Just days before the first concert, organizers of Miley Cyrus’s latest tour are slowly releasing premium tickets back onto the primary market, in what appears to be a bid to jump-start soft sales. The once highly anticipated tour features an all paperless ticketing system, a move which has drawn criticism from some due to the logistics of having to scan in all attendees.
Over recent weeks, small packs of four to eight premium tickets have been placed back into the market for shows on both the East and West coasts, shows that had been listed as sold out. The screen shot below is of tickets pulled today from Ticketmaster for the September 16 show in Tacoma, WA; the seats are in a prime location just to the left of the stage.
“That’s an excellent seat,” said a Georgia-based ticket broker who spoke with TicketNews on a condition of anonymity. “That show’s what? Five, six days from now?”
A check of several other stops along the tour are also showing prime seats are still available, along with ample seats for the upper decks. The tour’s sales have been a bit of a disappointment for several weeks, but it would appear the tour’s organizers are quietly putting up the tickets to give the impression the concerts are in high demand.
This broker, a four-year veteran who averages close to $400,000 in gross annual sales, said he’s only sold two tickets so far for the tour, for an October 23 show in Birmingham, AL, and he’s sitting on about 20 more for Cyrus shows around the country. The two tickets for the Birmingham show, fourth row on the floor, sold for $650 a piece, and he will go to the arena to personally scan in the buyers.
While the economy is playing a factor in the tour’s slow sales – the two tickets in the screen shot cost a combined total of $189.60 with convenience facility fees – the larger factor still appears to be the paperless aspect of the tour, which knocks out opportunities to pay cash at the box office. It also requires parents to either attend the show with their young daughters or sons, or at least pay for parking and walk all the way up to the gate to have their credit card swiped so their children can enter.
“You’re just not seeing much activity on the exchanges for this tour, and generally brokers often buy 10 percent to 20 percent of a tour’s tickets,” the broker said. “The face value for Miley Cyrus tickets is pretty reasonable, but when you compare her to, say, Taylor Swift, Swift’s selling out everywhere. So, it must be the paperless tickets.”
Paperless ticketing and dynamic pricing are two of the initiatives Ticketmaster plans to roll out in force in 2010, as part of its plan to recapture some of the revenue it believes it loses to the secondary ticket market.
The system has not led to slower-than-expected sales for some of Ticketmaster’s other tours that utilized it, such as AC/DC, but many of Cyrus’s fans are younger and do not have their own credit cards to gain entry.