Fee Free Friday - WHO FEE DAT?
$327.50 per ticket fee?!?! Is that a typo or a demand pricing algorithm error? Good grief it better be. If it isn't, we have a new Fee Free Friday record ( and that's a bad thing ). Also this week is a new Justin Bieber induced metric for measuring ticket fee misery and we check-in on the Olympic ticket soap opera days before the start of the Summer Games.
Who (all time record high fee) dat?
What was thought to be a facetious comment made on the Marked Out discussion forum turned out to be true. On the forum, aptly named commenter "rudeawakening" wrote of his experience purchasing tickets for a New Orleans Saints football game:
New Orleans Saints tickets on Ticketmaster. Look at any game it says the tickets range from 45-400, but the $45 ticket has $327.50 in fees. So a $45 dollar ticket turns out to be $372.50 how the hell do they get away with this crap?
A $327.50 fee on a $45 ticket? We didn't think this was true and quickly jumped over to the sales outlet.
To be fair, the $327 fee may be an error, or a programmatic malfunction of so-called "dynamic" pricing. If it is not some kind of error, that would be a new all time record for a per ticket fee.
We have contacted the New Orleans Saints and Ticket Master to ask about the amount and if it is an error, but no response has been received as of this writing. To our knowledge the National Football League has not said it intends to apply dynamic pricing to game tickets, like the Major League Baseball has already done, but our research is on-going.
Should we hear from either TicketMaster or the New Orleans Saints for verification of the near 1,000% of face value ticket fee we will immediately tweet about it.
Rumors are true
If you have been keeping a close eye on the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London, you know that the soap opera that's surrounding tickets for various events just keeps getting better.
This week, Matthew Black from CBC News reports that highly sought after tickets have been made available at the last minute. This was seen as an odd move for the offical ticket vendor, CoSport, to make as it was thought tickets for basketball, and boxing, as well as the closing ceremony sold out months ago.
The unexpected ticket available apparently stems from the long-standing Olymipic policy of reserving 3/4 of all tickets for the citizens of the host country. Previous rumors of low demand may have been just proven true. Last week, BBC reported that two-thirds of the soccer tickets, which is approximately 50,000, were still available.
So, the question must be asked - is the low demand due in part to high fees? Black's article lists some prices:
Prices for those events ranged from a low of $207 to a high of $663 for the bronze medal game of the men’s basketball tournament. Tickets for the final day of beach volleyball were pegged at $608 or $890, depending on seating category. CoSport’s ticket prices for all events include a $72 handling fee per ticket.
We think charging a $72.00 fee for a $207 ticket is a really good way to kill demand for any event, even one as special as the Summer Games.
Jonathan Blum aka The Digital Skeptic asks "Are Bieber's Bagels next?" wrote a rawkus OpEd on Justin Bieber's concert revenue numbers, including ticket fee stats. We don't question the statistics and dollar amounts cited, but the Bieber example may be an anomaly.
Bieber made $22.4 million last year in combined music sales and concert fees. [My World' tour] grossed $150 million from a total of 157 concert dates...as nutty as it sounds, by any rational measure Mr. Bieber is way under paid.
An interesting side note among the money made is Blum's mention of social media follower to concert tickets purchased ratio. Bieber sold 1,400,000 concert tickets to his My World tour equating to roughly 1 in 25 of his Twitter followers who "bothered to pay for his show" to use Blum's words.
If this golden ratio of Twitter followers to concert tickets ratios proves to be valid, and much data is needed, Blum may have just stumbled upon a new Fee Free Friday metric - per ticket fee paid by follower.
This week we have have a new all time record for per ticket fees, and there are no victories to report either. We hope this is not a new downward spiral for the ticket industry, as it would be fait accompli during this economy's fragile recovery.
You can create a win for us to report on by using temperance when applying per ticket fees for your event. You can even step up and go fee free with your ThunderTix account. We don't charge you per ticket fees, and every opportunity is there for you to pass that along to your patrons.
Fee Free Friday will be back next week with a special all Olympic edition! All the nations of the world will be competing for glory, will anyone be there to see it? Will half empty venues prove our point?