Secondary ticketing is currently under intense scrutiny in the US, with politicians taking a long, hard and often contradictory look at how the ticketing market works.
The latest organisation providing some data to fuel those debates is NITO, the National Independent Talent Organization, whose membership comprises independent music managers and booking agencies.
It has studied tickets sold and resold for 65 shows by those members in venues ranging in capacity from 1,500 to 20,000, to see what patterns it could spot.
Among the claims: the average face value ticket price was $67.47, but the average resale price was $129.22. NITO also says that resellers collectively generated an average gross profit per show of $41k, based on selling an average of 543 tickets.
The study also suggested that some concertgoers were paying the higher prices for secondary tickets even though primary face-value tickets were still available.
Why? NITO said that confusion when secondary resellers ranked higher than primary sources in search results was one reason, while fans paying for secondary tickets because the seats were better than those still available on the primary market was another.
“While many consumer and ‘fan first’ groups claim that the resale market benefits consumers, NITO’s data shows otherwise,” claimed the organisation.
“Fan-to-fan face-value ticket exchanges clearly work and allow fans to buy tickets at the price the artist intended. But too often, State laws limit their effectiveness, preventing fans across the country from benefiting equally.”
“Most tickets sold on the secondary market are sold by predatory ticketing professionals with access to technology that often assures that they can buy the best tickets before fans. The secondary ticket sites use their excessive profits to push their ticket listings to the top of search results, confusing fans and stifling official ticket sales.”
These conclusions should not come as a surprise, as NITO is part of the wider music-industry Fix The Tix coalition, which recently unveiled its proposals for reform of the ticketing industry.
Needless to say, the secondary ticketing firms will have different views on all this: American politicians will be responsible for navigating their way through the competing opinions to decide what, if any, new legislation is the best way to improve the market.