The L.A. Times posted an article online this past week discussing the highlights from Live Nation Entertainment’s first post-earnings-call press conference since its merger with TicketMaster. While the call conference revealed a 3% concert decrease in concert attendance in the first quarter and lower revenues from TicketsNow, Chief Executive Michael Rapino also seemed to let another bit of news regarding the future slip: increase in ticket prices.
Rapino stated during the conference:
So, whether it’s seat maps, dynamic pricing or just convincing the band that the front row is worth $400, not $100, we’re noticing a great reception by artists worldwide who would like to capture more of the upside, and our first goal is to figure out how to price the house right.
That’s right, you can expect to pay $400 a ticket for a seat that use to be $100 if they get their way. Some artists are already beginning to charge more, with a ticket for Roger Waters’ costing up to $750. The only difference though is that they usually give you more for your buck; the Roger Waters’ ticket, for example, includes a collectible t-shirt, buffet, and pin set. It just still seems a bit stingy to increase a ticket price by $300 dollars. This especially since Rapino himself told the L.A. Times last year that “In my business, the cheaper the ticket price the better. I’d love for more consumers to walk into an amphitheater, park, have a beer and eat a hot dog. There’s no advantage to me to have anything but sold-out shows.”
If they were to add more benefit to justify the increase, then maybe this would sit easier with me. And who knows, maybe Live Nation/TicketMaster will throw in a few more gems to go along with the ticket (preferably more than just a t-shirt and pin though). We can bark all we want about the extreme expenses that sadly go into attending a concert now-a-days, but let’s face it: there will always be at least one band we’d be willing to shell out an extra cost to see (ok, maybe no more than $50 for VIP tickets to a Nightwish show for me personally).