UPDATE: The tour in support of Jay-Z‘s latest album, 4:44, has been besieged by some chatter of poor ticket sales, including our earlier account of known facts. But according to a new report from Billboard, the Brooklyn mogul’s ticket sale pricing was a deliberate ploy by Live Nation to take scalpers and resellers out the game and is projected to be the rapper’s highest-grossing tour.
The JAY-Z tickets selling for $6 a pop on StubHub don’t reflect soft demand for his tour: they’re actually a sign that the hip-hop star has successfully priced ticket scalpers out of the game by charging market rates for the best seats in the house.
Just three dates in, JAY-Z’s 4:44 Tour is already the rapper’s highest grossing solo tour ever, promoter Live Nation tells Billboard. Average gross for the 4:44 Tour’s completed shows is up 21 percent over his 2013 Magna Carter Tour — Live Nation said the Honda Center show in Anaheim, Calif., earned nearly 49% more than the same stop in 2013.
“This tour will be the biggest headlining tour of Jay’s career,” says Omar Al-Joulani, VP of touring at Live Nation.
Billboard adds that the promoters are putting the premium pricing on front row, VIP and fan experience tickets, but keeping the general admission pricing low to knock out upselling done on site such as StubHub and scalpers at the venue.
The outlet found in its reporting that Jay-Z stands to make a seven-figure gross each night with fans benefitting from lower ticket prices closer to market value across the board instead of the deluge of markups due to bulk buys and others looking to make a come up.