Comparing Notes With StubHub

How many tickets at an average show get sold on the secondary market? And what exactly is the income? Pollstar asked StubHub if the online ticket marketplace would compare notes on a couple of shows. In an unprecedented disclosure, StubHub provided Pollstar with data for two concerts.

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It is important to note StubHub is the portal between buyer and seller and not a typical ticket broker – StubHub makes its income from a transaction fee, and whatever profits are made from the ticket purchase go to the third-party seller.

StubHub granted this information in part due to the accusations that have erupted over the Hannah Montana tour – that the secondary market has "all" of the tickets, when in actuality it’s merely a small percentage.

"These figures represent a rare glimpse into the dollar volume of tickets transacted on StubHub for one of the year’s hottest tours and a traditional summer package tour," StubHub music business development chief Chuck LaVallee said in a statement. "Bands, promoters and agents can leverage some of these revenues by partnering with StubHub for unique ticket packages for fans."

Although StubHub is the predominant player in the secondary market and provides an excellent view through to sales, the numbers below naturally do not include all tickets purchased through secondary outlets, including parent company eBay, for the example shows.

Total numbers would be impossible to gauge, but Pollstar suggests readers consider secondary ticket sales could in some instances be as much as four times higher overall. A hot show could have up to 30 percent of its tickets on the secondary market and a stiff could have just 1 percent. If there’s anything close to an "average," Pollstar believes it is in the 5 percent to 10 percent range.

Def Leppard / Styx / Foreigner

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre,  Irvine, Calif., 9/23/2007

Ticketmaster Primary:

Capacity: 15,968 / Tickets sold: 13,332

Ticket Price: $25 – $87.50

Gross: $580,960


Tickets sold: 243

Ticket price (average): $167

Gross: $40,573 (Highest ticket price: $765; lowest: $39)


Hannah Montana / Miley Cyrus "Best of Both Worlds"

Oracle Arena. Oakland, Calif., 11/01/07

Ticketmaster Primary:

Capacity: 13,995 (sold out)

Ticket Price: $26 – $66

Gross: $758,983



Tickets sold: 992

Ticket price (average): $196

Gross: $194,568 (Highest ticket price: $1,258; lowest: $63)