Concert tickets are so expensive because of income inequality.
Yes, the Internet allows scalpers and StubHub (the same thing?) to reach a national audience, but in the old days supply exceeded demand to an even greater extent and despite the presence of scalpers, prices were never this high.
The difference is now there’s a whole class of people who can afford these high prices. Kind of like professional sports. Used to be you went to the game on a regular basis, now you go once or twice a year, when someone offers you tickets or you splurge or you sit in the cheap seats.
Corporations have luxury boxes and individuals have senate seats. They don’t really care what the price is, they just want to be inside. Furthermore, access gives them bragging rights, separating themselves from the hoi polloi. Not just anybody can be inside!
So we’ve got a dividing line. Between rich and poor. And there’s not much territory in between. Which is why everybody’s fighting to be on the right side, the wealthy side, like the artists.
It’s not so much that the Internet ruined the musician’s business model than it takes a whole hell of a lot more money to be rich in today’s world. And that’s where the artists want to be. Flying private, staying in the best hotels, leasing exotic European cars. Check the price of a NetJet share and then get back to me. The rich execs all fly private. Do you expect any self-respecting rock star to fly commercial?
Of course not, so who pays?
And American Express. Subsidizing the tour along with the rest of the Fortune 500. The hoi polloi don’t even have AmEx cards. They don’t even know what they’re missing. They never get the e-mail. They sit in their bathrobes on Saturday morning clicking to buy seats unaware that in many cases ninety percent have already been sold. Yes, the acts are about as honest as the CEOs. Exactly how much did Mitt Romney pay in taxes the last ten years? You don’t need to know that.
And the acts could get better tickets in the hands of the punters but then they’d make less. And, as we can see above, they don’t want to do this. Paperless allows true fans to go. But it’s hard to overcharge. And then there’s the fees. Which if you think all go to Ticketmaster you probably believe Obama was born in Kenya and was educated in a madrassa.
And then there’s the music itself. When I went to college, no one was planning for the future, an education was an end unto itself. You smoked dope and listened to records, which is why boomers are so music-savvy. But today people think about a career before they enter the hallowed halls. They’re overpaying, far beyond the rate of inflation, for a ticket to a better way of life. Like the acts, college students don’t want to be left behind, kind of like the administration and the coaches, who can make millions a year. No one’s gonna take a risk being a musician. No one wants to get off track. So the only people making music are the lower classes who’ll do anything for a buck. And are uneducated to boot. Show me an intellectual playing music and if you scratch the surface I guarantee you’ll find a plan B, professional school or tech development or…anything but doubling down and starving until you make it.
And when you complain about all this, no one’s listening. No one’s changing operations. Ticket prices have only gone up. Label execs need their salaries. No one’s going to admit there’s a problem, they’re too busy chasing the big money.
So all you’re left with is the records. Which are free. You can steal ‘em or listen on YouTube. And the musicians bitch to high heaven. Saying you’re ripping them off. But who’s at fault here? Should you really pay in excess of ten bucks for an album you don’t want to hear in order to get the one single you do?
You can watch the game at home on TV. You can listen to the music.
But getting inside is a whole ‘nother matter. Especially sitting up close. Either you have to give up your vacation or say no.
So you go to fewer shows.
And the developing acts complain you won’t take a risk.
But at these prices, who would?
P.S. So you see what we’ve got here is a societal problem. If anything, concert tickets are the leading edge, where the rubber meets the road, but you can take this paradigm and extend it throughout society. Hell, poor people can’t afford to go to college. Meanwhile, we’re fighting amongst ourselves while those in charge are laughing behind the scenes. And since it all comes down to money, the rich have been embellished with all kinds of characteristics that are in many cases inaccurate. Rich doesn’t always mean intelligent and insightful, oftentimes it just means lucky. So, I ask you, how does it feel, to get such a raw deal? Only you can change it, because no one else cares, they don’t want to lose their place in line, they’re gonna kick and scream and refuse to fall back. America is not the land of giving, but taking. And you can’t take away that which someone already has. They’re protecting that turf, while they’re trying to take even more.