If the artist doesn’t get paid from recorded music, well it’s their fault for signing a crap deal or for signing away their rights a long time ago for a big payday. Or they are not big enough to be paid.
And when the tickets to concerts are too expensive it is their fault as well.
Seen all the craziness around Bruce Springsteen and the prices charged for his concerts in the U.S.
For an artist on who has made his living from the heartland, the prices of $4K for a ticket due to Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing” algorithm (based on a simple design of high demand vs low supply = price increase on the fly), has left him and his team in damage control.
Even the biggest fanzine dedicated to the boss called “Backstreets” has ceased to exist after 43 years over this. But “The Boss” defended these prices last year. The way Springsteen sees it, someone else (like a scalper or secondary ticket re-seller) was going to sell the tickets at the higher prices, so why can’t it be him and his team that gets the difference between the normal price and the price the fan is willing to pay.
Is there anything wrong with this?
It was going to happen eventually.
Artists have been ripped off for decades so when they have been around the business for a long time, you would expect the artists to do the same as the agencies that ripped them off. Businesses pay taxes when they start out while the established ones pay no taxes. And when those small businesses get big enough and have billions coming through, suddenly they also pay no taxes.
But with the rising costs to put shows on, a lot of smaller to medium artists are cancelling tours because they don’t want to overcharge their fans but they need to overcharge, in order to make some coin. And for the ones who do decide to overcharge, well their fans are not buying the tickets and suddenly the tour or the show is cancelled due to low ticket sales.
The artists and their team (which includes, accountant, lawyer, management and most probably the label if they are on a 360 contract) control it all. The final decision on ticket prices comes back to this team. When Taylor Swift blamed Ticketmaster for her prices, she was trying to save face because she got busted ripping off her fans.
Springsteen had the view that since other agencies have been ripping his fans off for a long time and that’s okay, why isn’t it okay when he The Boss does it.
Ticketing companies then find other ways to get the money from the fans, via booking fees, parking fees and super expensive food and alcohol at the venue. The merchandise companies then find ways to rip off the fans by selling $5 dollar tops at $50, because they have negotiated a set fee with the artist to be the merch supplier to begin with and then they need to split the profits with the artist.
And the artist is central here, however they are just a cog in a massive machine, which likes making money of them.
The labels cannot make money if the artist doesn’t create a song that resonates with people.
Lawyers, accountants and managers cannot make money if the artist is a nobody. They make money if the artist is a somebody.
Promotors, ticketing agencies and merchandise agencies make money from the artists. Streaming services, CD and vinyl making plants and record shops make money because of the artist.
Publishing/licensing companies make money from the artists along with radio stations.
That useless entity known as the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame makes money from the artists.
And most of the people who make money from the artists are flying on their own private jets while most artists need to tour in busses and vans.
And all the artist wants to do is write and play music and if they have an audience to enjoy playing to them. As a by-product of creating music and having an audience, they would expect to be paid fairly.