Anschutz Entertainment Group is launching its own event ticketing service this weekend, creating what some hope will be the first serious challenge to Ticketmaster’s dominance.
The difference between this and past attempts to break the Ticketmaster monopoly is that the sports and entertainment conglomerate owns or operates more than 100 stadiums and arenas worldwide.
Axs, as AEG’s service has been dubbed, will soon be the exclusive ticketer at all those buildings, including Los Angeles’s Staples centre and (eventually) its new 70,000-seat football stadium/conference centre.
AEG’s corporate siblings also own entire sports teams and promote concert tours for major acts like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and the Black Eyed Peas.
Making matters worse for Ticketmaster, AEG is currently their biggest client, bringing the company more than $55 million a year. Within two years, all that money will stay with AEG.
When Ticketmaster merged with LiveNation last year, the Justice Department insisted that they licence its software to AEG, but the company decided – with the help of a former Ticketmaster CEO – to launch their own service from scratch.
Now, by cutting into Ticketmaster’s primary revenue stream, they hope the break the back of a company that has haunted sports and music fans for decades without outrageous and often baffling service fees.
For starters, Axs plans to not charge for a fee for printing at home (as TM does) and will allow the arenas to keep top billing when it comes to purchases.