Ticketmaster has partnered with Walmart to sell tickets through kiosks at hundreds of the retailer's locations around the country. Live Nation, parent company of Ticketmaster, first revealed details of a partnership with Walmart back in February 2010.
According to various press releases, Walmart stores now offering tickets include 145 in Texas, 102 in the New England area, 69 in Southern California, 54 in Indiana, about 50 in Northern California, 42 in North Carolina, 46 in New Jersey, 39 in South Florida, 22 in the San Diego area, 18 in New York and one in Pennsylvania.
Before August 15, Walmart shoppers are being offered a special on "4-Pack" ticket bundles. Concerts included in the "4-Pack" vary by region and include Journey, Maroon 5 and Train, the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, Toby Keith, Santana and Rascal Flatts, and Motley Crue and Poison.
"By integrating ticketing into Walmart stores, we are able to offer fans this very convenient way to learn about upcoming events, purchase and take home tickets without leaving their neighborhood," said Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Ticketmaster in a statement. "In addition, Ticketmaster will continue to work closely with our clients to create exclusive high value offers for Walmart customers."
One expert questioned the need for a greater physical footprint. "I don't think Ticketmaster has distribution problems," Stifel Nicolaus & Company analyst Ben Mogil told TicketNews, "it's not like people need to go to Walmart to learn about Ticketmaster."
However, Mogil may be discounting the two companies' potential to create compelling packages of recorded music and concert tickets that leverage Walmart's market power. Remember that the Frontline-managed Eagles released their 2007 album "Long Road to Eden" exclusively to Walmart for one year. Guns N' Roses, another Frontline client, did a similar tactic with Best Buy for its 2008 album "Chinese Democracy." A retail exclusive on a CD and an in-store kiosk that sells tickets for that artist's concerts could be a potent combination.
This deal with Walmart comes about two and a half years after Live Nation forged an exclusive three-year partnership with Blockbuster that was to give Live Nation's new in-house ticketing a retail footprint. However, Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster in January 2010. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and was acquired in a bankruptcy auction by DISH Network in April.