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BUNDLE MAGIC

How do adult-skewing acts fight for chart share in a youth-dominated, streaming-driven market? They leverage their strengths. RCA has proved particularly effective in this sphere with veteran acts that appeal to upper-demo audiences and sell boatloads of tickets. One of these, Dave Matthews Band, is on its way to a #1 chart bow this week (possibly close to 300k) for new set Come Tomorrow bolstered by a big ticket bundle. By offering the album as a package with each ticket sold—for only a nominally higher fee—such artists can compensate for a lack of streaming (and, in Matthews’ case, airplay as well).

This success follows another huge RCA chart win aided by bundling—by pop superstar P!nk. Though she scored hits with her 2017 set Beautiful Trauma and was selling albums and singles, P!nk wasn’t streaming, as her chart competitors were. She was helped to a 407k #1 bow with a bundle last October—the year’s biggest debut by a female artist until Taylor dropped—and popped up to #2 just a few weeks ago, thanks to more ticket redemptions.

It’s time to stop trying to delegitimize or ignore ticket bundling and recognize it for what it is: Another tool in the toolbox artists can utilize for chart success, based on one indisputable metric of popularity.

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