Jay-Z’s 4:44 Tour of the US is flying and early signs suggest it’ll be Hovva’s biggest grossing solo tour.
That’s despite tickets for the trek selling for just $6 a go on StubHub. In fact, analysts point out the supercheap tickets available on the secondary market are a good sign the hip-hop star has priced the best seats accordingly and out-maneuvered the touts.
The rapper/entrepreneur and Live Nation are taking charge by aggressively pricing the premium tickets, from front row seats to VIP experiences and platinum experiences. The demand is there (it’s worth noting Jay’s current dates are presented in-the-round which lends itself to more inventory than usual). And fans are snapping up the top end tickets, with Jay making seven figures each night and early gross for each completed show tracking at more than 20 percent ahead of his 2013 Magna Carter Tour.
The flip side of all that is, many ticket brokers are priced out (or risk averse) and pursue the cheaper tickets in the nosebleed section. “And since fans can still choose between buying the same seat on the primary or the secondary, many brokers end up selling off tickets below face value, taking a loss,” Billboard reports. LN has also trialed holding tickets back with some 8-10% of tickets dropped on show day.
It’s a strategy that’s working for the artist, producer and the fans. And Jay-Z isn’t the first to figure this out. The likes of Coldplay, One Direction, Radiohead, Tool, U2 and the Weeknd have all presented sellout shows in the U.S. with the best seats pitched at more than US$500 tickets and the upper tier getting flogged for $15 on StubHub.
“This might be the future of ticketing,” Patrick Ryan, an exec with ticketing and inventory company Eventellect, told Billboard. “We are seeing many creative pricing strategies and we are seeing artists find what works for them. You generate a ton of revenue up front, but you still have a $25 price point that makes it more affordable for individuals who want to see an arena show.”
It’s just one tactic in the industry’s ongoing scheme to outwit the scalpers. Read more here on what the Australian industry is doing to tackle the touts.