In brief: Spotify created a new website that indicates its interest in testing its ticket-selling potential. The Spotify Tickets site lists upcoming live events, and clicking on a show brings up an information page with an option to buy tickets. Spotify says prices are set by the venue, but that it does charge a booking fee.
The website is similar to the Spotify app's recently introduced Live Events Feed, which also allows users to buy seats for concerts through Ticketmaster, AXS, DICE, Eventbrite, See Tickets, and other resellers. However, it appears that the new website intends to cut out the middleman. Users purchase the seats directly through Spotify.
All tickets appear to be general admission with relatively reasonable pricing ranging from $17 to $45, with a Spotify booking fee. The current offerings are limited to only seven shows, including Limbeck, Osees, Crows, Tokimonsta, Dirty Honey, Four Year Strong, and Annie DiRusso, with the last three already sold out. However, Spotify says tickets may still be available through the venue.
Spotify acting as a ticketing agent could be a good or bad thing. Ticket agents are terrible in general. They are little more than legalized scalpers, with some being worse than others. Buyers are often better off purchasing directly from the venue whenever possible. However, that has become almost impossible for bigger shows since sales to agents are virtually unregulated. Good luck finding a ticket for a big-name band through the venue.
"At Spotify, we routinely test new products and ideas to improve our user experience. Some of those end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as important learnings," a Spotify spokesperson told The Verge. "Tickets.spotify.com is our latest test. We have no further news to share on future plans at this time."
So it's unclear what direction Spotify will take the service if it gains some traction. It might only offer tickets for smaller venues or lesser-known artists to get them more exposure. However, if it becomes popular enough, it could expand to include larger venues and events, competing with the likes of Ticketmaster.
As long as it stays away from the greedy dynamic pricing model that Ticketmaster employs, it might be able to steal some business. To that end, the terms-of-purchase page currently states it does not set ticket pricing. The venue determines how much to charge, and Spotify just tacks on a booking fee.