The secret to stifling scalpers . . . raise prices?

Think Broadway tickets (and concert tickets and sports tickets) are too expensive?

Well, here comes an article from the NY Times which details the new strategy on the concert circuit . . . raise your prices, and keep raising them . . . until you actually price your scalpers out of the market.

Wait, wait, there’s more . . .

Just raising one side of the prices doesn’t work.  In order to be fair to the consumers, and make sure your shows are accessible (and perhaps even more accessible than they are now), you gotta lower the other side as well.

I call this, “See-Saw Pricing.”  One side goes up . . . way up . . . and the other side hits your butt on the ground, and hard.

Or the rich are subsidizing the cost of the not-so-rich.

And the theory is if the prices are already high, how much more could a scalper charge and actually make money?

Apparently Kid Rock is going to work this angle, by adding more of what he calls “Platinum Seating” only so the rest of the tickets in the house can be only $20.

We’re starting to play with this idea on Broadway more and more, although we haven’t hit our butts to the ground on the lower prices just yet – a good lottery or rush is about all you can ask for on the low end.  But a two-tiered system of top and bottom only might eliminate one of the greatest pricing problems we have . . .  the middle.  The middle price (rear of the front mezzanine, or back of the orchestra) is always the hardest spot in the theater to sell.  I call this, ‘The Jan Brady Problem” . . . cuz who wants to be the in the middle?

The Secondary Market will never go away entirely.  But thanks to modern technology we have more and more tools to help even the playing field, and take back some of the money they’ve taken from us over the years.  If we could capture just a few of the millions of dollars of markup that they charge every year, a lot more shows could recoup their investment.

And I call that, ‘awesome’.

Read the article about ticket scalping here.


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