Summit 2015, Austin TX
Monday & Tuesday, March 23-24, 2015

Session 7: Tuesday 10:15 Riverside West
Moderator: Kristél Pfeil Kemmerer

Nichole Kosar, PhD student
Jonathan Blevins, PhD student
Khalid Ballouli, Assistant Professor
John Grady, Associate Professor
University of South Carolina.

An Examination of Blanket Music Licenses in Minor and Independent League Sports Stadiums

In recent years, research on music copyright law has focused heavily on issues related to digital formats of music. These are certainly important topics and have been highlighted by numerous authors (e.g., Adermon & Liang, 2014; Cesareo & Pastore, 2014); however, this focus has taken away from other types of music copyright problems, including the unlicensed use of music in public spaces. This study aims to explore the use of recorded music in the setting of minor league and independent league baseball stadiums, where staff may be unaware of music licensing standards.

A high volume of music is played at live sporting events and, while blanket licenses are available from U.S. performing rights organizations (i.e., ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) to cover the use of this music in public spaces, it is suspected that smaller stadiums may not have the correct licenses in place. This may be explained by lack of knowledge that these licenses exist (Piquero, 2005; Luh, 1995). Baseball uses a high number of songs per game thanks to the growing popularity of individual player walk-up songs in addition to traditional sports anthems. It is suspected by the authors that the use of unlicensed music is more likely in lesser-known stadiums of minor league and independent teams, where music selection is often left to athletes or stadium interns who are uneducated in copyright law. These types of baseball stadiums in and around Columbia, South Carolina will be the focus of this study. Investigation into the licensing practices of these stadiums and teams will be conducted and key staff will be anonymously interviewed to determine the perceived value of music in these settings. Future implications of this study will drive further research on the topics of music licensing awareness and the value of music in public spaces.

Jess White
Associate Professor / Entertainment Management
Bay State College

Patrick Preston
Department Chair / Entertainment Management
Bay State College

Examining Traditional and Paperless Ticketing Systems and their Value to Artists and their Fans from an Artist Management Perspective

As the paperless ticketing business model has expanded, it has shown both promise and challenges for all stakeholders. On one hand, paperless ticketing represents an effective way for artists to maximize their revenue from live concerts by reducing the number of tickets available to scalpers and to organizations that operate in the secondary ticketing market whose mark-up charges above the face value of the ticket is not available to the artist in the accounting of final settlements. For the consumer, paperless ticketing makes available prime seats at face value that otherwise would have been purchased in blocks by automated bots and subsequently would have only been available to the consumer at inflated prices. However, current paperless ticketing also presents inefficiencies that leave the consumer frustrated, and that fan frustration can harm the relationship between the artist and fan.

This paper will expand on issues of Paperless Ticketing that the authors raised in their 2014 MEIEA Journal Article, “Concert Promotion Centralization and the Artist Management Response: 1990s-2010s”. Starting with an examination of the growth and development of the ticketing vendor industry, focusing on TickeTron and TicketMaster and the initial value those services brought to the industry, this paper will then explore the expansion of TicketMaster (1970s-1990s), its acquisition by LiveNation in 2009, and the legal and industry challenges to TicketMaster’s business practices in the 1990s-2010s. This paper will next look at how, as the ticket vendor industry consolidated and service fees on tickets rose, artists responded by seeking out alternative ticketing options to benefit their fans. These efforts resulted in the implementation of paperless ticketing for live music events, benefiting the consumers who were equally frustrated with high service fees and limited access to great seats at face value. For the consumer, however, while paperless ticketing has solved some problems, it has created others, including inefficiencies in the transferring and redeeming of tickets after purchase. This paper will lastly look at best practices from an artist management perspective for paperless ticketing by TicketMaster and various ticketing vendors, including developing industry players such as Ticketfly and AXS, while identifying areas in which artist and consumer frustration remains.