The intense demand for tickets to the upcoming Hannah Montana tour is shining a bright spotlight on the secondary ticketing market. The tour is a rude awakening to the harsh realities of the modern co

The intense demand for tickets to the upcoming Hannah Montana tour is shining a bright spotlight on the secondary ticketing market. The tour is a rude awakening to the harsh realities of the modern concert market for an emotionally invested ticket buyer: parents who want to make their children happy.

What seems to be catching ticket-buyers off guard is a) how quickly tickets in the primary market are disappearing; b) in turn how quickly these tickets are showing up on the secondary market and; c) the price tag on those tickets once they hit the secondary market.

The fallout has "touched the heartstrings of the average middle American family who does not have experience in buying concert tickets on any sort of regular basis," says Sean Pate, PR director for StubHub, the leader in the secondary ticket market.

"This phenomenon is not new -- it happens with Bruce Springsteen, the Police, any major act that's out there with insatiable demand," says Pate. "But because it's kids, because it's uneducated consumers, they're up in arms and they're taking it literally to the level of state government, saying 'What's going on with these tickets?' And a lot of that is just the reality of the ticket buying food chain and how things are when there is a limited amount of access and a great amount of people looking to get at it."

Chuck LaVallee, head of business development/music for StubHub, says this is the first tour of intense demand targeting this youthful demo since the secondary market has reached its current level of activity.

Frustrated parents are left wondering where tickets on the secondary market are coming from. LaVallee says StubHub tickets come from a wide range of sources.

"It's an open marketplace. Anybody can post tickets," says LaVallee, admitting that he really doesn't have a handle on their origin. "After promoter holds and fan club holds, artist comps and agency holds, season ticket holders and people that really were just there clicking that button at 10 a.m., beyond that I can't really speculate," LaVallee says.

Consumers wanting to buy tickets to Hannah Montana "need to be patient and calm down and then they'll find better, more affordable deals closer to the show, which for most of these cities is two months away," says Pate, adding that perception that these tickets are all going for $500-plus is inaccurate. According to Pate, the average price for tickets to Hannah Montana being paid on StubHub is $214.

"The consumers out there, outside of the desperate ones that have really deep pockets, are being reasonable about what they're going to pay, and you'll see that reflected in the tickets that we've actually sold," says Pate. "People will start to pluck from the reasonably priced seats, and those will start to become even more reasonable as the supply increases."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print