Author Topic: Have U2 become all about the money?  (Read 12125 times)

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Offline SlyDanner

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #90 on: June 23, 2015, 06:17:14 PM »
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This is not accurate. The majority of the MSG and Chicago tickets were/are north of $200. Even if you look now, the Chicago tickets for level 300 is $95 without fees!!!

It always cracks me up when defenders of U2's ticket pricing cite the relatively small handful of cheap tickets in GA as evidence of than band caring about affordability, when in fact the large majority of ticket prices for each show are quite expensive.  I guess it's all part of the band's strategy and PR spin.

The Average Ticket price for the first 11 shows of this tour based on the boxscore results is only $116.21. That shows that the majority of the tickets were priced at the lower tier prices instead of the $275 and up prices.

I have a feeling that U2 like having us Brits over without a pillow.  I'm in the upper tier, so high up in fact that the new fangled speakers could almost be my personal headphones, and they charged me - with a straight face - 90 ($140+) excluding booking fees.

did someone hold a gun to your head and force you to buy it - with a straight face?

Offline Mr. Red

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #91 on: June 23, 2015, 09:20:57 PM »
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The NY, Chicago, etc. markets never had the price structure that was referenced in a previous post ($95, $60, or whatever). They were grossly overpriced from the beginning, face value. And I'm not referring to the after market here. As far as all the Pearl Jam references, there are so many inaccuracies with these posts I don't even know where to begin. Pearl Jam always and consistently charge the usual "going rate" for their shows. Not some ridiculous and abusive tiering system of $300 for "better seats" with the likes of Lady Gaga and Maddona!! And to think that ticket prices do not affect the people who go to shows is simply putting your head in the sand. Again, I cannot speak to the other markets as far as U2 is concerned where tickets are under $100. To also think that Pearl Jam would not sell out their shows, especially over seas is also silly. They have a tremendous following worldwide. So the supply and demand argument is dead when it comes to Pearl Jam. They set their price, and that is it!! They never ever take advantage of bigger markets to suck in more profits form their fans. The price is the price.  I won't even get into how Pearl Jam has kept it real for all these years and hands down, treat their fans top notch, through and through. Ticket prices, live bootleg downloads of all their shows, top notch fanclub with presale tickets, etc.  Having been an original fan club member of Propaganda magazine, no one knows better than I do how U2 completely disregarded us when they went with the internet fan club!! But that's a post for a whole other day!!

Both New York City and Chicago have the majority of their tickets priced at $95, $70, and $30 for Madison Square Garden, and $95, $65, and $30 for the United Center in Chicago. These are the list prices BEFORE service charges are added in. There are still ticket available at these price levels for the shows in Chicago!

You can go to ticketmaster and look at the maps to see all this for each show.

As for Pearl Jam they while they do not charge a tiered price level, they charge was would be the AVERAGE PRICE FOR A TICKET given their market value. So the best seat in the house pays $70 dollars same as the worst seat in the house. In doing that the best seat is under priced while the worst seat is over priced. In the end, those cancel each other out and the band is charging their fair market value overall, just like U2.

Pearl Jam has a much smaller fan base than U2. Pearl Jam did try charging below market value for tickets back in the early 1990s but gave up. They surrendered to ticketmaster and have been using ticketmaster and charging market value ever since then.

Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift have very young fans, but charge nearly the same amount on average as U2. So again, this is not about the age of fans, its simple supply and demand.

This is not accurate. The majority of the MSG and Chicago tickets were/are north of $200. Even if you look now, the Chicago tickets for level 300 is $95 without fees!!!

Again, the Pearl jam references are also inaccurate. They didn't try to charge below market value for anything in the 90's. They attempted to bypass ticketmaster and their ridiculous service charge fees and also bypass the corporate sponsored shows in an attempt to take care of their fans and keep ticket prices reasonable. It was the Nobelist of efforts but they quickly found out that they couldn't fight the monopoly and had to cave on that issue. So, instead, they now charge same price for all tickets and we as fans are all better off for it.  If you recall, they also testified in congress about the issue which in and of itself says it all!

Well, at least you now acknowledge that there are tickets at the $95, $65, and $30 dollar price. Before you said that there were no such tickets in Chicago and New York. Based on the past concert grosses so far released for the tour, the AVERAGE TICKET PRICE is $116.21. That alone proves that the majority of tickets are priced the lower tiered prices. If most were priced at $275 or above, the average ticket price would be a lot higher than $116.21. $116.21 is only $15 dollars more than the average ticket price on the last tour.

Pearl Jam were charging below market value for their tickets in the early 90s which is why Ticketmaster increased the service charge fees. Ticketmaster even stated that if the artist is not willing to make what they are worth, then we will make what they are worth!

In the end, Pearl Jam failed in its goals and has joined all other artist that charge market value for their tickets. The single ticket price for all seats is what almost all artist used to do prior to 1994. 1994 is the year when Tiered pricing for tickets made its big debut and succeeded.

I didn't acknowledge anything of the sort. I will say it again, that is not the ticket price tiering for my local show at MSG. You can site all the stats you like but it does not apply to the larger markets. Additionally, you are very crafty at throwing inaccuracies out there with regards to the Pearl Jam 90's debate. If is completely untrue and false that they were charging less than market value for tickets and ticketbastard wanted to make up the difference. As I stated in my previous post, they tried to bypass what they considered illegal excessive serve charges and run a tour without the support of ticketbastard  and corporate support. Pearl Jam "failed" (to use your term very loosely), at their efforts simply because congress  supported the big money corporations as usual. Really at the end of the day, we are talking apples and oranges with regards to how Pearl Jam and U2 treat their fans. Pearl jam have always kept it real since their inception, U2 have not. Period

Offline SlyDanner

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #92 on: June 24, 2015, 12:32:33 AM »
Since this thread has essentially devolved to a ticket price debate, please see this other thread and the part of the conversation about LiveNation, towards the end.  Very insightful. 

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Offline UnknownCaller98

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #93 on: June 24, 2015, 03:10:14 PM »
Charging 90 for restricted, behind the stage views without telling the buyer? Then yes, they must be desperate for cash.

Offline Mary C

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #94 on: June 24, 2015, 05:46:18 PM »
U2? Desperate for cash? When they own their own publishing and copyright outright (something NOBODY else in the music biz has ever gotten, to my knowledge--total ownership of every note they ever wrote, including any RingTones Edge might compose?)  And they have a deal  that keeps this in place until "75 yrs after the death of the last band member"? Do they even have to tour at all at this stage? Puh-LEAZE.

I wonder though how "market value" is determined with artists. If it's radio/visibility/downloads or however the heck the industry determined how "valuable/"hot" an artist is, in olden times (say before 2010) that was easy. Market value for tours traditionally might follow from that, from currenthits/age/popularity. In the Old World, it was easy: lots of hit albums/singles=popularity=lots of concert tix sold=high market value. But in this new world where artists are expected to break big selling millions of albums right out of the box, and some of them don't even have established fanbases yet, YET the emphasis is focusing more and more on touring in the industry now that the album is dying concept and audience loyalty is going the way of the dinosaur...HOW does someone determine market value?

Call me hopelessly old-fashioned, but there is no way artists like The Biebster or Muse or someone like Ed Sheeran should be charging ticket price at the same level as an act with a large, established fanbase for years. I was talking to a lady last week who took her daughter  to see Sheeran and they paid $85+ fees for nosebleeds. That was the same ticket tiering as U2, basically. She didn't know what the high end was, but I can guess. The only difference with U2 being the number of high-ends.

But back to my point. Since albums are basically dead and yet LN/The industry expects that they can fill arenas and stadiums (or at least sell out festivals, for God's sake) with acts that sell themselves basically with streamed singles, fill them night after night for hours per show, how do they determine an artist's market value? There used to be a tried and true formula for breaking artists and this ensured that audience loyalty would exist and thus a tiered pricing structure would be feasible, thus the concept of "market value" might look like this, based on how artists were tiered in the industry:

1)Club acts, just in the beginning stages of finding an audience, little visibility on radio, or college radio buzz.--Obviously, cheap as dirt.

2)  Up and coming artist, just starting up the ladder, no real hits yet but lots of buzz under the radar, by this time graduated to 2000-seat theaters in cities and small towns, still cheap but not dirt cheap. The beginnings of a national following.
This stage lasts through 2nd or 3rd album maybe.

3) Up and coming artist in the 2nd stages, maybe cracked the lower or mid levels of Billboard charts, popular videos, in terms of albums, some radio play but not every hour. prob on their 3rd album, or 4th. At this stage the act has been around maybe 3-5 yrs since club days. If they're big enough, the beginnings of a European or even global following. (this was where U2 were pre-Live Aid.)  Playing small arenas, and European large ones.

4)  Established act, been around for 3-5 yrs +, is on 4th album or longer, breaks through with #1 or Top 5 Albums and singles. Are popular enough now to graduate to regular and large arenas, the benchmark is selling out MSG. Has a global following and is now selling out stadiums and arenas in many countries based on new hits.

5)Established act at its peak. Age-wise, from 25-40 *traditionally*. If popular enough, has a large and lasting visibility as established on radio/downloads/hits in general. At this stage they can make a show as long as they like, and have any opening act, they have a sizeable original catalogue. If one of the Greats, is a truly global phenomenon and a huge and dedicated core fanbase, with fluctuations around the edges but compared to the core, this is minimal. This is the "**** the pop kids, we don't need 'em" stage.

6)Late-stage established act. Still producing hits, but starting to age and audience, even the youngest core, is starting to skew older (older in the Biz meaning older than college kid.) This is the age where hugely popular releases might be labeled as "comebacks."

7)Early-stage Legacy Act. maybe a modest hit or two  and still visible, still relavant maybe by dint of their overall legend and musical inspiration to younger generations and acts, and with their huge audience intact, attracting new fans of all ages around the huge core of the established fanbase. No longer with the hottest Twitter Feed but still quoted if something spicy comes up...No longer tastemakers but still hugely overall influencal in general.

8) Late-stage Legacy Act--this is where you are a musical museum piece, where nobody under 60 would go to your shows except as viewing a historical curiosity, you are fully from a distant era. Your audience may be huge but it's YOUR old crowd, and you exist if you still do  in another plane.

(People debate whether U2 are stage 6, 7 or even 8!-- but I think we won't know that until the end of the stadium (?) tour next year. Where do you think Pearl Jam are? They had a global following but in terms of raw numbers never as big as U2. Interesting, they're like U2 in many ways. I say this as another PJ fan, in the Ten Club too.)

Now, that's a neat chart whereby a promoter can work out a graduated pricing formula. But the state of the music biz today has upended this formula. You have artists who are tailored for the blandest common denometer, the musical equivalent of Marvel franchise films, break big with one social-media heralded single and sell millions, and then are pushed into arenas and even stadiums with hardly enough material to fill an hours' worth of showtime with even covers of old songs from other acts. (That's assuming they can play instruments and sing without AutoTune and you know, do stuff other than choreographed dance moves COUGH no names). Then promoters find out that these acts don't last long and/or their audiences are fickle. So they find a talented act like Muse or Arcade Fire who want to follow the traditional "slow burn" method and are rising too, or have been around a few years but have had modest success, and all of a sudden they're commanding Rolling Stones-type prices, for their audiences who are still young like them and aren't in the age group or tax bracket that can afford the shows.

The model is broken in the first place, and the concert industry is trying to compensate, and thus how markey value for an artist is determined is beyond me. Logic dictates that the most expensive acts should be the ones that are around the longest and have a core fanbase residing in tax brackets than can afford premium pricing, but what do I know?

So these days, is your "market value" determined by being a current act with value to kids AT THE MOMENT, or may you be more valuable OVERALL because you have proved for several years that you are a good investment (ie have a dedicated and large core fanbase) in a volatile musical market and business can invest in you because you have consistent overall sales regardless of visibility in the "traditional" market. It comes down to what matters in the industry: continued rapid turnover of acts with brief but huge fanbases vs taking risks and building up a portfolio of slowly developed artists who have proven staying power. What do you want the music biz to consist of.

Is this even possible in the Social Media Age? Can we again find a happy medium?

Now as to prices--how much do you think U2's support of the concert as huge spectacle might be partially responsible. Huge stadium spectacles have always been around but I think that after ZooTV/Zooropa/Popmart something in the industry changed. Have U2's continued success at this overblown model,  in the face of rapid and jarring changes in the biz coinciding with the rise of Live Nation and industry mergers made some of this inevitable? If they had not taken the same path as regards to the nature of their shows would it be the same? CouldU2 have gone back to smaller scale? Should they have? I think they could have. They chose not to, thus the cost of operating their shows continued to skyrocket, and made deals like the ones they took more lucrative. 
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 06:12:24 PM by Mary C »

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #95 on: June 24, 2015, 05:50:38 PM »
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Charging 90 for restricted, behind the stage views without telling the buyer? Then yes, they must be desperate for cash.

If they're not desperate for cash than they're greedy for it.  It's one or the other.  Where I come from they'd be known as 'Grabbers'.


Offline wolf

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #96 on: June 25, 2015, 05:03:18 PM »
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Let's say the average crowd for this tour is 18,000.

They could charge 50 for every ticket in the arena and gross 900,000 per show.

Add in merchandise and that figure grows to a million easily don't know if they are on a share of the bar take or not.. ... and surely that is enough money made even allowing for their costs.....

But a U2 ticket is worth more in the market than $50 dollars, more than double that in fact. If U2 do not charge what they are worth, then scalpers and ticketmaster will! Every business around the world, large or small charges market value for their product or services. Home owners always charge market value when they sell their house.

I disagree, two hours of music isn't worth any more than 50, important difference here is pounds not dollars....so whatever 50 pounds is in dollars is the figure I am talking about...

U2 can price their gigs as they please of course, but as very, very wealthy men with a loyal fan base who have given them the great life Bono likes to refer to I reckon 50 would be a fair and reasonable price point.

I certainly wouldn't pay more personally.

U2 could price tickets at 50 pounds like you say, but then ticketmaster would come in with a 50 pound service fee or scalpers would dive in and charge whatever the market rate is supposed to be. Either way, the fans will be paying the market price, and people other than U2 will be taking half of the money. IF the artist does not charge what they are worth, ticketmaster and scalpers will then earn the rest. The fans will still be paying market price.

E-tickets bought from official site with CC to be presented at admission.  None-transferable.

No block sales to secondary market agents at all, including for so-called VIP packages.

Now what's the scalpers next move?  Seriously, educate me.  Of course the artists themselves are in cahoots with the secondary up-sellers. Why? $$$$

The majority of tickets sold can be resold in various ways. Again, the majority of the tickets sold at these shows are at the $95, $65, and $30 prices. An the the number of normally priced $275 tickets outnumber the VIP packages and other stuff. These form the majority of the tickets available and they can all be purchased on ticketsnow.com a ticket reseller site. Check it out!

But if there are no block sales at all and only people who purchased the, say, max 4 tickets per person per show from one official seller can actually get through the admission gates, how do the scalpers go about selling tickets?

Multiple buyers, multiple credit cards, plus the number of scalpers naturally increases when the price is well below market value. Yes, each individual scalper may be somewhat limited in the money they can make, but they could still make several hundred dollars EACH easily. You could have several thousand scalpers buying up the tickets and reselling them to the real fans at their true market value.

Are the scalpers going to give each buyer of their tickets the credit card that was used to purchase the tickets originally?

They just give them the hard ticket or the E-ticket to print out.

Offline wolf

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #97 on: June 25, 2015, 05:06:26 PM »
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For the record, Ticketmaster does not set the price of the tickets.  The artist and show's promoter set the prices.  The fees TM charges are all set per the contracts they have with each arena.  Those fees are usually based on what the local market can handle and some are higher than others depending on if the arena gets a portion of the fee.  Even if they felt an artist really underpriced their event, TM would never tack on additional fees to 'make up' the difference.  They can only charge the fees approved in the contract with the arena.

Well, Pearl Jam and the CEO of Ticketmaster in the 90s would tell you its a bit different. The CEO of ticketmaster would never be able to say then, that if your not willing to make what your worth, then I will. When Pearl Jam toured for Yield in 1998 after surrendering to ticketmaster, TM fees were sometimes as much as 50% of the ticket price.

Offline wolf

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #98 on: June 25, 2015, 05:12:12 PM »
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Yeah, it's no good blaming TM for the high prices of U2 tickets.

FWIW, I'm content with what I paid for my ticket and I'm fairly content with my view of the show up in the gods.  Still, the tickets could very easily be a lot cheaper to make it more easily affordable for yer average U2 fan.

Underpriced tickets simply do one thing, feed scalpers. Underpriced tickets invite scalpers into the buying process. When the band charges what they are worth in the market, this lowers the number of scalpers that try to get in on the business.

Again, there are ticket prices of all ranges for all types of fans incomes. $275, $95, $65, and $30 are the standard list prices before fees are added in. Plus, given that fans can access just about any piece of music they want through the internet for FREE, they should have even more money for the few concerts they go to.

Would you sell your house for less than its worth, to make it affordable for lower income people?

Offline wolf

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #99 on: June 25, 2015, 05:17:39 PM »
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The NY, Chicago, etc. markets never had the price structure that was referenced in a previous post ($95, $60, or whatever). They were grossly overpriced from the beginning, face value. And I'm not referring to the after market here. As far as all the Pearl Jam references, there are so many inaccuracies with these posts I don't even know where to begin. Pearl Jam always and consistently charge the usual "going rate" for their shows. Not some ridiculous and abusive tiering system of $300 for "better seats" with the likes of Lady Gaga and Maddona!! And to think that ticket prices do not affect the people who go to shows is simply putting your head in the sand. Again, I cannot speak to the other markets as far as U2 is concerned where tickets are under $100. To also think that Pearl Jam would not sell out their shows, especially over seas is also silly. They have a tremendous following worldwide. So the supply and demand argument is dead when it comes to Pearl Jam. They set their price, and that is it!! They never ever take advantage of bigger markets to suck in more profits form their fans. The price is the price.  I won't even get into how Pearl Jam has kept it real for all these years and hands down, treat their fans top notch, through and through. Ticket prices, live bootleg downloads of all their shows, top notch fanclub with presale tickets, etc.  Having been an original fan club member of Propaganda magazine, no one knows better than I do how U2 completely disregarded us when they went with the internet fan club!! But that's a post for a whole other day!!

Both New York City and Chicago have the majority of their tickets priced at $95, $70, and $30 for Madison Square Garden, and $95, $65, and $30 for the United Center in Chicago. These are the list prices BEFORE service charges are added in. There are still ticket available at these price levels for the shows in Chicago!

You can go to ticketmaster and look at the maps to see all this for each show.

As for Pearl Jam they while they do not charge a tiered price level, they charge was would be the AVERAGE PRICE FOR A TICKET given their market value. So the best seat in the house pays $70 dollars same as the worst seat in the house. In doing that the best seat is under priced while the worst seat is over priced. In the end, those cancel each other out and the band is charging their fair market value overall, just like U2.

Pearl Jam has a much smaller fan base than U2. Pearl Jam did try charging below market value for tickets back in the early 1990s but gave up. They surrendered to ticketmaster and have been using ticketmaster and charging market value ever since then.

Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift have very young fans, but charge nearly the same amount on average as U2. So again, this is not about the age of fans, its simple supply and demand.

This is not accurate. The majority of the MSG and Chicago tickets were/are north of $200. Even if you look now, the Chicago tickets for level 300 is $95 without fees!!!

Again, the Pearl jam references are also inaccurate. They didn't try to charge below market value for anything in the 90's. They attempted to bypass ticketmaster and their ridiculous service charge fees and also bypass the corporate sponsored shows in an attempt to take care of their fans and keep ticket prices reasonable. It was the Nobelist of efforts but they quickly found out that they couldn't fight the monopoly and had to cave on that issue. So, instead, they now charge same price for all tickets and we as fans are all better off for it.  If you recall, they also testified in congress about the issue which in and of itself says it all!

Well, at least you now acknowledge that there are tickets at the $95, $65, and $30 dollar price. Before you said that there were no such tickets in Chicago and New York. Based on the past concert grosses so far released for the tour, the AVERAGE TICKET PRICE is $116.21. That alone proves that the majority of tickets are priced the lower tiered prices. If most were priced at $275 or above, the average ticket price would be a lot higher than $116.21. $116.21 is only $15 dollars more than the average ticket price on the last tour.

Pearl Jam were charging below market value for their tickets in the early 90s which is why Ticketmaster increased the service charge fees. Ticketmaster even stated that if the artist is not willing to make what they are worth, then we will make what they are worth!

In the end, Pearl Jam failed in its goals and has joined all other artist that charge market value for their tickets. The single ticket price for all seats is what almost all artist used to do prior to 1994. 1994 is the year when Tiered pricing for tickets made its big debut and succeeded.

I didn't acknowledge anything of the sort. I will say it again, that is not the ticket price tiering for my local show at MSG. You can site all the stats you like but it does not apply to the larger markets. Additionally, you are very crafty at throwing inaccuracies out there with regards to the Pearl Jam 90's debate. If is completely untrue and false that they were charging less than market value for tickets and ticketbastard wanted to make up the difference. As I stated in my previous post, they tried to bypass what they considered illegal excessive serve charges and run a tour without the support of ticketbastard  and corporate support. Pearl Jam "failed" (to use your term very loosely), at their efforts simply because congress  supported the big money corporations as usual. Really at the end of the day, we are talking apples and oranges with regards to how Pearl Jam and U2 treat their fans. Pearl jam have always kept it real since their inception, U2 have not. Period

So what is the pricing at the MSG show you are going to. I mean for the normal tickets, not the VIP stuff and things like that. To my knowledge it is $280, $95, $70, and $30 before services fees are added in. If that is incorrect, tell us the figures you have?

            The figures for other venues outside of New York have been $275, $95, $65, and $30 before services fees are added in. But, if these figures are wrong, tell us what the figures are?!

Offline wolf

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #100 on: June 25, 2015, 05:31:46 PM »
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U2? Desperate for cash? When they own their own publishing and copyright outright (something NOBODY else in the music biz has ever gotten, to my knowledge--total ownership of every note they ever wrote, including any RingTones Edge might compose?)  And they have a deal  that keeps this in place until "75 yrs after the death of the last band member"? Do they even have to tour at all at this stage? Puh-LEAZE.

I wonder though how "market value" is determined with artists. If it's radio/visibility/downloads or however the heck the industry determined how "valuable/"hot" an artist is, in olden times (say before 2010) that was easy. Market value for tours traditionally might follow from that, from currenthits/age/popularity. In the Old World, it was easy: lots of hit albums/singles=popularity=lots of concert tix sold=high market value. But in this new world where artists are expected to break big selling millions of albums right out of the box, and some of them don't even have established fanbases yet, YET the emphasis is focusing more and more on touring in the industry now that the album is dying concept and audience loyalty is going the way of the dinosaur...HOW does someone determine market value?

Call me hopelessly old-fashioned, but there is no way artists like The Biebster or Muse or someone like Ed Sheeran should be charging ticket price at the same level as an act with a large, established fanbase for years. I was talking to a lady last week who took her daughter  to see Sheeran and they paid $85+ fees for nosebleeds. That was the same ticket tiering as U2, basically. She didn't know what the high end was, but I can guess. The only difference with U2 being the number of high-ends.

But back to my point. Since albums are basically dead and yet LN/The industry expects that they can fill arenas and stadiums (or at least sell out festivals, for God's sake) with acts that sell themselves basically with streamed singles, fill them night after night for hours per show, how do they determine an artist's market value? There used to be a tried and true formula for breaking artists and this ensured that audience loyalty would exist and thus a tiered pricing structure would be feasible, thus the concept of "market value" might look like this, based on how artists were tiered in the industry:

1)Club acts, just in the beginning stages of finding an audience, little visibility on radio, or college radio buzz.--Obviously, cheap as dirt.

2)  Up and coming artist, just starting up the ladder, no real hits yet but lots of buzz under the radar, by this time graduated to 2000-seat theaters in cities and small towns, still cheap but not dirt cheap. The beginnings of a national following.
This stage lasts through 2nd or 3rd album maybe.

3) Up and coming artist in the 2nd stages, maybe cracked the lower or mid levels of Billboard charts, popular videos, in terms of albums, some radio play but not every hour. prob on their 3rd album, or 4th. At this stage the act has been around maybe 3-5 yrs since club days. If they're big enough, the beginnings of a European or even global following. (this was where U2 were pre-Live Aid.)  Playing small arenas, and European large ones.

4)  Established act, been around for 3-5 yrs +, is on 4th album or longer, breaks through with #1 or Top 5 Albums and singles. Are popular enough now to graduate to regular and large arenas, the benchmark is selling out MSG. Has a global following and is now selling out stadiums and arenas in many countries based on new hits.

5)Established act at its peak. Age-wise, from 25-40 *traditionally*. If popular enough, has a large and lasting visibility as established on radio/downloads/hits in general. At this stage they can make a show as long as they like, and have any opening act, they have a sizeable original catalogue. If one of the Greats, is a truly global phenomenon and a huge and dedicated core fanbase, with fluctuations around the edges but compared to the core, this is minimal. This is the "**** the pop kids, we don't need 'em" stage.

6)Late-stage established act. Still producing hits, but starting to age and audience, even the youngest core, is starting to skew older (older in the Biz meaning older than college kid.) This is the age where hugely popular releases might be labeled as "comebacks."

7)Early-stage Legacy Act. maybe a modest hit or two  and still visible, still relavant maybe by dint of their overall legend and musical inspiration to younger generations and acts, and with their huge audience intact, attracting new fans of all ages around the huge core of the established fanbase. No longer with the hottest Twitter Feed but still quoted if something spicy comes up...No longer tastemakers but still hugely overall influencal in general.

8) Late-stage Legacy Act--this is where you are a musical museum piece, where nobody under 60 would go to your shows except as viewing a historical curiosity, you are fully from a distant era. Your audience may be huge but it's YOUR old crowd, and you exist if you still do  in another plane.

(People debate whether U2 are stage 6, 7 or even 8!-- but I think we won't know that until the end of the stadium (?) tour next year. Where do you think Pearl Jam are? They had a global following but in terms of raw numbers never as big as U2. Interesting, they're like U2 in many ways. I say this as another PJ fan, in the Ten Club too.)

Now, that's a neat chart whereby a promoter can work out a graduated pricing formula. But the state of the music biz today has upended this formula. You have artists who are tailored for the blandest common denometer, the musical equivalent of Marvel franchise films, break big with one social-media heralded single and sell millions, and then are pushed into arenas and even stadiums with hardly enough material to fill an hours' worth of showtime with even covers of old songs from other acts. (That's assuming they can play instruments and sing without AutoTune and you know, do stuff other than choreographed dance moves COUGH no names). Then promoters find out that these acts don't last long and/or their audiences are fickle. So they find a talented act like Muse or Arcade Fire who want to follow the traditional "slow burn" method and are rising too, or have been around a few years but have had modest success, and all of a sudden they're commanding Rolling Stones-type prices, for their audiences who are still young like them and aren't in the age group or tax bracket that can afford the shows.

The model is broken in the first place, and the concert industry is trying to compensate, and thus how markey value for an artist is determined is beyond me. Logic dictates that the most expensive acts should be the ones that are around the longest and have a core fanbase residing in tax brackets than can afford premium pricing, but what do I know?

So these days, is your "market value" determined by being a current act with value to kids AT THE MOMENT, or may you be more valuable OVERALL because you have proved for several years that you are a good investment (ie have a dedicated and large core fanbase) in a volatile musical market and business can invest in you because you have consistent overall sales regardless of visibility in the "traditional" market. It comes down to what matters in the industry: continued rapid turnover of acts with brief but huge fanbases vs taking risks and building up a portfolio of slowly developed artists who have proven staying power. What do you want the music biz to consist of.

Is this even possible in the Social Media Age? Can we again find a happy medium?

Now as to prices--how much do you think U2's support of the concert as huge spectacle might be partially responsible. Huge stadium spectacles have always been around but I think that after ZooTV/Zooropa/Popmart something in the industry changed. Have U2's continued success at this overblown model,  in the face of rapid and jarring changes in the biz coinciding with the rise of Live Nation and industry mergers made some of this inevitable? If they had not taken the same path as regards to the nature of their shows would it be the same? CouldU2 have gone back to smaller scale? Should they have? I think they could have. They chose not to, thus the cost of operating their shows continued to skyrocket, and made deals like the ones they took more lucrative.

Here are the average prices for some artist touring in North America from 2014 compiled by pollstar which ranked the top 200 North American tours for 2014:

One Direction: $84.06
Katy Perry: $104.39 (more than the average U2 charged on their last tour)
Justin Timberlake: $115.43 (about equal to the average price U2 is charging on the innocence and experience tour)
Motley Crue: $55.65
Miley Cyrus: $69.43

        So no, it is not about age, or experience or anything like that. It is about simple DEMAND in the market. A young act can charge much more than a veteran act if the demand is there. Its business and it is as simple as that. The average ticket price to see Katy Perry is nearly double that for Motley Crue even though Motley Crue is doing their final tour.

Offline Johnny Feathers

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Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #101 on: June 28, 2015, 09:05:37 AM »
My two cents:

Like it or not, the market seems to largely support the high ticket prices. The only alternative is simply not to go. Someone else will likely buy those tickets.

That said, I speak from experience: high ticket prices and big name concerts bring out the worst "fans" you could want. While I had to take a deep breath to pay $300 to see them, many of the people around me couldn't have cared less about the prices, or the show. People talking throughout the whole show, arriving drunk, being belligerent, starting fights, being kicked out for smoking, arriving late and leaving early....these are people who are only there because it's the "thing to do", or are there because of corporate gifting. All of that behavior happened in my section, within a few rows.

Sadly, it's not a trend I see changing soon. As I said to my gf during one of the many distractions around us, "don't worry, I'm sure the Blu-Ray will be great." Of course, if I want to get in with the true fans, I need to get GA (which I've never been able to do in the past), wait in long lines, and be prepared to have no seat. I settled for my one show this tour, and that was it. All I can say is, when I saw Zoo TV, I paid, at the most, $32, and had 2nd row seats. The higher costs these days have no reflection on how good of a show it is by comparison, I can tell you that.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 09:15:12 AM by Johnny Feathers »

Offline Blueyedboy

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #102 on: June 28, 2015, 02:32:25 PM »
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My two cents:

Like it or not, the market seems to largely support the high ticket prices. The only alternative is simply not to go. Someone else will likely buy those tickets.

That said, I speak from experience: high ticket prices and big name concerts bring out the worst "fans" you could want. While I had to take a deep breath to pay $300 to see them, many of the people around me couldn't have cared less about the prices, or the show. People talking throughout the whole show, arriving drunk, being belligerent, starting fights, being kicked out for smoking, arriving late and leaving early....these are people who are only there because it's the "thing to do", or are there because of corporate gifting. All of that behavior happened in my section, within a few rows.

Sadly, it's not a trend I see changing soon. As I said to my gf during one of the many distractions around us, "don't worry, I'm sure the Blu-Ray will be great." Of course, if I want to get in with the true fans, I need to get GA (which I've never been able to do in the past), wait in long lines, and be prepared to have no seat. I settled for my one show this tour, and that was it. All I can say is, when I saw Zoo TV, I paid, at the most, $32, and had 2nd row seats. The higher costs these days have no reflection on how good of a show it is by comparison, I can tell you that.

I agree totally. I get to see quite a few bands and some of the best shows I've seen over the past couple of years have cost around 15 or less (Exit Calm cost 8 for a great show albiet in a tiny venue).

For the 1st time since Zooropa '93 I have decided that enough is enough with the ticket prices. It's not a case of what I can afford, but with having children it becomes more and more difficult to justify the cost of watching a show with a set list that hasn't changed that much in the past decade.

Offline an tha

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #103 on: June 28, 2015, 02:56:01 PM »
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My two cents:

Like it or not, the market seems to largely support the high ticket prices. The only alternative is simply not to go. Someone else will likely buy those tickets.

That said, I speak from experience: high ticket prices and big name concerts bring out the worst "fans" you could want. While I had to take a deep breath to pay $300 to see them, many of the people around me couldn't have cared less about the prices, or the show. People talking throughout the whole show, arriving drunk, being belligerent, starting fights, being kicked out for smoking, arriving late and leaving early....these are people who are only there because it's the "thing to do", or are there because of corporate gifting. All of that behavior happened in my section, within a few rows.

Sadly, it's not a trend I see changing soon. As I said to my gf during one of the many distractions around us, "don't worry, I'm sure the Blu-Ray will be great." Of course, if I want to get in with the true fans, I need to get GA (which I've never been able to do in the past), wait in long lines, and be prepared to have no seat. I settled for my one show this tour, and that was it. All I can say is, when I saw Zoo TV, I paid, at the most, $32, and had 2nd row seats. The higher costs these days have no reflection on how good of a show it is by comparison, I can tell you that.

I agree totally. I get to see quite a few bands and some of the best shows I've seen over the past couple of years have cost around 15 or less (Exit Calm cost 8 for a great show albiet in a tiny venue).

For the 1st time since Zooropa '93 I have decided that enough is enough with the ticket prices. It's not a case of what I can afford, but with having children it becomes more and more difficult to justify the cost of watching a show with a set list that hasn't changed that much in the past decade.
Here is the opening night of the elevation Tour..

Elevation Tour

Main Set
Elevation
Beautiful Day
Until The End Of The World
New Year's Day
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
Gone
Discotheque, Staring At The Sun (snippet)
New York
I Will Follow
Sunday Bloody Sunday, Get Up Stand Up (snippet)
Sweetest Thing
In A Little While
The Ground Beneath Her Feet
Bad
Where The Streets Have No Name
Mysterious Ways
The Fly
Encore
Bullet The Blue Sky
With Or Without You
One
Walk On

Now if you factor in that SOI is a new album they are playing and that is taking up around a quarter of the setlist, there is a fair bit of repetition on the rest of the set from that night 14 years ago and what is being played now.



The Jackal

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Re: Have U2 become all about the money?
« Reply #104 on: June 28, 2015, 03:06:50 PM »
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Let's say the average crowd for this tour is 18,000.

They could charge 50 for every ticket in the arena and gross 900,000 per show.

Add in merchandise and that figure grows to a million easily don't know if they are on a share of the bar take or not.. ... and surely that is enough money made even allowing for their costs.....

But a U2 ticket is worth more in the market than $50 dollars, more than double that in fact. If U2 do not charge what they are worth, then scalpers and ticketmaster will! Every business around the world, large or small charges market value for their product or services. Home owners always charge market value when they sell their house.

I disagree, two hours of music isn't worth any more than 50, important difference here is pounds not dollars....so whatever 50 pounds is in dollars is the figure I am talking about...

U2 can price their gigs as they please of course, but as very, very wealthy men with a loyal fan base who have given them the great life Bono likes to refer to I reckon 50 would be a fair and reasonable price point.

I certainly wouldn't pay more personally.

U2 could price tickets at 50 pounds like you say, but then ticketmaster would come in with a 50 pound service fee or scalpers would dive in and charge whatever the market rate is supposed to be. Either way, the fans will be paying the market price, and people other than U2 will be taking half of the money. IF the artist does not charge what they are worth, ticketmaster and scalpers will then earn the rest. The fans will still be paying market price.

E-tickets bought from official site with CC to be presented at admission.  None-transferable.

No block sales to secondary market agents at all, including for so-called VIP packages.

Now what's the scalpers next move?  Seriously, educate me.  Of course the artists themselves are in cahoots with the secondary up-sellers. Why? $$$$

The majority of tickets sold can be resold in various ways. Again, the majority of the tickets sold at these shows are at the $95, $65, and $30 prices. An the the number of normally priced $275 tickets outnumber the VIP packages and other stuff. These form the majority of the tickets available and they can all be purchased on ticketsnow.com a ticket reseller site. Check it out!

But if there are no block sales at all and only people who purchased the, say, max 4 tickets per person per show from one official seller can actually get through the admission gates, how do the scalpers go about selling tickets?

Multiple buyers, multiple credit cards, plus the number of scalpers naturally increases when the price is well below market value. Yes, each individual scalper may be somewhat limited in the money they can make, but they could still make several hundred dollars EACH easily. You could have several thousand scalpers buying up the tickets and reselling them to the real fans at their true market value.

Are the scalpers going to give each buyer of their tickets the credit card that was used to purchase the tickets originally?

They just give them the hard ticket or the E-ticket to print out.

But the primary buyer (scalper) will have used a different cc to buy the official ticket than the secondary buyer will present along with their ticket at the admission gate.