Taylor Swift’s Eras tour on track to sell $590 million in tickets. Here is where that money goes
When Taylor Swift sells out the remaining 170,000 tickets for her 52-date tour later this month, the US trip will have netted $591 million in sales, painting estimates. Ticket prices average $215, according to concert business sources.
This total would make Swift the highest-grossing touring female artist of all time, according to the painting The Boxscore chart is topped by current defending champion Madonna whose Sticky & Sweet Tour (for 2008 and 2009) is number one with $407 million in total. Swift’s US tour would also place her at number four on the all-time Top Tours chart, which is currently led by Ed Sheeran, whose 2017-2019 Divide shows grossed $776.2 million.
Usually with a tour of this size, the artists share some of the revenue with a promoter and agent. In this case Swift would presumably hold a higher share of the revenue, because it is not represented by one of the major booking agencies and because it is an independent promoter Louis Messina He books the entire tour and provides some of the services normally provided by the agency.
Other companies participating in the tour will not do as they usually do. Ticketmaster and SeatGeek, which handled tour sales, typically allow ticket buyers to sell tickets on their secondary markets and take a percentage of that revenue. (Ticketmaster has handled sales for 47 shows, while SeatGeek has sold seats for the remaining five.) But Swift didn’t allow companies that handled primary ticket sales to sell secondary market tickets either. Additionally, Swift has asked Ticketmaster to help make sure tickets go to fans, rather than brokers, and the company says it has used certified fan technology to reduce the number of tickets on resale sites by 75%.
This is an expensive decision. Ticketmaster makes a much higher margin on resale tickets than basic tickets, since it keeps all the fees it charges – typically 10% of the sale price for the seller and another 20% for the buyer. The company still charges a 25% service fee on all base ticket sales. However, she only keeps a small percentage of that money, $3.50 to $5 per ticket, which for this round would come to about $7.6 million to $10.8 million. The rest of the fee usually goes to the venues and promoters. (Ticketmaster, like most ticketing companies, charges 2.75% for credit card processing, of which it keeps about 10% and pays the rest to the credit card companies. The Eras Tour generated about $13.8 million of that fee, painting In all, by the time Ticketmaster sells the remaining 170,000 tickets, the company’s total revenue will be between $9 million and $12.9 million.
Ticketmaster’s efforts to fight off speculators meant that relatively few tickets ended up on the secondary market – but tickets that did were very expensive. After a month of pre-sale, on Dec. 14, the average resale ticket price was $1,425, according to TiqIQ, which tracks secondary ticket sales across multiple markets.
TiqIQ estimates that about 1,100 resale tickets are available for each show, out of about 50,000 tickets on average. At an average price of $1,425, that would amount to about $1.6 million in tickets per show on the secondary market. Assuming that Ticketmaster would have had about 15% – 20% of those purchases, based on 2018 estimates by the US Government Accountability Office, that means the company could have brought in an additional $12.5 million to the $16.4 million in revenue, of which Ticketmaster would have kept With $3.8 million to $5 million in fees, if Swift allows the company to sell tickets in its secondary market.
SeatGeek, which has a 12% share of the secondary market according to its April earnings report, has agreed to stop reselling the five shows taped for the tour, but not the 47 shows sold by Ticketmaster. (Ticketmaster blocked secondary sales of SeatGeek shows.) This means that SeatGeek could make about $9 million from Ticketmaster showing it’s listed on the secondary market, even though it lost revenue of about $960,000 for not allowing secondary sales on the five shows for which it sold. Tickets at the start.
Working with Swift has benefits that go beyond financial, of course. In addition to the prestige of working with an artist of that stature — and enduring the embarrassment of flopping around the November 15 pre-show — Ticketmaster should see an increase in app downloads and use of its digital ticketing platform, which has been a priority for the company.
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