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Survey Projects Disappointing 2004 Concert Season To Turn Around

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —

The 2004 summer concert season was disappointing for fans, musicians and especially concert promoters, according to a survey conducted by James McQuivey, an
assistant professor at the College of Communication, Boston University. His research shows that a modest rebound is coming in 2005, but it will not be big enough to recapture earlier days of glory.

The report says: "Musicians and promoters take heart: 2004 was as low as it goes. If consumers put their money where their mouth is, expect 2005 to rebound. This according to a new nationwide online survey of 18- to 34-year olds, which found that 39% of 2004 concert-goers expect to spend more than they did last year in the upcoming concert season. In addition, one-fourth of people who did not attend a paid concert last season expect to this season. Barring any unexpected jolts, this could lead to a 23% increase in spending from 2004 to 2005, offering a beleaguered concert industry respite from one of the worst concert seasons on record."

The summer 2004 season was so poor — experiencing as much as a 40% dip by some estimates — that a team of student researchers at Boston University’s College of Communication undertook to find out why the dip happened in the first place and whether there was hope for a comeback. According to their survey, the dip was the result of significant concertgoer disappointment: 52% of those surveyed believed that there are not as many artists they want to see in concert anymore while 72% believe that ticket prices are just too high. Even more telling is the fact that an overwhelming 70% feel that ticketing agencies make a fortune from concerts.

“The concert industry is clearly still on the ropes,” says McQuivey. “Though the numbers will climb this summer, the box office won't sizzle in 2005 season. What remains to be seen is whether this is a long-term slump or a permanent redraw of the concertgoing map.”

Though audience sentiment is negative, at least one player in the industry comes out clean. Survey results show that a majority of concertgoers buys tickets from and prefers to do so when offered a choice. Whatever happens to overall spending in 2005, Ticketmaster will continue to get its share of the pie.

The survey was fielded to a random sample of 500 adult members of the Global Market Insite (GMI) online panel aged 18 to 34 during the last week of October 2004. The margin of error for a randomly drawn sample this size is approximately +/- 5% with a confidence level of 95%. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen