Ticket resellers earned an average cumulative profit of $41,000 per show by charging an average of two times the original ticket price, according to a new analysis by the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO).
NITO’s study of 65 random shows across the US by artists represented by NITO members found multiple instances of tickets sold at 10 times the original price – with one $79.95 ticket reselling for $1,014.49. The venues studied ranged in capacity from 1,500 to 20,000.
One single show from the study netted an estimated $365,000 gross profit for resellers from the sale of 2,491 tickets at an average resale price of $210.89 per ticket on tickets with an original average face value of $64.48. See the study in full here.
“The NITO study sheds light on the predatory resellers and secondary ticket platforms that are price-gouging consumers and exploiting artists,” said a spokesperson for NITO, which earlier this year formed the NITO Ticketing Platform to demand major changes across the sector.
NITO found that in many instances, there were a significant number of tickets resold by secondary sellers at inflated prices when tickets were still available from the primary ticket seller. NITO believes this is because of resellers’ use of search engine optimization and paid placements, and also that consumers are willing to pay higher prices to sit in seats they could have purchased directly if the ticket reseller had not purchased them first.
In California, where resale restrictions are allowed, the number of tickets resold and reseller profits were 92% to 99% less than in states like New York and Illinois, which do not allow restrictions on resale.
NITO said: “While many consumer and ‘fan first’ groups claim that the resale market benefits consumers, NITO’s data shows otherwise.
“Most consumers can only spend so much on concert tickets each year. So even though the artist sets an original ticket price that they believe is fair, if those tickets are bought and resold at a higher price, consumers can now afford to attend fewer concerts which hurts artists, venues, and live entertainment as a whole.
“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.”
NITO Ticketing Platform, which is backed by dozens of member independent management companies and booking agencies, is demanding itemised all-in ticketing, where fees are clearly separated from face-value, as well as fee transparency.
NITO is also a founding member of the Fix The Tix coalition to advocate for more equitable concert ticketing. In June 2023, the coalition unveiled a plan which calls on Congress to enact federal legislation to safeguard consumers from speculative ticketing, price gouging and other deceptive practices.