I am a member of DDM and have been for a long time. While I wasn’t there right from the beginning, I have been there most of the time. I have never left, either, once I joined. In fact, I recently decided to renew and upgrade to the gold membership package. Why did I decide to stay and even upgrade with all of the fan complaints about it? Good question. I can’t imagine NOT being a member. This isn’t some sort of “I need to be a member there to show that I’m a fan” thing. It isn’t about that. Of course, I like some of the features that come along with my membership. I admit that I enjoy the monthly Katy Kafes as I think they give us an insight into the band members that we don’t often get and don’t really get with official interviews. Those are not worth the money, though. What about the message board? Well, I go and check it out but I’m not a regular poster there or anything. The board is becoming more and more of a ghost town as people have left due to the drama that can be found there or due to the fact that the guys themselves have discovered social networking. Thus, the message board isn’t worth it, either, for me. What about the extra merch that comes with the upgrade to the gold package? I can admit that I’m looking forward to getting some of the items that comes with the gold package (messenger bag, keychain, t-shirt, etc.), but still that isn’t worth the money. For me, though, it is all about the presales.
I can already hear fans grumbling at that statement, especially after the Atlanta presale today. I can definitely acknowledge and sympathize with people’s frustration. I completely agree that they do not do them well with the extremely short notice given. Atlanta is obviously a good example of this. Most of the fans knew that this date was true because it had been on the venue’s website and even appeared on ticketmaster. Interestingly enough, as of this morning, that show still wasn’t listed on dd.com, the band’s official website. How was this presale announced? I only saw it on the band’s facebook and twitter. What happens to those fans who aren’t involved with these social networking sites? I guess it was listed on DDM’s site, but many fans, even those who are members skip over that main page and go right to the forum. How did they find out about it? Then, of course, there is the factor of timing. When was this presale announced? Yesterday. It was announced, literally, within hours of the actual event. How does that help the fan? It doesn’t, of course, as they are many fans who might not have been online to see this announcement. Now, these complaints are common as they seem to happen over and over again. What can be done about this? Obviously, one can either choose not to deal with DDM or one can accept the fact that this is how it is done.
Once one assumes that this is how presales will be done with DDM/AA, then, it is on the fan to check frequently the band’s social networking sites for any and all presale notices. I, for one, accept that, even, if I don’t like it. I have to put up with it in order to get to participate in the presales. The presales have pretty much always worked out for me. I think my worst seats through DDM were 11th or 12th row. Can non-DDM members say that? I don’t know. Maybe they can. Maybe people have found other means of getting tickets. I do know that there are many ticket brokers out there, but, generally, I suspect people will have to pay quite a bit to have seats like I have had. I rarely VIP, too, so these are regular presale tickets that I’m talking about here.
Yes, the system sucks. The lack of notice is an issue. The communication is an issue. I am dealing with it myself as I have been emailing Artist Arena over and over again in regards to some of the UK tickets we still have. Yes, I’m annoyed that I haven’t gotten a response. That said, I will still choose to work with them because they have the product I want. Now, if someone has a good way of getting them to change some of their practices without actually giving up the membership, let me know. I’ll do it. I’ll encourage others. Right now, though, I have no means of forcing them to change their behavior because I’m not willing to give up the presales. I’ll put up with the crap for the better seats.