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TM captures $500m for event organisers from resale

Ticketmaster says its dynamic pricing model has captured over $500 million for artists and event organisers from resale markets in 2022.

The company revealed the figure in response to criticism from a US congressman over its dynamic pricing model for Bruce Springsteen’s 2023 tour.

Many fans reacted with uproar after individual tickets reached more than $5,000 via Ticketmaster’s market-based pricing when the first wave of The E Street Band’s US tour dates went on sale in July.

The backlash prompted Bill Pascrell, a representative in Springsteen’s home city of New Jersey, to demand answers from the ticketing firm’s parent company Live Nation.

“I write on behalf of my constituents and fans across the country that are excited for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band’s 2023 tour,” said Pascrell in a letter to Live Nation boss Michael Rapino. “Hard-working Americans who are fans of Bruce and other popular entertainers should have the ability to enjoy live entertainment without ticket-sales practices that rip off consumers.

“To help fans better understand the frustratingly opaque process that leads to such high prices, I am inquiring about the veracity of the company’s statement, as well as the policies and prices the company has put in place for this tour.”

In a lengthy response reported by Celebrity Access, Ticketmaster reiterates that prices and onsale parameters are set by event organisers, the company.

“The recent Bruce Springsteen tour is a prime example of returning value to artists from the secondary market”

“Dynamic pricing is about capturing more value for the artist at the initial onsale, vs that value going to people reselling tickets on the secondary market,” it says.

“The secondary market sees over $10 billion in ticket sales and continues to grow rapidly. Through Ticketmaster, dynamic pricing has captured over $500 million for event organisers from resale markets in 2022 alone.”

“The recent Bruce Springsteen tour is a prime example of returning value to artists from the secondary market. Ticketmaster was not the only ticketing company selling primary tickets for the Springsteen tour, but the data is compelling.”

Detailing the cost of Springsteen ticket sales on Ticketmaster, the firm says 88.2% of tickets were sold at set prices, with 11.8% of tickets designated “Platinum” (dynamic).  The average price of all tickets sold on the platform was $262, with 1.3% of total tickets across the shows sold for more than $1,000.

In addition, 56% were sold for under $200, 11% between $150 and $200, 27% between $100 and $150, while 18% of all tickets sold were under $99.

Springsteen’s 2023 run begins on 1 February at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, before heading to Europe in April

Addressing the furore earlier this summer, Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau argued the pricing was in line with shows for acts of a similar stature.

“In pricing tickets for this tour, we looked carefully at what our peers have been doing,” Landau told the New York Times. “We chose prices that are lower than some and on par with others.

“Regardless of the commentary about a modest number of tickets costing $1,000 or more, our true average ticket price has been in the mid-$200 range. I believe that in today’s environment, that is a fair price to see someone universally regarded as among the very greatest artists of his generation.”

Springsteen’s most recent tour – 2016/17’s The River Tour – was the highest grossing worldwide tour of 2016, earning $268.3m over 76 shows. His 2023 run begins on 1 February at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, before heading to Europe in April.

 


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