Ticketmaster has a pricing system, which alters the price of tickets based on demand. What is the purpose of this pricing system? Does this benefit the musician financially? Or are there other purposes for this type of pricing model?

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The stated purpose of "dynamic pricing" is to ensure tickets are market-priced.

In some instances, events on our platform may have tickets that are "market-priced," so ticket and fee prices may adjust over time based on demand. This is similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold and is commonly referred to as "Dynamic Pricing."

A secondary goal appears to be specifically battling the trends in resale marketplaces:

"As the resale ticketing market has grown to more than a $10 billion dollar industry over the past few years", the ticketing giant states, "artists and teams have lost that revenue to resellers who have no investment in the event going well or any of the people working behind the scenes to bring the event to life. As such, event organisers have looked to market-based pricing to recapture that lost revenue".

This is done via a pricing strategy created by the promoters and artist representatives:

"Promoters and artist representatives set pricing strategy and price range parameters on all tickets, including dynamic and fixed price points," a Ticketmaster spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. "When there are far more people who want to attend an event than there are tickets available, prices go up."

As for whether it benefits the artist financially, that's hard to say outright without direct access to contracts. However, it's reasonably safe to assume that they only stand to profit more from the pricing strategy defined by their teams in the best-case scenario of sustained, high demand. Keep in mind a few things:

  • As of today, artists must opt into dynamic pricing/market pricing.
  • Because dynamic pricing is indeed dynamic, the artist might make more from some tickets and less from others. Depending on final demand, this could lead to the artist's final profit equalling less than, equal to, or above their initial projected profit.
  • While battling the resale marketplace is a goal, there is no data to suggest that dynamic pricing leaves fans happier with the prices they ultimately pay.

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