Ticket resale is the primary driver of the ever-increasing cost of live event attendance, according to the conclusions of a study promoted this week by the National Independent Talent Organization (NITO).

The group, which is one of the core forces behind the so-called “FIX THE TIX” legislative agenda, says that its data across a survey of 65 events showed an average ticket price of $129.22 on ticket resale marketplaces, compared to an average face value price of $67.47.

“Most consumers can only spend so much on concert tickets each year,” the study concludes. “So even though the artist sets an original ticket price that they believe is fair, if those tickets are bought and resold at a higher price, consumers can now afford to attend fewer concerts which hurts artists, venues, and live entertainment as a whole.”

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The NITO study found multiple instances of tickets being sold at 10 times what the original price had been, and pointed to one show where nearly 2,500 tickets had been resold, averaging a $210.89 resale price that had an original face value figure of $64.48.

When contacted, NITO representatives said that the face value figures did not include any additional fees, and that they believed the same was accurate for the resale tickets. Data for the face value was internally generated by artists represented by NITO members, while the resale data was sourced from “a [website] used by professional resellers to track sales on the secondary market.” Requests for more details regarding the data source, or the actual data used in the survey for independent analysis were declined.

The findings of the study stand in stark contrast to another study released this week, which found that ticket resale is the source of an enormous amount of consumer savings for those shopping for tickets to live sports events over the four major leagues in the U.S. In that study, data was gathered on all secondary market sales for sports tickets over a five year period, and showed resale tickets coming at a savings amounting to around $25 million per year vs. face value.

The findings further the ongoing narrative from NIVA – which is made up of independent talent agents and an offshoot of the National Independent Venue Association, a coalition of independent venues and promoters formed during the COVID-19 pandemic to advocate for the distribution of federal money to venues beyond those held by the larger corporate promotional entities. NVIA/NITO and Fix The Tix have advocated for essentially the same legislative effort that Live Nation Entertainment has pushed for – which more or less eliminates consumer ticket rights entirely in favor of a world where the venue and its primary ticketing vendor have unilateral control over tickets and what consumers can do with them.

Fix The Tix and arguably its most prominent figure – Oak View Group boss and former Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff – have explicitly come out against the comprehensive ticketing reform proposed by Rep. Bill Pascrell’s BOSS and SWIFT Act, which they categorize as being overly friendly to the ticket resale industry.

As coverage of the NITO release by Music Ally notes, “these conclusions should not come as a surprise, as NITO is part of the wider music-industry Fix The Tix coalition…”

“Needless to say, the secondary ticketing firms will have different views on all this: American politicians will be responsible for navigating their way through the competing options to decide what, if any, new legislation is the best way to improve the market.”

The full study is available here (PDF opens in new tab).