I just bought show tix (Mountain Goats in March at the Troub!) on the web from Ticketmaster. Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m a rich dot-com twit, and I didn’t fight the power. Anyway.
There’s the usual hilarious set of charges reminiscent of a Near Eastern hotelier or a bank. Heifer Mastication Charge, Plonk Fee, Spline Adjustment, bla bla. The $32 for two tickets balloons into $52 by the end.
Then there are two new kinds of Ticketmaster fun. First, they charge you $2 extra to print the tickets out on your own printer right away. But it’s free to get them by regular mail. In my putative Near Eastern Hotel, this is like providing free bottled water but charging for running water in the room. It only makes sense if your business model consists of “we’ve got them by the short hairs now, boys!”
Finally, there’s the checkout line sales pitch. The usual items like insurance for your tickets show up, but now there’s a new one! They try to get you to buy music by the artist from iTunes.
In this particular case the artist has loads of stuff available in friendly DRM-free mp3 via emusic, so the temptation is particularly low.
Maybe the next step should be a hard drive search for downloaded music, followed by a pop-up auto-sue device that charges you $150,000.
I’m going to go see people play pop music anyway, and it’s not the kind of monopoly that kills little kids or strangles the free internet to death; it’s essentially trivial.
But it sure is fucking funny!