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Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped Paperback – April 24, 2012
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“Fascinating.” — Rolling Stone
About the Author
Josh Baron is the editor in chief of Relix magazine and contributes to a variety of media outlets including New York City–based radio station WPUV, where he serves as a music reviewer.
More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Top Customer Reviews
I worked in the ticket industry for about 13 years, so I've seen most of the changes the author describes. Stub Hub, the now-ubiqutous ticket marketplace, used to call our office years ago and explain what a great idea they had about a national format - and we laughed, and laughed.
Most importantly, though, the stories Budnick and Baron tell happened the way they tell it. I can speak to their credibility, at least as far as their stories on Stub Hub, Tickets Now, and other ticket brokers.
No question they put in every bit of detail they could get their hands on. That is one of the flaws of the book, that they put in so much that it's sometimes difficult to tell what facts are most important, and where the reader's focus should really be. This book takes some work - it's not a beach read. You have to be prepared to pay attention, read things again, and then re-read. There is a lot of business discussion, and dollar figures, and other small details that require a lot of the reader's attention.
A big flaw is the lack of specific ticket prices. Only a few times do the authors actually say what a concert costs, and since the entire book is on the notion that the public is getting 'scalped,' it's hard to see exactly HOW, without seeing the increase in price.
I know that the Rolling Stones, for example, charged $60 for their best field seats for their 1997 tour - and $450 in 2005. Awful, right? But even though the Rolling Stones are a major part of the book, the authors never use any specific ticket prices - they talk about fan club prices, but not tickets.Read more ›
This book is written in a very "60 Minutes" type investigation manner about Ticketmaster. It breaks down the origins of computerized ticketing from its very beginnings to where it's at today. The book examines the greed, corruption and blatant arrogance that takes place in the concert industry. From agents, promoters and even the artists themselves, this book leaves no stone unturned.
Definitely worth the read.
If you enjoy reading business history books, this is for you. If you want some light reading, this is not your book. Some sections required reading more than once to get the details down.
This book is extremely thoroughly researched, with a 9 page glossary to help you keep track of the 300 hundred or so cast of characters. The authors were able to interview many of the key players in the development of the various legacy companies that merged into what is Ticketmaster today. The quotes from them provide key insight into both what they were thinking at the time of key developments but how accurate they were from the view of hindsight today. They patiently explain the technologies that underlie various changes, the competing companies at each point in time, the bands that try to buck trends, or create their own ones, and more.
Also documented are the congressional investigations into the monopolistic practices which seem to have not been able to stick to this teflon industry.
This meticulous book helps explain how the ticket and promotion industry got to where it is today, with a few large players, and high prices. It is a fascinating ride. Although the details can get heady at times, if you soldier through, an unparalleled view is your reward.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Is just ok to read nothing new if you want concert tickets just buy it is nothing to do about it , tickets master control you ticketsPublished 12 months ago by RickSanford
Stories and biographies of the relatives of the guy who was the first in the industry. Could not get to the point in one day of reading.Published 20 months ago by Dimitri K
To how and why tickets are not available 10 seconds after they are officially on sale, AND MORE!!! Well written and thoroughly researched book that was incredibly interesting and... Read morePublished on May 18, 2013 by Benjamin Fournier
I had to read this book for a class. While it wasn't the most well written book I've ever read (they tend to jump around a lot with names, CEOs, owners, etc) it was definitely a... Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by Megan Kaiser
This book does an excellent job of showing the foundation of the ticketing industry as it grew throughout the 20th century. Read morePublished on February 1, 2013 by dave carter
This book is a must for reading. I will not attend another Ticket Bastard Concert, unless I win them. Great transaction with the seller. Many Thanks!!!Published on July 22, 2012 by John C Wolfram
A fast-paced, deep dive into the business of ticketing and all the businesses it touches--Wall Street, Madison Avenue, concert promotion, licensed merchandise, information... Read morePublished on November 5, 2011 by Lesa Ukman