Music Business

Rearviewmirror: 5 Ways Ticketmaster Survived Pearl Jam

Do you hate Ticketmaster convenience fees? If you don't, it's because you've never been to a concert. The various fees tacked onto admission prices by the global ticketing behemoth can add a pretty penny in a hurry to the face value of a chance to see and hear our musical heroes, and they're one of the biggest inconveniences associated with live music today. The fees are nothing new, either -- fans and artists alike have been complaining about the practice for decades.

Few have ever gone to such extreme lengths to try to eliminate service fees as Pearl Jam did 18 years ago this week. The Seattle-based grunge icons took a stand against Ticketmaster in 1994, filing a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department over the company's abusive service fee practices and growing monopoly over ticketing distribution.

They flat refused to sell tickets through Ticketmaster unless the fees were ditched. At the time, Pearl Jam was the biggest rock band in the world -- there was no hotter ticket in live music. If any artists could force Ticketmaster to change its business model, it would be them.

Long story short, they couldn't.

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Nathan Smith
Contact: Nathan Smith