Ed Zitron
3 min readNov 21, 2022

There are very few industries in modern business that provide less of a service than ticketing companies. Their only job is to sell you a ticket to an event, and then provide it in time for you to attend. One would think, in fact, that this would be a business that naturally lent itself to competition — after all, for such a ridiculously simple service, one would have to do something to differentiate yourself — except in the business of ticketing, the only competition appears to be “who can make this experience worse.”

SeatGeek? Barely-functional. AXS? A truly awful company, and one that does not appear to let you buy single tickets to Las Vegas Knights games. Stubhub will let anyone list anything for any price in any part of the stadium without requiring any proof that they have the tickets, something that they will remedy by refunding the tickets and saying “sorry.” GameTime has carved out a niche as “the company that will let you sell your tickets last minute,” meaning they can do the job you pay them for.

And that’s the unifying problem with the ticketing industry — absolutely none of these companies provide anything other than a service that, in many cases, they fundamentally fail to provide. There are many more ticket services — VividTickets, SITickets, and so on — that have absolutely no differentiation other than “we also sell tickets.”

Oh, pardon me, there is one differentiator: the insane amounts of fees that these companies can choose to charge because at no point has anyone in the government ever considered that perhaps it’s insane to pay a fee on top that is entirely based on how the company feels that day? Or two fees, neither of which seem to be justified beyond “Ticketmaster would like to make more money.” These fees suggest some sort of service is provided by these companies — and I am, quite honestly, unsure what that service is. Customer Support? Try calling these companies. It takes forever, and the customer service agents often have very little they can do. Providing the infrastructure to get into the event? That is a one-time cost.

Perhaps it’s to stop the inflation of ticket prices based on an event’s popularity? God no. In fact, Ticketmaster realized that it’s possible to skip the concept of third party vendors entirely, and simply offer scalped tickets themselves in the form of “official platinum seats,” which allows you to experience the extremely high prices of third party ticket vendors warm in the knowledge that the only person getting rich is Ticketmaster.

Ed Zitron

CEO @EZPR . British. 2x author, writer @thisisinsider , @TheAtlantic — Top 50 @bitech tech PR 4x — http://ez.substack.com — The BBQ Joker