GOING ATOMIC

Amazon’s latest tactic to bait Prime customers: live gigs by Blondie and Texas

It seems Amazon will stop at nothing to live up to its moniker of being “the everything store.” The e-commerce giant is now organizing live gigs in London—the first one is a Blondie show—exclusively for Prime members.

Amazon’s new scheme is called Prime Live Events, and in addition to the May 23 Blondie gig, it’s lined up Alison Moyet, Texas, and Katie Melua to perform in London through July. The events are small and pretty pricey: Blondie will perform in front of 750 fans, which Amazon says is one of the smallest audiences the band has played for. Tickets will cost Prime members £150 ($194) a pop. Amazon says it will announce new artists on its schedule every Tuesday through its Prime Live Events newsletter.

The gigs are part of Amazon’s Tickets platform, which has been operating in the UK since 2015. Amazon Tickets lets people buy passes to West End musicals, arena rock concerts, and smaller theater performances—you don’t have to be a Prime subscriber to use the platform, but being a member sometimes comes with perks. In March, Tickets boosted its offering to Prime subscribers by selling access to luxury hospitality boxes at major venues, special seats at shows, and making some tickets available at least 24 hours before they’re open to the general public.

Whether it’s a special concert by Blondie, a lofty perch in the Amazon Prime Terrace in Hyde Park during festival season, or just jumping the queue for tickets to the hot new West End musical, these enticements are more grist for the incredible sales machine that is Amazon Prime. For instance, almost everyone who buys a two-year Prime subscription renews it, according to a report last June from consultancy Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The firm has also estimated that Prime members spend nearly twice as much on the shopping platform as other users. An estimated 66 million people are signed up to the service globally, although Amazon won’t confirm that number.

Amazon hasn’t said whether its special gigs will be available elsewhere in the world. But don’t fret: it’s going to film these exclusive concerts and stream them globally on—where else?—Prime Video. This will “allow Prime members to watch the concerts at no extra cost to their membership,” its announcement reads. Tickets to the Blondie show go on sale Thursday, May 11, at 9am London time.

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