Monday, January 10, 2011

Ticket Sales! Ticket Sales!

I am and have been a frequent concert goer for the past seven years; during this time I have watched the convenience fee charged by Ticketmaster jump from $2 to well in the $6 to $7 dollar range for just one ticket.  I purposefully stayed away from attending certain shows due to the fact that after buying two tickets and then adding on the price of the convenience fee for each ticket the total came to well over a hundred dollars.

With that kind of money I can go on a date that includes dinner and a movie as compared to just going to see live entertainment; these are two different aspects of entertainment but with salaries not increasing with the rate of inflation, and the majority of the consumer market across all units (White and all other races, Asian, Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino), showing an 18.4% expenditure alone just for utilities as part of overall household expenses (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008), it’s very easy to see why this summer’s concert tours numbers are very low.

In addition, other factors such as: if the artists or groups preforming have been here before; if they have been here before does the quality of their show warrant paying money to see them again?; is the ticket price higher or lower since they were last here?; If this is a new artist or group performing how much is their ticket price compared to others that have been here in the past?; Is the artist or group performing popular enough to warrant buying a ticket to the show?

Many other questions come up when making the decision to buy a ticket to a show such as: does the venue provide an atmosphere conducive to enjoying a show?; Does the venue have good sound?; Will the show start on time?; Is the artist or group going to even show up?; Will I have to pay to park at or near the venue?

As a frequent concert goer I have asked myself many of the above questions before considering whether or not to purchase a ticket for a show.

Consumers have spoken; they will take their business elsewhere as evidenced in a recent article from Rolling Stone magazine entitled: “Concert Business Collapses as Fans Flee”, Steve Knopper delivers some heavy and sobering news; Attendance at North American Shows dropped 24.4 percent with sales down 26 percent with the number of concerts staged dropping by 16 percent. 

In a great example of the obvious disconnect between what an Artists perception is and what the business perception shows to be true, Christina Aguilera cancelled a 20-Show Tour (Officially) due to scheduling conflicts with her movie “Burlesque”; Industry and business perception shows that this cancellation took place due to a lack of recent hits and too-high ticket prices.

As you read the above data you can clearly see whose perception is jaded and misguided.

Jamel L. Raines, MBA


Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2008). Consumer Expenditure Survey Anthology, 2008. Retrieved: January 8, 2011. From:

Knopper, S. (January 20, 2011). Concert Biz Collapses as Fans Flee. Rolling Stone Magazine. Issue 1122.

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