Fucking hate promoters now and record labels, grrr.
Here's the dirty truth:
Ticketmaster/LiveNation actually only collects about $5 per ticket for themselves. ALL of the other fees on that ticket go to the artist, the venue and the promoters via a contract that dictates how much percent of all other fees go to who.
Ticketmaster is actually charging the majority of those fees on behalf of the artist, venue and promoters to give the impression that their concert tickets are reasonably priced. They're the willing patsy for the venom regarding total per ticket prices for shows.
Ticketmaster will have a hard time being dethroned: Artists, venues and promoters who collectively charge "only" $30 per seat for a show would lose a shitload of money if they used a different ticketing agent that also listed the seat price as $30.
I stopped buying RIAA affiliated releases because of their BS. I'd buy the CD at the show instead to ensure that the bands got a bigger cut per sale.
Because of this Ticketmaster bullshit... I've stopped going to shows where I can't pay the ticket printed price at the door. So that means I've seen exactly zero major label/RIAA artists in concert in the last 5 years.
Few weeks ago, I ended up running into someone at my watering hole and having this conversation. Turns out, he's the guy that sets the ticket prices for the premium seating areas. He confirmed everything. He had to add that when artists like Trent Reznor slam Ticketmaster for outrageous ticket prices... that they were still collecting on every single one of those fees. (Top acts tend to get about 90% of the fees in total)
Ticketmaster are just the willing scapesgoat for bloated ticket prices. You're not going to accomplish anything by getting upset over the prices unless you complain to the artists directly.
Edit: For those sending me PMs doubting my story: This good enough? http://imgur.com/gV5yR
Name and contact info blocked out because I don't want fucktards harassing the guy. He was very straight up and honest about how the business works and I appreciated his candor.
The sad truth is that all of your anger is mostly misdirected. There's a reason that fees vary so wildly between types of shows and popularity of the act. Ticketmaster is first and foremost an obfuscation system to sell tickets at a rate that the artists and management want while trying to give the impression that the prices are still reasonable. It really is this simple: Artists/Management, Promoters and Venues collect the MAJORITY of the fees on each ticket ON TOP of the ticket price, regardless of what the fees are said to be there for.
Edit 2: mjklin deserves credit for digging up an interview that talks about concert ticket pricing. It's worth a listen: http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comm … ry/c1os2qe - Also worth reading is his "food chain" link. It highlights what I've tried to point out: The percentage of what the artists get out of those fees and how much say they have over the fees in general really does depend on how much draw/power the act themselves have. If not them, it's the management, label, venues and/or the promoters collecting.
Edit 3: As other people have pointed out in the thread, there's a lot of hands in the cookie jar. TicketMaster just takes the blame for everyone, smiles with a shit eating grin ... and why? Because they're so fucking good at taking all of this crap people fling their way that they have guaranteed that venues will remain exclusive to them, promoters and artists/management will continue to sell tickets through them.