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UNWRAPPING THE TICKET BUNDLE

The ticket bundle has emerged, this year, as a formidable tool for increasing sales and thus spiking chart numbers. By bundling product with a concert ticket, big touring acts can often attain the margin needed for a #1 bow in tight chart battles, thus offsetting the consumption advantage enjoyed by the bigger-streaming acts as sales decline overall.

Traditionally, this is a critical strategic move employed by even the biggest arena and stadium acts, part of the art between agent, manager and artist. Labels aren’t usually consulted, but because of the latest trend, they’re getting a seat at the table.

Is the risk-reward ratio sufficient for the practice to continue?

A primary risk associated with putting tickets on sale to coincide with a release date is that sometimes it’s done before there’s sufficient heat on the artist to move those hundreds of thousands of tickets. Half-sold-out arenas are obviously a bad look—as opposed to instantaneous sellouts proving the act is as commercially vital as ever.

This applies more to acts that depend on singles-driven heat than to road warriors for whom a trek is a predicable windfall.

 Meanwhile, what, if any, fallout could these acts face from retailers, who lose trade and traffic from such arrangements? Will acts that decide to bundle be obliged to mollify digital and physical retailers with deluxe editions and exclusive content? Do retailers still have enough leverage to command such compensatory measures?

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