David Brooks and @knopps Give The Other Side of Dynamic Pricing: Big Tech Scalpers

What we don’t like about dynamic pricing is that it’s necessary because of free riding scalpers and the artists get blamed.

Bruce Springsteen fans had a rough introduction to the world of dynamic ticket pricing Wednesday (July 20), as many logged into Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan platform to buy tickets for his upcoming tour with the E Street Band and experienced sticker shock at the cost of the best seats.

Those prices – which climbed into the thousands of dollars, as widely reported – represented about 1 percent of the tickets listed on the Ticketmaster Verified Fan sale, but they became a sore point for fans who felt that they no longer had a shot at great seats after years of loyalty to the Boss.

By selling high-priced platinum tickets, Ticketmaster argues, the company can prevent the best seats from being bought and resold by scalpers. That money can instead go to Springsteen. However, this only works when the tickets cost enough to prevent scalpers from making a profit.

Sources tell Billboard that early numbers show that less than 10 percent of tickets sold for the five concerts that went on sale Wednesday ended up on the secondary market – lower than average – and that despite complaints about four-figure prices, only 1 percent of tickets were above $1,000.

Read the post on Billboard

@dmccabe: Airbnb hits hotel lobby (MIC Coalition) in message to Capitol Hill

It’s not just us–the MIC Coalition is trying to shut down Airbnb, too.  If you use Airbnb to book rooms on the road, this matters to you, too.

Airbnb is stepping up its fight against the hotel lobby on Capitol Hill.

The company paints the American Hotel and Lodging Association as opposing a minimum wage increase and having “a long history of fighting unions” in a memo, obtained by The Hill, that will be sent to congressional offices Tuesday.

An Airbnb representative said the memo would be sent to the offices of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

The missive is pegged to a letter sent Monday to labor unions by union-affiliated Airbnb users who criticize what they see as a partnership between Unite Here and the hotel and lodging trade group.

The war between the hotel industry and Airbnb has largely been fought at the local level, where critics accuse the home-sharing platform of driving up rent prices and restricting housing stock. But in July, three senators — including progressive champion Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — asked the Federal Trade Commission to “conduct a review of commercial operators on short-term rental platforms.”

The hotel lobbying group later hailed the added scrutiny on Airbnb and talked of “working closely” for months with the group of senators, which also included Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), in a message to its members.

Read the post on The Hill.