The Highs (And Lows) Of Today’s Ticketing Trends – Pollstar News

Mr. Weitzman

Jed Weitzman is the head of music for Logitix
and has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry working in management, technology, and ticketing.

The concert industry is back – in a very big way. While the outlook for the summer touring season is excellent, there is still a massive potential for it to be stronger. On average, demand for live music tickets is skyrocketing, and artists are touring now more than ever. Dead & Co. are back and are on pace to be one of the hottest tours of the summer. The Red Hot Chili Peppers have made a triumphant return to stadiums. Bob Dylan is doing a three-night run at the Pantages in Los Angeles. Fans want to get out, socialize and see live music. The dark days of the pandemic appear to be behind us, and the pent-up demand is showing itself via ticket sales.

The data tells the tale. As head of music for Logitix, I’m tasked with regularly analyzing the secondary market in order to help artists, agents, managers, and promoters route, scale, price, and distribute their inventory more efficiently. Our goal is to help the main players in the industry maximize their revenue by selling as many primary seats as possible. I know it sounds crazy that artists should make money, but we believe that when the economics of touring stay with the artists, they can ultimately charge fans less and put more money into production, which of course directly benefits those fans.

We have been dissecting ticket sales data and studying trends since the start of the pandemic, and it’s been fascinating. It’s clear people are finally feeling far more comfortable now. Although it’s not a complete return to the “Before Times,” our data strongly suggest that demand is increasing and will continue to increase. We’re past the perceived (and very real) threats from the pandemic that shut down and disrupted the industry. All of that being said – there is a tremendous amount of volume in the marketplace and a lot of other competition. Not every data point is up.

Here’s what our data indicates:

The supply of live events has skyrocketed since acts could fill venues again. It seems like almost every artist has a pent-up urge to get out and play as much as every fan has an urge to get out and listen. As an industry, we are constantly evaluating data to determine if there is enough demand to match the supply – to set routing, to finalize pricing and even to determine on-sale dates. We’re seeing the demand for tickets for the top-tiered events is higher than ever. Average ticket prices and volume of tickets sold are significantly up for the bigger concert tours in stadiums, large amphitheaters, and major arenas. However, our data factors all levels of shows. We also see that the lower-tiered events are not quite keeping pace with pre-pandemic trends.

Across major ticket marketplaces, we compared average ticket prices for concerts in 2019 and comparable events in 2022. The data shows we’re nearing pre-pandemic numbers across all sizes of shows and venues. The prices for sold tickets in 2022 are back to within 3.8% of those sold in 2019.

We’re also seeing fans eager to acquire seats early and plan to go to events further in advance. FOMO is good for our business. During Q1 of 2022, 35% of all concert ticket sales came three or more months from the event. That is a drastic increase compared to 23% of sales coming three-plus months out in Q1 2019. Less than 2% of those early sales are rollovers from pre-pandemic purchases.

The quantity of tickets sold is not the only indicator that fans are showing excitement to be back at shows; it’s also the price they are paying to see the highest demand acts. When extracting larger concerts across the secondary market during Q1 2022, fans are spending an average of over $ 300 per ticket when evaluating sales that occur three months or more from the event. In the same comparison for Q1 2019, tickets sold at an average price of only $ 142 per ticket!

We also looked at comparable concerts within a dataset of smaller shows that play theaters, ballrooms, and lower capacity amphitheaters. The advanced sales are softer compared to the larger tours. Sales on the secondary market three months out or more saw average ticket prices go from $ 84 in 2019 to $ 87 in 2022 – far from the 2x figure for larger shows over the same period in the sales cycle. For the same set of smaller shows, we also saw the average ticket price fall in the final three days leading up to the event by about 9% less in 2022 compared to 2019.

Overall, our data shows that fans are buying early at higher prices for big events and driving higher demand. At the same time, their appetite to pay for smaller shows is nearing pre-pandemic levels. Given the increase in the supply of events, it’s no surprise that fans are being selective in some areas. Based on the trends, I’m here to help artists adjust their strategies at the sale and in real time throughout the sales cycle.

The more data we analyze, the more tickets we can sell in the industry for all shows and all capacities. Our philosophy is that we should be using data for the benefit of the artists and fans. It’s exciting to be analyzing so many shows in 2022. The industry is back and the future is bright.

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