Amazon’s made its reputation on its online retail side working alongside its unconventional investments and the company’s latest rumored interest fits in with its past left-field projects. Amazon has been in discussions about potentially entering the event ticket sales market, according to Reuters.
As part of these discussions, Amazon is looking into partnerships with U.S. venues in order to directly sell tickets to consumers. The ticket sales market has long been dominated by companies like Ticketmaster, which have benefited from extensive relationships with major U.S. venues.
Amazon has been aggressive in its negotiations, as Reuters notes that the company has reportedly been willing to provide multi-million dollar sponsorships to venues in order to get its foot in the door. This also wouldn’t be Amazon’s first time in the ticket sales market, since the online retailer has sold tickets for theater shows in Britain since 2015.
But at the moment, it’s unclear if Amazon’s current interest in the industry will lead anywhere significant. As Reuters notes, discussions with Ticketmaster and venues have reportedly stalled over customer data concerns. The latter two parties are interested in sharing customer data from ticket buyers, as this data is often used for applications like analytics and figuring out what acts to book at specific venues. However, Amazon has been unwilling to share this buyer data with partners and has looked into league-specific partnerships to sell tickets on the secondary market similarly to companies like StubHub.
Part of the reason for this potential resistance comes from Amazon’s likely reason for looking into the ticket sales market. Analysts have pegged the move as yet another play to get buyers to subscribe to Amazon Prime and keep them engaged with Amazon products and services. With the scale of the ticket buying market — parent company Live Nation reported second quarter earnings in 2017 of $2.8 billion — getting a foothold into the industry would be especially fruitful for Amazon’s bottom line.
Especially within the concert and events market, Amazon could have substantial room to challenge competitors like Ticketmaster, which have generally suffered from a less-than-stellar reputation among buyers who dislike service charges and other common fees. Venues and other partners like credit card companies frequently offer ticket pre-sale deals or other promotions to members and Amazon could likely feature similar members-only benefits at a higher scale.
This goal has also been at play for Amazon’s other recent acquisitions. Earlier this summer, Amazon bought grocery chain Whole Foods for an estimated $13.7 billion and past initiatives have included the growth of Amazon Prime Video into a viable competitor to Netflix. The online retailer also paid around $50 million to the National Football League for the rights to stream several Thursday night football games this season, beating out previous NFL streaming rights-holder Twitter.