While the digital age and easier access to musical content has made it difficult for artists to sell their music, one bright spot has always been touring. Musicians have looked to concerts to make up for the lack of revenue streaming in from dwindling record sales. However, due to a poor economy and evolving ticket purchasing trends, even this area of monetary revenue has been threatened. Over the past few months, Rihanna, Maxwell, newly reunited Limp Bizkit, and many others have had to cancel tour dates.
Although a struggling economy is partly to blame for this, differences in consumer behavior is also a major factor according to the Wall Street Journal. Concert goers tend to wait until the last minute to buy cheaper tickets, rather than buying them earlier, for higher prices.
Live Nation Entertainment, the largest live-performance company in the industry, told WSJ that such trends are not different from the norm. “Cancellations are a part of the business and in fact the number this year is in line with past years,” says Jason Garner, Chief Executive of the company’s concerts division. “When 40% of tickets across the industry are going unsold, you have to have an honest talk about ticket prices.”
The only musicians who seem to attract audiences despite a poor economy are artists like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. Parents tend to feel more comfortable buying tickets for their kids to these shows than they would for other concerts. However acts like the Jonas Brothers and even American Idol all-stars have faced tour cancellation due to poor ticket sales.