Thursday, December 30, 2010

Concert Revenue Isn't What It Used To Be

It used to be that a star or superstar act going out on tour was really going to cash in, but it looks like the good times are over, according to Pollstar magazine, considered by many to be almost the bible when it comes to ticket sales.

How about these for numbers?

  *  The revenue of the 50 biggest grossing tours in the world declined 12% last year from 2009.

  *  It was even worse in North America, as sales were down 15%.

  *  The number of tickets sold declined 7% world-wide and 12% in North America.

  *  Yet ticket prices increased by 4% despite last minute discounting by giant concert promoter Live Nation.

  *  The top 50 acts played 8% fewer shows than the year before.

  * Promoters slashed prices to as low as $10 for the Jonas Brothers, Maroon 5, Stevie Winwood and Santana, Creed, and the American Idol tours, among many others.

So who were the biggest grossing tours?

1) Bon Jovi - $201 million (U2 made $311 mil the year before)

2) AC/DC - $177 mil

3) U2

4) Lady Gaga

5) Metallica

What does this all mean? This was probably a healthy course-correction in the business. As a result, what we'll see next year is more reasonable pricing, fewer tours by acts who were out last year (you can't tour the same places with the same songs every year and expect big sales), and maybe some sanity returning to a business that never had to worry about a recession before.

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