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Hundreds of thousands of Taylor Swift fans will be keeping a close eye on their phones Monday night, waiting to see if they’ve been chosen by Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system to purchase tickets for the pop star and singer-songwriter’s upcoming stadium tour. When those tickets go on sale later in the week, it will probably take minutes for them all to sell out.
Live music roared back in the US as the pandemic eased, and the chorus of high demand and low ticket inventory has now become a common theme for music fans, who have seen 2023 tour announcements for acts ranging from Blink-182 in recent weeks. and Paramore to Bruce Springsteen and Chris Stapleton result in an almost instant sale when tickets become available.
That extreme demand comes because fans are spending more money than they seem ever to go to a concert, two things that Live Nation EntertainmentTicketmaster’s parent company, recently indicated that it is unlikely to decline anytime soon.
Ticket sales for concerts through the third quarter of 2022 were up 37% compared to 2019, and ticket sales for concerts played in 2023 are up double-digits compared to the previous year, the company said. Fans spent an average of 20% more on the venue than in 2019.
Joe Berchtold, president and chief financial officer of Live Nation, said on Nov. 4 during the third-quarter analyst meeting that “this is a structural level of spending that we’re seeing from consumers right now.”
“More VIP, more platinum tickets, bringing that money to the artist. And we’re seeing a relatively strong inelasticity in the demand for those best tickets,” he said. “People go to a bit of a higher quality in terms of some of the alcohol. Some of our product offerings make more of a deal for people to take higher-priced products.”
“All of these trends we believe are a continuation of the trends we have seen in recent years and have no reason to expect that to be any different in the future,” he added.
Last summer’s stadium shows from acts like Coldplay and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were some of the most in-demand, with multiple tours selling more than 500,000 tickets, giving Live Nation its highest-ever quarterly attendance – more than 44 million fans worldwide. world 11,000 events.
Berchtold said Live Nation’s prospects for stadium tours next year — boosted by Swift — “will be by far the biggest stadium we’ve ever had.”
But with high-profile acts like Swift and Springsteen already booked for stadiums this spring and summer and the potential for other acts like Beyoncé and Rihanna to tour as well, that’s likely to push other acts into the next few years. That means there is probably no end to the high demand for tickets.
“The good news is that ’22 is probably going to be a record year, but there are only so many Fridays and Saturdays and artists are pretty smart about how they plan their tours and how they look at the world and find their right positioning,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino told analysts. “You’re never going to have a ton of tours in the same weekend, so that just meant we had more inventory to spread out to ’22, ’23, and we’re talking ’24 now. So I’d say we’re behind that still needs to be processed by the system in ’22, ’23, which will be incredibly strong years.”
Criticism of the cost of tickets
As more people want to buy tickets to their favorite musician’s tour, criticism of the price of tickets and the associated costs has also increased.
Last month, US President Joe Biden said that as part of his plan to cut costs for US citizens he was chasing “hidden junk fees”, one of which he said was linked to concert tickets.
“I know hidden clutter costs — like concert ticket processing fees — are annoying. They’re unfair, deceptive and add up,” Biden said. tweeted.
Live Nation issued a press release in response to Biden’s comments, saying it applauds its “advocacy for fee transparency in every industry, including live event ticketing,” adding that it would support an FTC mandate that would require nominal prices and fees to be shown in advance, as required in other parts of the world.
However, Ticketmaster has received other complaints about the increasing price of tickets, as well as the inclusion of premium seats for concerts in the “Official Platinum” feature, which have variable prices based on demand. Tickets in those categories have seen their price skyrocket in high-demand situations, such as reports that some seats for Springsteen’s upcoming tour were worth $5,000 each on the first day of sales.
While Ticketmaster said only 11.2% of seats were included in that program and the average ticket price sold for that tour was $262, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell wrote a letter to Live Nation in August calling for “the much-needed transparency on the sale, pricing, and distribution of tickets for live events.”
“The verified presale of tickets every morning has created a lot of stress and frustration among our voters as they see tickets disappear from the primary marketplace website as if they had been purchased, only to reappear at higher prices,” Pascrell wrote.
Ticketmaster distanced itself from ticket pricing in its own statement, noting that “promoters and artist representatives set pricing strategy and price range parameters for all tickets, including fixed and market-based price points.
“As the resale ticket market has grown into a $10 billion industry in recent years, artists and teams have lost revenue to resellers who don’t invest in making the event run smoothly or any of the people working behind the scenes. to bring the event to life, so event organizers have been looking at market-based pricing to recoup that lost revenue,” the company said.
“We continue to return to normal – we’ve had double-digit growth in the live entertainment space all year. We expect this to continue both in terms of pricing and global volume as supply and demand across the around the world continue to grow,” Rapino told analysts.