In a challenge to Ticketmaster and perhaps eBay’s StubHub marketplace, Amazon is looking to enter the event-ticketing business and is in talks with venue owners who could serve as partners, Reuters reports. The e-commerce giant was previously in talks with Ticketmaster over a potential partnership, but those have ended, according to the report.
Amazon already sells event tickets in the U.K., where the market is more fractured, according to a source there who spoke to Reuters.
It would be the latest disruption from the e-commerce giant and could loosen the grip of Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster, which has irritated consumers with its added-on fees but dominates the market. Amazon didn't immediately respond to Retail Dive's request for comment on the report.
Any new entry into the ticket-selling field is likely to find a welcoming audience among venue-booking agents and event goers. Social media is rife with complaints about Ticketmaster fees, but sales are brisk because consumers have little choice.
It's hard to imagine at this point a business category that Amazon wouldn't be interested in entering. The company has of late been racing into new lines of business as it looks to expand beyond its retail unit and marketplace. In addition to its AWS web services business — which is far more profitable per dollar of revenue than the company's retail sales — the company is reportedly moving into pharmacy sales and is expanding its offerings with a StitchFix-like apparel subscription service, a Blue Apron-like meal kit service, an Etsy-like craft marketplace, brick-and-mortar groceries (with its Whole Foods acquisition) and home repair services, among other business lines.
The e-commerce giant failed to rattle investors last month even as it posted a second-quarter profit miss. Indeed, many analysts and investors are willing to give Amazon a pass on earnings, as they see the company as building a wide-ranging consumer-oriented business and bolstering it with customer service and high levels of trust. It also has a growing and loyal base of Prime members, who tend to spend more with Amazon.
If ticket sales become yet another Prime perk, that would only continue to solidify that advantage. The company is already solidly in the entertainment business, with a Netflix-rivaling video streaming service, wide-release film production and music streaming.
The Echo is emerging as another customer adhesive. According to eMarketer, 25.1 million Americans will use an Amazon Echo this year, up 123.9% over last year. The firm also found that 70.6% of voice-enabled speaker users will use an Amazon Echo, compared with 23.8% who will use Google Home.