Want to see Bruce Springsteen in concert for $5? The other side of the “dynamic pricing” model

Here’s a story that is not getting enough attention.

Ticketmaster has been getting a lot of heat for its “dynamic pricing” when it comes to concert tickets. Basically, the price of a ticket floats based on demand, just like hotel rooms, airline tickets or Uber rides. The higher the demand for a precious perishable commodity like a concert ticket, the higher the price. That’s why we’ve heard all those horror stories about nosebleed seats going for thousands of dollars when a big tour first goes on sale. Ticketmaster is employing the same tactic as secondary sellers, only in Ticketmaster’s case, the extra profit per ticket goes to the act instead of the secondary seller.

Reports on dynamic pricing overlook what happens when demand for a show craters. What goes up with demand will go down when there are no buyers.

Bruce Springsteen is set to play at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on February 23, 2023. You can still get a decent seat for $59 through Ticketmaster (the face value) but if you go to the secondary market and browse StubHub, you’ll find tickets as low as US$13.

Another site, Box Office Ticket Sales, has an even better deal. They’ll get a Springsteen fan into the building for US$9.

But wait! There’s more!

If you check out Seat Geek, you can get a ticket to see Springsteen in Tulsa for US$5. Yeah, it’s a seat behind the stage, but still: Bruce Springsteen, live for FIVE DOLLARS.

This has to be happening more than we’re told. But you can see why artists, managers, and promoters don’t want us to hear about these situations. No one wants it to be known that a show (or a whole tour) is stiffing.

(More here.)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Want to see Bruce Springsteen in concert for $5? The other side of the “dynamic pricing” model

  • December 29, 2022 at 2:57 pm
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    A bit odd that all of the $59 tickets are resale no? I don’t think this tells a story about dynamic pricing at all. If you look at what is still on sale, all the tickets are higher. It could be that there is limited demand for show in Tulsa. If you look at the show immediately before in Austin, you’ll see a minimum price of $290 going all the way up to $1,120.

    I think if you really want to report on this story, you should act like a regular concert goer and purchase tickets to shows for 2023. You’ll get a much better perspective on dynamic pricing this way.

    Reply

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