HBO’s John Oliver Takes Aim at Ticketmaster

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Popular HBO late-night television show host John Oliver took aim at the seemingly ubiquitous ticket seller, Ticketmaster, during his major story last week on his show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

In the entire 20 minute segment, Oliver roasted Ticketmaster for exorbitant surcharges, fees, and price gouging, which included sometimes raising the price of tickets many, many times over—sometimes even 7,000%.

Oliver highlights the Ticketmaster merger with Live Nation, which he says probably should never have happened. He also talks about Pearl Jam’s attempt to circumvent Ticketmaster in the ’90s, which didn’t exactly work out the way the band had hoped.

Oliver points out that nefarious practices happen daily both with the sale of tickets for popular acts like Justin Bieber and Bad Bunny and there are even worse practices when it comes to the resale market, which, at times, Ticketmaster is guilty of participating in, as well.

Said Oliver, “The average price for a popular concert has more than tripled since the mid-’90s, which vastly outpaced inflation—and that’s before the resale market kicks in, adding its own problems.”

He continued, saying that Ticketmaster claims that “they strive to put fans first, and that the people we care most about are the fans. And yet, as anyone who has ever bought from them knows, that’s generally not the feeling you get when you’re dealing with them.”

“These sites badly want you to think of them as fan-to-fan marketplaces,” said Oliver, between showing a potato that resembles Mickey Mouse in order to add a little levity to the haranguing. “But the truth is, resale sites are not just fan-to-fan at all.”

Watch the entire clip below.

Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

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