Resellers Average $41K Per Show, NITO Study Finds

An analysis by the National Independent Talent Organization found that ticket resellers average more than $40,000 profit per show, charging more than twice the face value of the tickets they sell.

The NITO study of tickets sold and resold for 65 shows by artists represented by NITO at venues ranging in capacity from 1,500-cap clubs and theaters to 20,000-seater arenas.

Photo by Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images

NITO says ticket buyers were charged an average of 203 percent of face value on the secondary market. NITO says the average face-value ticket price was $67.47 with an average resale price of $129.22, a 203 percent increase. Resellers sold an average of 543 tickets in the studied shows.

One show from the study netted an estimated $365,000 profit for resellers from the sale of 2,491 tickets at an average resale price of $210.89 per ticket on tickets with an original average face value of $64.48. In another instance, a ticket was resold for $1,014.49 when the face value price was $79.55.

NITO was also able to use The Cure’s tour as an experiment of sorts due to the band’s strict policy on resale. Because state law is even more powerful than Robert Smith & Co., NITO was able analyze the effect legal restrictions have on the resale market.

For example, California allows for resale restrictions. In the Golden State, tickets resold — and the profits thereof — were 92 to 99 percent lower than in Colorado, Illinois and New York, where the law prohibits such restrictions. But, of course, that drove the average price of each resold ticket much higher in the more restrictive markets.

For The Cure’s May 23 show at the Hollywood Bowl, NITO found 20 tickets sold on the resale sites, with an estimated profit of $31,330. That’s an average of $1566.50. For the June 6 show in Denver, NITO found 1,512 resale tickets and a profit estimated at $238,884, around $158 per ticket.

Another arena-level artist — unnamed by NITO at the artist’s request — used fan-to-fan face-value, resulting in just 18 total tickets resold for their two LA arena shows and 26 for an Oakland show. The same artist in New York City had 1,053 tickets resold for a single show at an average price 712 percent higher than the average face value price. The study estimated that, collectively, resellers profited $936,351 on that one show.

A “prominent country artist,” who tours in stadiums had 7,767 tickets sold on the secondary market for a gross of $2,318,610.42. This artist’s average ticket price is $72.16, but the resold average was $298.52, a 313 percent difference.

NITO also found numerous instances of tickets being sold marked up even for events that weren’t sold out. NITO attributed this to the fact that resellers use search-engine optimization and paid search placement to drive their sites to the head of the results list. NITO also said consumers will pay a premium for tickets in certain locations which may only be available through the resale market.