Ticketmaster is an American ticket sales and distribution company based in Beverly Hills, California with operations in many countries around the world. In 2010 it merged with Live Nation to develop the parent company Live Nation Entertainment.
The company’s ticket sales are fulfilled digitally or at its two main fulfillment centers located in Charleston, West Virginia, and Pharr, Texas for both primary and secondary markets. Ticketmaster’s clients include venues, artists and promoters. Clients control their events and set ticket prices, and Ticketmaster sells tickets that the clients make available to them.
Ticketmaster was founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 1976 by Peter Gadwa, a computer programmer, Albert Leffler, a box office specialist, as well as Gordon Gunn III, Thomas Hart Jr., Dan Reeter, and Jerry Nelson. The company originally licensed computer programs and sold hardware for ticketing systems before switching to computerized ticketing in 1982. Its first ticketed concert was Electric Light Orchestra.
In 1998, USA Networks Inc., later named InterActiveCorp (IAC), purchased a majority stake in Ticketmaster. That same year, the company merged with CitySearch and was renamed Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch. In May 2000, Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch acquired TicketWeb Inc., a ticket vendor that sold tickets online and over the phone. In 2003, IAC repurchased the remaining Ticketmaster stock that it had previously sold off.
IAC spun off Ticketmaster as its own company in the summer of 2008. Later in 2008, Ticketmaster acquired Front Line Management, an artist management firm that worked with artists such as Aerosmith, Christina Aguilera and Jimmy Buffett. Front Line CEO Irving Azoff became CEO of the new company, which was renamed Ticketmaster Entertainment.
In February 2009, the Ticketmaster / Live Nation merger was cleared by the U.S. Justice Department in January 2010 under the condition that the company sell Paciolan to Comcast Spectacor or another firm, and license its software to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), its biggest competitor. The new company, which would be called Live Nation Entertainment, would also be subject to provisions for 10 years that prevented it from retaliating against venues that partnered with competing ticketing firms. Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino was named CEO of the new company.
In 2015, Ticketmaster acquired Front Gate Tickets, a music festival ticketing service that provided services for festivals including Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. The same year, the company acquired Universe, a DIY ticketing platform. In 2017, TicketWeb, Ticketmaster’s self-service ticketing platform, acquired Strobe Labs, a marketing platform that allows users to market to fans through social media. In 2018, Ticketmaster acquired UPGRADED, a company that converts traditional tickets into secure interactive digital assets protected by blockchain, providing event creators with more control and visibility over ticket distribution, and protecting fans against fraudulent tickets.