Hip-hop star Jay-Z’s slow ticketing sales model reportedly helped him make a profit of close to $50m (£36.7m/€41m) for his 4:44 Tour, Billboard reports.
Jay-Z’s popularity came into question late last year because the tour and operator Ticketmaster failed to secure instant sellouts. In reality, according to Billboard, demand was high, but the sales process was slowed down in an effort to prevent bots and scalpers from instantly mining tickets and reselling them at inflated prices on the secondary market.
The sales strategy, following a line increasingly used by vendors, was to focus margins more on front row seats, VIP experiences and platinum tickets, thus maximising best seating inventory. The slow ticketing model is designed to make it more challenging for ticket touts to set inflated prices for the best seats, because they are already close to actual market value.
Jay-Z sold 426,441 tickets on his 32-date US tour, grossing $44.7m in ticket sales and another $4m in platinum and VIP tickets, averaging $1.5m per show.
Those numbers show a huge jump from the rapper’s 2013-2014 Magna Carta Tour which saw 42 shows, with an attendance of 436,939, raise $37.4m in ticket sales.
Taylor Swift is the most prominent exponent of the slow ticketing model, and has faced similar questions over the fact that her shows are failing to sell out.