Getting Shocked By Truth – What The Ticket Industry Could Learn From T-Pain Getting Shocked By Truth – What The Ticket Industry Could Learn From T-Pain
By: Eric Fuller When the truth is found to be lies And all the joy within you dies. Somebody To Love — Jefferson Airplane The... Getting Shocked By Truth – What The Ticket Industry Could Learn From T-Pain

By: Eric Fuller

When the truth is found to be lies

And all the joy within you dies.

Somebody To Love — Jefferson Airplane

The complaints keep coming: deceptive pricing, false sellouts, “bad actors”, bots, tickets which magically become non-transferable after they were purchased, manipulated supply, rigged distribution.

The $20 billion + live entertainment industry lacks for heroes as its major players struggle to take market share from one another without much consideration for the fans who ultimately buy the tickets.

In a world where all information is instantly accessible from any smart phone, trying to gain advantage by disguising value or manipulating price and supply is very risky. Pushback comes swiftly and without mercy. From where is not yet clear, but my guess is a combination of new regulation and a transition of consumer habit from live event attendance to virtual attendance through screens connected to community.

The effects of deception are well documented. Here’s a 1967 lyric from my favorite band which summarizes it well:

I know you’ve deceived me, now here’s a surprise
I know that you have ’cause there’s magic in my eyes

I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles
Oh yeah

If you think that I don’t know about the little tricks you’ve played
And never see you when deliberately you put things in my way

Well, here’s a poke at you
You’re gonna choke on it too
You’re gonna lose that smile
Because all the while

I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles
I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles

Oh yeah

I Can See For Miles by The Who

So, imagine my surprise when the single most honest comment I’ve heard in years was buried in an account last week of why a tour was canceled.

T-Pain, in admitting his tour was canceled for low ticket sales, said:

“You can’t hold on to a mistake because you spent a long time making it.”

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8540143/t-pain-cancels-tour-low-ticket-sales

Think about that. T-Pain blended truth and wisdom. There was no lie in his statement about why the tour was going to be delayed such as because of a family crisis. He simply told the truth and wrapped it in wisdom.

In a bad relationship?

“You can’t hold on to a mistake because you spent a long time making it.”

Hate your job?

“You can’t hold on to a mistake because you spent a long time making it.”

Never finished your education?

“You can’t hold on to a mistake because you spent a long time making it.”

Slowly destroying your industry by engaging in “tactics” instead of honest marketing?

“You can’t hold on to a mistake because you spent a long time making it.”

Afraid to look deep within yourself to see what you’ve become?

“You can’t hold on to a mistake because you spent a long time making it.”

Truth and wisdom sometimes come from the most surprising place. In this case T-Pain — someone who became known as an auto-tune singer but turned out to have a beautiful voice. This guy who was the monster on The Masked Singer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmd7XFd6AMg&feature=youtu.be

My experience tells me people are willing to pay lots of money for things they want, even when there are less expensive options: Apple computers, Teslas, Four Seasons hotel rooms, first class airfare, Patek Phillipe watches, Dom Perignon champagne.

All these companies understand the cost of customer acquisition and the value of a stable trusting relationship with their consumer. It’s why Nordstrom’s doesn’t dynamically price the shoes during its half yearly sale.

I went into Costco yesterday to buy a $5 rotisserie chicken and walked out the door with $645 worth of stuff. The Angel’s Envy bourbon was half price. I couldn’t leave that behind. The last time I made that mistake was when Hakushu 12 Japanese whisky was there for $39. The next week it discontinued retail distribution in the United States and the price shot up to $200.

When it takes a monster to deliver truth, it’s time for everyone to step back and rethink what they’re doing. In an industry which promotes artists who bring their truth to fans, perhaps it’s time to hold ourselves to the same standards.

This post was originally published at Medium. It is republished here with the author’s permission.

About the Author

Eric Fuller is an $895/hour consultant advising leading companies in the live event space. If you are an investor, artist, promoter, team, producer, venue operator, primary or secondary market of ticketed events or have comments on this article, please don’t hesitate to contact me: [email protected]

TicketNews Staff

  • Mark

    November 2, 2019 #1 Author

    T-Pain is not an isolated incident. They are pushed along too fast, expected to sell out places that are way too big so the only way to do that is manipulate ticket sales and availability which would be fine if LN/TM actually owned these places out-right and not using tax payer funded venues. In the ned you have washed up and over exposed artists who become slaves to LN

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