Friday, May 20, 2011

Here's One Way to Eliminate Ticket Scalping

"Prince will be continuing his “Welcome 2 America” residency style tour with a gigantic stand of 21 nights at the Forum in Los Angeles, starting April 14."

MP: Increasing the supply of concert tickets to satisfy fan demand is one market-based solution to reduce or eliminate the secondary market for re-selling tickets above face value.   The L.A. Forum seats about 17,000, so Prince is supplying more than 350,000 tickets for his 21 shows.  If that's not enough to satisfy demand, he can keep adding shows.  There is also a wide range of ticket prices starting at $25 and going up to $425, which is another market-based, approach to help achieve "concert equilibrium," similar to the dynamic approach of airline ticket pricing.  

Update 1: For Prince's final shows next weekend at the L.A. Forum, there are plenty of tickets available from Ticketmaster at face value, and almost 1,700 ticket available at StubHub! starting at $45 (not sure how that compares to face value) and thousands more at SeatGeek starting at $55.

Update 2: Just to clarify, I'm not against ticket scalping.  The strongest opponents of ticket scalping are usually musicians and their managers, concert promoters, and venue owners.  Ironically, it's those very critics of ticket scalping who have the power to reduce or eliminate ticket scalping by: a) raising ticket prices and/or b) increasing the number of tickets available for sale.  By offering 350,000 tickets for sale in L.A., some at very high prices, Prince may have successfully reduced, or largely eliminated, ticket scalping for his shows.  I applaud Prince's approach and suggest that it become a model for other musicians. 


At 5/21/2011 7:15 AM, Blogger RollCast said...

Not sure I'm against scalping. I like the concept and benefits of a "spot price" market.

At 5/21/2011 7:28 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Or he can raise the price. Or, as I think would be a great idea, he can do like the airlines do and offer a certain number of tickets at one price, then if those sell out quickly, offer more at a higher price, and if those sell out quickly, raise the price yet more, and if they start to sell slowly bring the price down, and so on. That way price could adjust to demand, and he could even have tickets left over for people who want them last minute.

At 5/21/2011 8:32 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I am suprised Prince (the "Artist Formally Known as Prince" that is now again known as "Prince") can sellout a ballroom.

At 5/22/2011 7:30 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Why do we want to eliminate scalping?

At 5/23/2011 12:40 PM, Blogger Mike said...

This approach may work for artists who have a large nostalgic appeal like Prince or The Stones - these acts don't have the demands on their time like the current acts do and can make their own schedules.

For the sake of argument, if Prince sold 350,000 tickets, he'd need to have the Forum for 20 band or act may be able to get away with that in the summer but no way after basketball and hockey start in the fall. Of course there's little chance he could get even a fraction of those dates in large cities with fewer venues.

M.P., make no mistake, the artists and managers love scalping because a $1,000 ticket makes them seem more important. I believe the recent movement of Live Nation/TicketMaster is purely due to economic reasons...$1,000 tickets used to mean better album sales and tons of press, now it just means $800 is going to a 3rd party.


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