What happens when the presale lays an egg? And when did the presale stop mattering and lose its exclusivity?

The live concert business is a mess, and we could spend hours pointing fingers and laying blame on everyone that contributes to it:

The promoters for overpaying with ridiculous guarantees years back that started this cycle

The government for allowing unrestricted resale of tickets with no cap on the multiple

The artists for their greed

The unions for making some buildings ridiculously expensive to play in

The consumer for supporting all or any of the above

But let’s concentrate right now on the presale and the shortly thereafter resale. Awhile back some artists did a cool thing, they offered advance tickets to their core fans. These were thank yous and if you were in that band’s fanclub, you got access. And that access was a great seat that would never see the public light. That access also came with a responsibility, you had to show up at the venue with your id and credit card and then enter the building. If you somehow were able to resell that ticket and were caught you would lose all future privileges. That model worked and still does; you never see the prime fan club seats for Pearl Jam or Dave Matthews on the open market, the risk of losing future access is not worth the risk.

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Lead Single off an artist’s 4th album..

The Strokes just released the lead single off their upcoming album Angles, the fourth album from a band I’m not a big of fan of (I will fully explain why in a blog next month). Usually the third album is the make or break album for a band, and the fourth is one that solidifies their standing.  The Strokes third album was not as good as their second which was nowhere as good as their first, so in essence this album becomes both a comeback album as well as a make or break album to establish if they have any relevance 10 years down the road. Based on listening to the first single, “Under Cover of Darkness”, it seems like they will fade off into the sunset.

I’ve taken the lead single off of a  few major bands fourth albums as a comparison, and there’s only a few exceptions where a weak lead single off a fourth album hasn’t hurt the band, but please note in those cases, those bands had a monster third album, which the Strokes did not…

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