LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — Taylor Swift and other artists who have moved to Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program are ushering in a new era of event ticketing, with price discovery and getting tickets into the hands of fans the new focus for the industry.
The changing landscape means that fans don’t have to queue up when tickets go on sale, in hopes of being able to land a seat, but it does mean that they may have to pay higher prices for event tickets.
According to a recent report by Billboard, Taylor Swift is leading the charge towards the new paradigm, and while hundreds of tickets for every date of her ‘Reputation’ tour are still available on Ticketmaster, execs at the ticketing giant don’t seem concerned.
“We’d like to sell the last ticket to her concert when she takes the stage each night,” Ticketmaster head of music David Marcus told Billboard. “We’re not trying to sell all of her tickets in one minute; we’re trying to figure out how to sell tickets in a more modern way.”
Marcus told Billboard that the with the Verified Fan program, far fewer of Taylor’s concert tickets are ending up on secondary market sites such as StubHub, and ticket prices are more closely tailored to what fans are actually willing to pay for event tickets.
While 30% of tickets to Swift’s “1989” tour ended up being sold via secondary market sites, Marcus told Billboard that for the current run, only 70,000 tickets have ended up on the secondary market out of a total of approximately 2.5 million tickets available for the tour.
“This time, the artist and promoter are capturing that revenue and not the secondary market,” Jesse Lawrence, founder of ticketing search engine TicketIQ told Billboard.
Still, the higher prices have left some fans with sticker shock. Would-be concertgoers took to Twitter in large numbers to vent about high prices for Taylor Tix, which can run as high as $1,500
“I paid $150 for my ticket with amazing seats for the ‘1989 Tour’. Now for the same seats, I have to pay about $500 for the Rep tour…. Damn,” Taylor fan @swiftieloves tweeted about concert ticket prices.
“Taylor tickets are so expensive I’m so disappointed…” another Taylor fan, @wegotbadblood tweeted, adding in a (hopefully) joking fashion that it was “time to go jump in front of an expensive car to collect my check and buy Taylor tickets.”
“Change is not easy,” WME head of music Marc Geiger tells Billboard.
“The idea that a consumer is going to sit in first class with an economy ticket is a holdover from what I used to call ‘rock and roll socialist pricing,'” Geiger added.