.  

In a statement, the company announced that OnTour, formerly called Artist Services, will provide “artists with a variety of innovative tools and services. Some you already know and use, like our marketing & ticketing solutions, fan club platform, and bundling tools. Others are brand new like Ticker (our new mobile reporting app) and BigChampagne media measurement.” The company’s fan club platform has faced recent criticism for its policies surrounding what counts as a fan club, the New York Times reported.

The rules are reportedly making it difficult for some bands to obtain their allotment of tickets to sell directly to members of the clubs – typically eight percent of the house. Some artist managers told the Times TM policy requires that a fan club include a chat room, which they claim isn’t necessary in the age of social media. Others complained restrictions on fan clubs were likely put in place in order to keep such sales on TM’s platform rather than other services.

“Ticketmaster has always agreed that for that 8 percent of tickets, bands could do pretty much whatever they want with them,” String Cheese Incident manager Mike Luba told the paper.

“Now it feels like that scene in ‘Star Wars’ with the trash compactor, where the walls are about to squash everybody out.”

Ticketmaster issued a statement to the Times that suggested the company could be willing to consider a compromise to current policies. “We are an artist-centric company with the goal to grow our artists’ businesses,” the statement said. “There’s no artist-focused proposition that is set in stone — we listen, grow and evolve with our artists’ needs.”