One of the things I look forward to in my inbox every day is Jason Hirschhorn’s REDEF newsletter. It’s a compilation of links to fascinating stories, along with his own commentary at the open. Earlier this week, he wrote a must-read about the price of concert tickets, which get driven up by scalpers, who can end up making more on each seat they resell than the actual performers get for being onstage. There may not be a perfect answer to the problem, but Hirschhorn asks some intriguing questions:
If 1,000 seats in a 15,000 seat arena can eventually sell for $500 or $1,000, should that be the face value for those 1,000 seats? If there’s $700 in profit to be had from a single ticket sale, why shouldn’t that profit go directly to the artist? In an industry where artists are squeezed from so many directions, is that a new potential source for honest and reliable income? On the other hand, what about the fan who can’t afford $1,000? If you raise the price that high, do you shut out a large segment of your own fanbase? Do you end up with an arena full of hedge-funders? Or are those just for a small number of seats on a ratio basis? Or are those fans already shut out by the scalpers and their bots who swallow up all those $200 tickets within 30 seconds of them going on sale?