Amazon is retreating from ticket sales for events, concerts and shows in the UK, according to reports. This news follows rumours that the experiment would not be rolled out to the USA after a bravura launch in 2016.
In an email to sellers, James Moore, the Amazon Tickets category director for music, said Amazon had “taken the decision to close Amazon Tickets, and today will commence the process of marking back to you any tickets currently on our website and of ceasing the sale of new tickets”. The email was sent to merchants on the 21st of February.
When it launched in the UK, Amazon said:
We’re always looking to add to Amazon Prime, and today we’re delighted to give our members exclusive access to tickets to our new Amazon lounges, premium seating and pre-sales for live music and entertainment experiences across the UK.
– Geraldine Wilson, General Manager of Amazon Tickets
Wilson subsequently left the business and hinted there were difficulties with the enterprise despite partnering with AEG and launching its own concert series called Prime Live Events with exclusive offers for subscribers.
The inevitable conclusion of this move must be that the game isn’t worth the candle. Amazon will get involved in any marketplace area that offers it sales, benefits to Prime members and profits.
But the ticket resale marketplace is notoriously tricky, controversial, subject to media scrutiny, and fraught with objections from vested interests. It seems that the prevailing winds in the tickets arena don’t make it attractive and they will be directing their energies and resources elsewhere. Amazon does have good instincts when it comes to knowing when to quit.
This will likely come as a relief to other key payers in the ticket sales market, such as eBay owned StubHub, who specialise in tickets and see a genuine source of profit and growth with tickets.