2023 Impact 50: Marla Ostroff



Ticketing is the toughest nut to crack in the live industry. It’s prosaic, but it’s critical to how this whole operation functions. It doesn’t take a news obsessive to know tickets made headlines in 2022 and 2023. The onsale for Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour caused headaches and drew considerable criticism, along with lawsuits and a made-for-TV Senate hearing. But there’s been considerable successes: in the first quarter of 2023, Live Nation reported nearly $678 million in ticketing revenue.

Marla Ostroff has been at Ticketmaster for more than 35 years. From the days of standing in line to get a paper ticket to today, where two clicks and a credit card will put the tickets inside a supercomputer you carry in your pocket. By navigating Ticketmaster through the rapids of change in ticketing specifically and in the live business in general, Ostroff has served as a trusted advisor to Barry Diller, Paul Allen, Fred Rosen and to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino.

Ticketmaster took body blows after the Swift onsale but, clearly, lessons were learned. High-profile and high-demand tours that followed had much smoother sailing and Ostroff says adaptation will be Ticketmaster’s watchword.

“Continuing the conversation about the future of ticketing and finding new ways to drive innovation alongside our clients is a source of great excitement for me,” she says. “There are countless ideas and opportunities to explore, and I’m eager to share best practices with our client roster. This includes staying nimble and adaptable to changing trends and client needs, whether that is scaling custom-made solutions to fit broader objectives or partnering with iconic and innovative companies like TikTok and Apple. These initiatives have the potential to transform the way fans interact with live events – including meeting a new generation of fans on their platform of choice – and make the ticketing experience even more seamless and enjoyable.” Fair-minded critics of Ticketmaster concede it controls so much of the market because it’s the best product. It can be counted on. Just like Ostroff.