Amazon is getting into live music gigs, and will run a series of shows this summer starting with Blondie in May.
The series is called Prime Live Events, with Amazon handling event promotion and ticketing through Amazon Tickets.
Here’s the kicker — it’s pretty expensive. The events are only available if you’re a Prime subscriber, and tickets for the Blondie show start from £150, according to the Prime Live Events site. And you can only buy a maximum of two tickets.
Other shows this summer include Texas, Alison Moyet, and Katie Melua. It’s likely Amazon will add later shows too.
The sell from Amazon is that you get to see massive artists in intimate spaces. Although the new concerts mark the launch of Prime Live Events, the company ran a few trial gigs with John Legend and Robbie Williams in smaller venues. It isn’t often you’d get to see artists who can sell out stadia up close, and Amazon’s betting that people will be willing to pay for the privilege.
And some more context: although people are buying fewer CDs, they’re seeing more live music than ever. According to PwC figures, live music revenues will grow to about $US28 billion (£21 billion) by 2020. It makes sense for Amazon to push into this area.
Amazon’s also going to package up each concert and make them available through Amazon Prime Video. The only way you’ll get to see these exclusive concerts, live or taped, is if you fork out for a subscription.
Live music is a nice complementary business for Amazon’s ticketing business, Amazon Tickets, which launched in 2015. Ticketing its own events means Amazon can cut out rivals like Live Nation, which dominates the ticketing market. To avoid the issue of touts buying tickets in bulk and reselling them for even more money, Amazon is putting a bunch of strict rules in place. Attendees have to bring photo ID and check into the event via a guestlist, rather than with physical tickets.
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