Concerts giant Live Nation gave the live music industry many reasons (and stats) to be happy last week.
In the company’s investor filing for Q2 (the quarter ended June 30, 2022), Live Nation said that it has sold 100 million tickets for concerts in 2022 so far, which, it says, is already more than what it sold for the whole year in 2019.
Looking to the rest of the year, the company shared the claim that “2022 is on track to be the biggest year in live music history”.
Following strong post-lockdown fan demand for live music tickets, could streaming giant Spotify, with its 433 million monthly active users, be thinking of making a serious play in the live music ticketing business?
This week, Spotify started testing concert ticket sales directly to fans via a new site called tickets.spotify.com.
Fans will need to have a Spotify account to submit an order for a ticket to one of the events listed on the site, and if they don’t, they’ll need to register for a free account with the platform before they can do so.
As first reported by Music Ally, concerts for seven artists are currently listed on the site, including Annie DiRusso, Crows, Dirty Honey, Four Years Strong, Limbeck, Osees and Tokimonsta.
In a statement, a Spotify spokesperson suggested that the ticket-selling trial may or may not be expanded beyond this initial test.
“At Spotify, we routinely test new products and ideas to improve our user experience,” they said. “Some of those end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as important learnings.”
The D2C ticketing test comes at an interesting time for the streaming platform.
Just two months ago, Spotify launched a new Live Events Feed, to replace its “Concert Hub”.
With the new feed, SPOT sources listings from ticketing partners including Ticketmaster, AXS, DICE, Eventbrite, See Tickets, and more.
“With shows coming back, and listeners excited to see their favorite artists perform live again, we think this is the perfect time to explore new ways that Spotify can further support the industry.”
René Volker, Spotify (speaking in June)
Speaking at the time of the Live Events Feed launch, Spotify’s Senior Director of Live Events, René Volker, said: “We know how important live events are to creators and to the broader music industry, and how much live has suffered during the pandemic.”
Added Volker: “With shows coming back, and listeners excited to see their favorite artists perform live again, we think this is the perfect time to explore new ways that Spotify can further support the industry.”
Within Spotify’s ticketing terms and conditions section, the company states that it sells tickets “on behalf of third parties which can include venues, event promoters, fan clubs and artists” and that the face value of tickets sold via its site is set by its event partners and not by Spotify.
Spotify adds that it “will not control the ticket availability or inventory stock”, and, in its “capacity as agent”, will “charge a booking fee” on tickets sold.
As noted by TechCrunch, some of the venues listed on Spotify’s ticketing page are members of US-based independent venues org NIVA (National Independent Venue Association), which it suggests, could mean that SPOT is ‘avoiding venues that are under Ticketmaster owner Live Nation’s distribution’.Music Business Worldwide