Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has big plans to totally change the event ticketing industry, and stalwarts like Ticketmaster could soon find themselves in a very vulnerable position.
Amazon is looking to hire a number of people to expand its recently-launched U.K. ticket service into other markets in Europe, Asia, and probably into the United States as well. From Recode:
The hiring efforts are part of a new initiative to “position Amazon Tickets as the world’s premier destination for purchasing tickets,” according to one posting. The job listings also hint at plans to integrate ticket sales into the Prime membership program with something Amazon is calling Prime Tickets, the details of which were not laid out.
Prime Tickets, now that could be a real game changer. Consumers have long been unsatisfied with the archaic nature of buying event tickets, along with the exorbitant fees charged by brokers. Amazon wants to change all that and more, according to its job listings:
“[O]ur vision goes beyond just selling tickets as we aim to disrupt the entire live entertainment experience, including what happens before, during and after the show,” one posting reads. “The ticketing business is ripe for innovation and improvement, as much of the industry has not fundamentally changed since the 1970s.”
AMZN’s entry into international ticker markets should prove much easier than in the U.S., where major venues, artists, and professional sports leagues often have exclusive contracts with Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation. Convincing promoters and leagues to change their practices could be difficult, the industry, which hasn’t changed in several decades is definitely ripe for an overhaul.
And who better than Amazon to do it?
Amazon shares rose $8.73 (+1.12%) to $788.73 in Tuesday morning trading. Year-to-date, AMZN has gained 16.75%, more than doubling the performance of the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.