Ticketmaster’s Pricing System Makes Some Montreal Shows Less Affordable – Here’s Why
Your favorite artist is on tour and announces that he is stopping in Montreal. You open Ticketmaster excitedly…but any seat you actually want costs an arm and a leg. You can either sell a body part for a quick buck, choose a seat furthest from the stage, or take to social media to complain.
Many Montrealers opt for the latter, and they are not the only ones. Many Canadian spectators are openly pissed off that the concerts of the biggest stars seem to cost much more today than in the past. All thanks to dynamic pricing.
Turns out the algorithmically controlled cost model behind Uber’s dreaded surge pricing is too why you can’t afford tickets to that Bell Center concert you wanted to see.
Instinctively, you might blame the theater, Ticketmaster, or capitalism for getting in your way. But you should know that your favorite artist (or band) has probably not only embraced the dynamic pricing model, but is part of why the prices are out of your budget.
“As sports teams, artist reps and promoters recognize the benefit of pricing closer to market value,” Ticketmaster wrote in a September statement, likely responding to the volley of online hate from more $4,000 Bruce Springsteen tickets at select US venues earlier this year.
“Promoters and artist reps set pricing strategy and price range parameters on all tickets, including fixed and market-based prices,” the seller said. “When there are many more people wanting to attend an event than there are tickets available, prices go up.”
While the “market-based” strategy relies on supply and demand, which causes prices to fluctuate, the cost of starting and ending tickets falls on artists and their representatives.
Big-name artists like Harry Styles, Taylor Swift and even Blink-182 are all on board – the latter spurring Montreal punk venue Turbo Haüs into action.
Ticketmaster is, of course, more than happy to oblige. The broker may add a fee that reflects more than 75% of the ticket price that is shared with performers and venues, as John Oliver detailed on an episode of “Last Week Tonight.” The seller has also been known to hold tickets directly to keep demand high.
Some industry experts say the trend is inevitable and even opens the door to other ways to enjoy shows.
“Ticketmaster is just the way. We’ve seen dynamic pricing for decades – airlines, sports, stocks, so it’s no surprise that a low amount of in-demand products, like tickets, have gone that route. “said Eric Alper, Canadian music publicist. MTL Blog.
“I think there will be an increase in opportunities for artists to perform exclusive concerts to stream in cinemas, YouTube, Twitch and other subscription models that anyone can attend,” he said.
Even though large-scale online concerts and VR-based festivals are the way of the future, you can still choose to support local newcomers on stage and in person, for much less.