- You'll save an extra 5% on Books purchased from Amazon.ca, now through July 29th. No code necessary, discount applied at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped Paperback – Apr 24 2012
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
“Ticket Masters takes you behind the box office and explains…the real reasons a good seat costs so damn much.” — Alan Light, former Editor-in-Chief, Vibe and Spin
“Fascinating.” — Rolling Stone
About the Author
Dean Budnick is the executive editor of Relix magazine and the founder of Jambands.com. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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. I wish the authors had used more specific price examples to both horrify and educate the reader about the much higher prices they are now paying. And, the impact of the Internet - where ticket broker prices suddenly became public knowledge - isn't highlighted quite well enough.
But as far as what the author's include, it really shows how distant the idea of concerts has gotten from the "old days" when it was about the music. Now, concerts are just one more product that companies provide as a way to get a captive audience that they can then sell other products too. It will make a reader very cynical. The stories about the Grateful Dead's mail-order ticket system, and Pearl Jam's lawsuit (although they aren't the heroes they presented themselves to be) against Ticketmaster are among the most interesting, well-detailed sections.
So, the book is very detailed and infomative, but often hard to follow and requires very close attention. But I can speak to the credibility of at least some of it, so I think the rest of it is equally accurate.
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.
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.