Does streaming music equate to high concert ticket prices

  Im an ex musician(guitar player in alternative rock) and back in the day ie1970s/80s/90s bands toured to promote record sales to make money,now it seems its the opposite.Im a digital guy,I dont play records at all.I dont stream either,CD only and i still buy 2 or 3 new CDs a month.To me my system sounds fantastic.Here locally Pearl jam is playing and the standing room ticket out in the field is 250 bucks,You cant see them or really hear the music.Ridiculous in my opinion yet its sold out.Aerosmith is coming on the farewell tour and ticket prices are about as stupid as it gets..Over 7 grand for a great seat....After doing a google search on what artist make on their music being streamed the numbers are quite low...Tidal pays .01,Qubuz .04 and Spotify .003....Its kind of obvious at least to me the music streaming is contributing to the high cost of ticket prices...anyone have an opinion?


Unfortunately it’s not streaming, it’s capitalism. Those with the most amount of capital have the most leverage and consume most of the profits, as opposed to the creative or physical workers.

Artists make very little in live performances anymore due to the percentage taken by the ticket sellers and venue operators.

In other words, artists are getting squeezed by the streaming service providers as well as the venue operators.  The lack of revenue from streaming does not (sadly) mean that artists can make up the money in live performances.

Do a little searching on Google or Bing or whatever around ticketmaster and artists and you'll find plenty of credible evidence for this.

Of course, there are exceptions, and small venue operators typically are more willing to share more of the proceeds with artists, and if you are into Jazz like I am this means you can find amazing artists at an intimate club pretty often.

In both streaming and large live performances,the power of the operators is taking most of the wealth. When a capitalist can afford to buy AI instead of hiring people things will only get worse.

"Aerosmith is coming on the farewell tour and ticket prices are about as stupid as it gets..Over 7 grand for a great seat"

Listening now is better than seeing Aerosmith unless you tele transport to1975 for their 1975 "Toys in the Attic" tour live.

Now and then I dust off the Aerosmtih LP's-big fan up to "Rocks"




Nothing to do with each other. Down largely to Ticketmaster/Live Nation/ whatever other monopoly is gouging customers. I used to go to gigs all the time, now I almost never do, and I have a wonderful vinyl collection that I listen to. 

Live concerts for major acts and purchasing their tix have always been a trying experience, at least for this longtime live music fan. The tix have always been difficult to get, and getting inside the venue has seldom been easy, either.

I gotta tell you, though, that, despite the fact I never got much above minimum wage, my stint at Tower Records was a gold mine for getting tickets and freebies to live shows. Our store had a Ticketron kiosk, which allowed us to purchase tickets the moment they became available. Sure, part of our job was to work the thing for customers, but it was a worthwhile trade-off. I'm certain I've already mentioned this in a previous post, but record companies were always providing promo tickets & albums to us, as well. What a life!

@edcyn - I was in record retail (but not Tower) and wholesale between 1974 - 1984, and yes, that was my experience, too. I didn't get much pay, but I sure got a lot of free albums, tickets, parties, etc etc. I worked at one store in '74 where we had a Ticketron machine. But I also gave weekly sales reports to Billboard magazine, and the record companies sure do try to win yer favor for THAT! 

Check out the podcast "the ongoing history of new music". They do a two parter about this topic, it's eye opening. I couldn't even begin to make an accurate synopsis.

I think so, I stream everything  so I stopped complaining about High ticket prices. 

There are so many great shows with eye level viewing in great sounding venues. Tickets usually around $45 to $70. I stay away from the big shows and just go to the great sounding theaters. So much talent out there. Look forward to hearing "E" (The Eels) next month at the Neptune a great sounding venue in Seattle. Other recent examples this year, Flaming Lips, Aldous Harding (amazing will never miss when she comes to town), Pineapple Thief (sensational), and I won’t name the "meh" shows I went to this year. Get there 10 to 15 minutes before doors open and should be able to find a great place to hear the show. With that said, the sound is so superior in my home. At shows I have to wear earplugs as it is too loud. What I don’t get at home is the magic that happens when a room full of fans connect with the artist’s sound with their attention in this present moment and the artist is also in the moment. It’s the best! Of course we are streaming the setlist we created as we drive to the show.

I just paid an exorbitant amount of money for one Luis Miguel ticket from TicketBastard and not from a reseller for my Wife because Thank God I have a job and can afford it. 4 years ago the same show at a smaller venue here in Phoenix with a better view cost us 1/3 the price. For two tickets no less !

WT fety F F (quoting Cartman - South Park)

I think it’s partially the fact that most tickets for concerts go through one company, the fact that bands saw scalpers make off with huge payoffs and the fact, I feel most importantly, that your interested in older music that you listened to when you were younger. So these bands see their older and richer demographic able to pay what they might for a Broadway show and more, really to relive their youth and memories. A 16 year old you, would never, never go see a 60 year old Aerosmith. 

Thanks for this thread as I just checked some of the local action. I just paid $79.50 all in with fees for the Cowboy Junkies sitting seven rows back from stage. That is not a lot of money for a show IMO. Huge fan, seen before (was just thinking about the show today out of the blue, crazy), it will be super! The sound in this theater is outstanding, and Cowboy Junkies have always cared about the quality of their sound. There last few albums have been terrific, and I expect the same from their next album which drops (as the kids say) June 2nd. This is an audiophiles orgasmic experience IMO.

Forget those stadium tours and get out there and enjoy artists who could use your support in venues that sound good. A trick is to go to the quality theater group and subscribe to their newsletter so you know when someone you are interested in is coming to get great seats. Support live music it is great experience!

Never buy resale tickets! Do not support those that buy to re-sell.

Ticket prices have been going up steadily for quite a while before streaming became big and hit ridiculous levels a while back. The big-name bands are charging what the market will bear and have learned that there are a lot of people with more money than sense.

Just realized I never answered the OP question. No, I do not think there is correlation between ticket prices and streaming. It is a what the market will bear. Gone to an NFL game lately? No streaming pressures there. I remember going back in the day and the cost and the cost now. It has gone up signficantly due to demand.

One example I can think of is a few years ago I paid $800 for two tickets to Madonna. A week letter I went to see Aimee Mann at an intimitate show in a great sounding venue for $80 for two tickets. I am thinking as I’m at the show why is the musician who as singer songwriter has 10x more talent and yet this other talented artists costs 10X more? Again, what people will pay. Do have to give it up to Madonna as it was an experience more than just a concert such as drummers suspended from wires, huge lighting effects and on and on. But as an audiophile it was no contest that the Aimee Mann show was superior.

I don’t like big crowds and really don’t care to pay for big, expensive concerts. I’ve seen Vijay Iyer recently in a small venue for 15 bucks or so and he’s one of the greatest (jazz) musicians on the planet. Like seeing Mozart...I’ve mixed hundreds of small venue live concerts (and benefit from attending the cool smaller venues in places I’ve lived) featuring the likes of Anais Mitchell, Richie Havens, John Gorka, etc., and was as blown away with their talent as much as any big deal show I’ve seen...sure the Steely Dan/Elvis Costello show some years ago in Boston was great, but that was thanks to my wife’s law clue what the tix cost for that...If I want mind blowing big entertainment we’ll see Cirque De Soleil and get more bang for the buck than $1500 seats for some overhyped pop star. Great musicians tour the smaller venues and do fine, are happy to get online exposure and don’t expect money for that, and that’s who should be supported. Get to that well run coffeehouse show and let Steven Tyler use somebody else’s money for rehab.


Great musicians tour the smaller venues and do fine, are happy to get online exposure and don’t expect money for that, and that’s who should be supported. Get to that well run coffeehouse show and let Steven Tyler use somebody else’s money for rehab.


This is my approach as it works out exceptionally well. There are quite talented musicians to be heard, enjoyed and supported in smaller settings that sound marvelous.  The big name pop/rock stars operate on “what the market will bear”. People will spend their money as they so choose. 

I know which option/choice works better for me.



Amen to smaller venues for serious music making of all genres driving the atmosphere. For classical music —-plenty of rock ‘n roll in French enlightenment music, Handel, Beethoven and more !—  visit London for BBC summer promenade concerts at the Albert Hall. Stand at the arena front for $9.50 for tickets bought on the day, 30 feet from the likes of the brilliant US trained Karina Canellakis conduct a totally fresh and alive Mahler’s 1st, Katia and Marielle Labeque on two fabulous pianos and Peter Serkin on one !


 Been done with arena shows for quite awhile. Fortunate to live in an area with many small local venues. Recently saw James McMurtrey at Levon Helm studio. Ticket was $35. Awesome ,intimate place to see a show. I like local and small.

In 2018 I attended three concerts in ten days: Rodriguez ($70), Kaki King ($25) and the Dixie Dregs ($50). I purchased those tickets at the venues box office; and, I saved enough in ticket fees to attend the Dregs show for free. Plus, having an actual ticket stub for a souvenir is the icing on the cake.

With lower ticket prices and better acoustics, I agree that it's a win- win situation when we support the small to medium sized music venues.

I agree with many of the commenters here.  If you're living somewhere that bands like Pearl Jam & Aerosmith perform, you have plenty of other choices.  Learn your local venues - concert halls, nightclubs, bars, taverns, fairgrounds, etc.  Get to know your local bands - they'll be opening for the touring acts or headlining cheaper concerts.  Listen to different types of music - often venues will lean into their favorite forms.  Often, the artists will have a merch table set up & you can buy their CDs right there, even get them signed if you want a souvenir.  This is extremely beneficial for the musicians, as they get all that middle man money.  Local bands often self-produce their own CDs, giving themselves 100% of the profit!

Whenever I log onto a music streaming website like Qobuz or Idagio, chances are I'll go to my Favorites and choose one of them to play. I've played some of them at least fifty times. How many times do I have to push the button to give the artist as much money as buying a single LP or CD?

It depends on which artist you like. I went a few days ago to a live performance of one of my favorite artists who happened to be in town. Small intimate venue. I paid more for parking my car than for the ticket. It was also cool to meet her manning her merchandise table after the show. We chatted a bit, and I handed her cash for the stuff I bought from her merchandise. Which by the way I already stream “free” on Qobuz and Tidal. And that to me, the entire experience, is priceless

I agree with @erik_squires and others… there is no direct relationship between concert prices and streaming. 

Personally I gave up on all amplified concerts a couple decades ago because of the terrible sound, crowds, and honestly fear of hearing damage, and inconvenience of the whole thing. I have season tickets to the symphony for the last ten years and have attended lots of intimate acoustical concerts, because they sound good.



@erik_squires The venues and ticket sellers are making a fortune and so are the bands. Aerosmith will be making an absolute fortune on this tour. I don't know how you came up with that. 

@bubba12  - Not every artist is an Aerosmith or Taylor Swift.  The negotiating power those two artists have is very different than most musical artists.

Also, read.  Plenty of articles out there on how there are only a few ticket sellers and music streamers who are paying the majority of artists a pittance.

Should also point out that the music industry has historically discriminated against non-white artists, often getting contracts for disproportionately less than their white counter parts.

My point is not that Ticketmaster is necessarily being racist vs. purely monopolistic, but that the music industry is subject to the same bad rich people behaving poorly because they can.

Anyone who thinks once you have a record contract you don't have any more problems just isn't paying attention.

@erik_squires  The OP specifically mentioned Aerosmith so I went with it. If you were referencing club acts I don't necessarily disagree. I will say that if you can tour nationally and sell out clubs you will still make a nice living. There are sure plenty of club acts out there for a business that you believe is not profitable for them. The streaming payouts have to change. I don't pretend to understand why new deals aren't required when a new technology appears. Interesting topic.

@erik_squires One more comment. Some of us believe the artists are in full partnership with all the ticket scams. Ticketmaster takes the heat while the artists take profit from it.

@bubba12  - I may be wrong, but  think even more of us think that most artists have nothing to do with ticket scams and are as victimized by ticket agencies/scalpers as most of the ticket-buyers. I would be interested in knowing the evidence some of you have to support this belief, however.  

@larsman The artist sets the 'guarantee' that is required to have them perform. As far as I'm concerned that's the first domino in how much the ticket costs. Beer, hot dogs and pretzels.... same thing. They are ALL making money but the price of the talent dictates most of it. I think It's naive to think the talent isn't involved. I have personally solved the problem by saying no more. i will continue to see a show on occasion but have drawn my own line in the sand.