5 Reasons Concert Tickets Are So Expensive


Technology and the Secondary Market

Beyonce and Jay-Z concert
Beyonce and Jay-Z perform on stage during the 'On the Run II' tour, which grossed the duo more than $250 million. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment

Not that this list was in order of least to most important, but one of the biggest changes in the price of concert tickets has come from the digital world — in the form of the secondary market. Yes, scalpers have stood outside of venues — or as close as they could legally get — for decades holding up tickets for sale. But with the advent of the internet, online ticket exchange companies like StubHub and Verified Tickets by Ticketmaster made selling, upselling and purchasing tickets easy and reliable. Realizing that fans purchased tickets on the secondary market for much more than the original price, concert promoters started boosting ticket prices. Technology made it possible for the secondary ticket market to take off.

"If there is somebody willing to pay $1,000 for a front row ticket, shouldn't [the artist] be allowed to sell them that ticket for $1,000?" Schilling says. "Why not try to capture some of that money? Otherwise, the fan is going to pay it, and the only person who wins is the scalper."

Yet, even in a secondary market, prices reach a natural cap. For now.

"What you are trying to do is price them at the price the most people are willing to pay, so it doesn't go up exponentially," Bluett says. "The market will only bear what it will bear."