Amazon wants to be “Earth’s most customer-centric ticketing company.” One problem: Ticketmaster!

Courtesy of Barron’s:

Get ready for another Amazon business. Next week, the e-commerce giant is set to hold its first concert in the U.K. next week and the company is ramping up its efforts in the U.S.

Gabelli analyst John Tinker points to 33 job postings on Amazon’s site with the following description: “Amazon Tickets is a start-up business with a vision of becoming Earth’s most customer-centric ticketing company.”
Just one issue: Ticketmaster isn’t going away anytime soon. Tinker wrote to clients this week that Live Nation Entertainment, Ticketmaster’s parent company, has built up key strengths in ticketing, beyond sheer market share, that could hold back as it gets more serious about concerts.

Amazon’s interest in concerts could be an attempt to make its Prime service more attractive. To start, Prime members will be able to watch video of next week’s concert. But thinking about Amazon’s future goals here, Tinker wrote: “Subsidizing tickets as a benefit for Prime members is great PR but not a scalable business.”

Plus, unlike the U.K., where Amazon has a presence, the U.S. ticketing market is “venue driven,” meaning that stadiums and concert have relationships with ticketing platforms. Many of the venues already have deals with Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation. Ticketmaster shares data on its buyers with stadiums, something those venues like, and something Amazon doesn’t currently do, Tinker wrote.

And there’s something to be said for expertise. “Live Nation’s model is to pay the artist as much as possible and then leverage its market share and drive other businesses like sponsorship,” he wrote.

Live Nation shares are up 28% in 2017 to a recent $34. Tinker rates the stock at Buy.

Big Picture: As Amazon gets more serious about ticketing, one analyst points out areas where Ticketmaster could have an advantage.