"I said welcome to my show." Joe Elliott of Def Leppard
(Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
"I said welcome to my show." Joe Elliott of Def Leppard
(Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Concert Tickets, Fighting Facts, Voice as Platform, ABBA in Hindi, College Hoops Gentrification...
Jason Hirschhorn, curator March 20, 2017
quote of the day
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Winston Churchill
rant n' rave

The story of a particular floor seat for a popular classic rock act. Fifteenth-row seat, face value $200, originally sold on TICKETMASTER for $218, including fees. Resold on STUBHUB for $1,000. Stubhub added $150 in fees, so the buyer ended up paying $1,150. Of that $1,150, about $250 went directly to Stubhub: $150 in fees from the buyer, and we'll estimate $100 commission from the seller (that commission can vary depending who the seller is). The other $900 went directly to the seller, who — after paying $218 originally, presumably walked away with a net profit of $682. For a single ticket. What happened to the original $218? The $18 Ticketmaster service charge would have been split three ways: roughly $7 to the credit card company, $6 to the venue and $5 to Ticketmaster. That leaves $200 to be accounted for—the original face value. Here's how that roughly broke down in this instance: $60 per ticket for the band's own touring expenses (trucks, airplanes, hotels, employees, etc), $45 per ticket for venue expenses (rent, stagehands, catering, etc.), maybe $45 for commissions (manager, agent, etc.), and the remaining $50 to the band itself. So, in short: $682 to scalper, $50 to band. Does anyone think that's right? Or fair? Or that it makes any sense? Is there an alternative? One route is to keep the ticket out of the scalper's hand in the first place? Promoters have had some success with paperless ticketing and other approaches that connect tickets to IDs. But that can be inconvenient for a buyer. States like NEW YORK are trying legislation, and ticket services have experimented with new technology, but scalpers always seem to be one technological step ahead.  Some execs, like LIVE NATION's MICHAEL RAPINO, think artists should charge more for tickets in the first place. If that 15th-row seat is selling at the end of the day for $1,000, then is that the true market price? Is that what the artist should be charging? Could that be the best way to stop the scalpers and their bots? By simply taking away their market, their chance to make a profit? 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? What other solutions are worth trying to make sure true fans can get into the show, and artists can get their fair share of the true market value of their own tickets? We took a look at some views in our REDEF MusicSET: "Can Concert Ticketing Be Fixed?"... Make sense that the default tab for an artist's VEVO/YOUTUBE page is other artist's videos? No... NCAA tournament is the best drama on television. Happy Birthday to SHISHIR MEHROTRA, IVANA KIRKBRIDE, MICHAEL HIRTENSTEIN and LAURIE TRONTZ.

Jason Hirschhorn, curator

March 20, 2017