Packaging albums with concert seats can bump artists' chart positions, but promoters sweat higher ticket prices and premature tour sales.
This week, Kenny Chesney's new concert album, Live in No Shoes Nation, became the first live album to top the Billboard 200 in seven years and the biggest-selling live album since Paul McCartney's Back in the U.S.: Live 2002.
The reason: The country star bundled it into the price of tickets for his upcoming tour, a decade-old tactic that artists are now using with increasing success as the concert business booms and labels become savvier about getting fans to redeem their offers for CDs and digital albums. The album's cost, which is baked into the ticket price, isn't visible to fans.
In October, P!nk's new album, Beautiful Trauma, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, with two-thirds of her 384,000 albums sold tied to ticket sales, while about 80,000 of the 134,000 copies of Shania Twain's Now album sold in its first week came from ticket bundling, according to Nielsen Music. Katy Perry, Arcade Fire and The Chainsmokers all topped the chart with bundles, too.