The Unsold Tickets Problem


Every Monday, we take a look at a significant marketing statistic and how it relates to the music industry. Today, we examine why 40% of concert tickets remain unsold in the US every year. Originally sent out in our Weekly Stat email.


The average amount of unsold concert tickets in the US per year due to a lack of awareness for the events.

Source: Goldman Sachs

The show must go on

With the cost of concert tickets on the rise, it is vital to reach fans who are willing to buy them. Spending ad dollars to reach unspecific audiences doesn’t work—and the numbers show. According to Billboard estimates, 40% of concert tickets (24 million) in the US go unsold every year. Pollstar data indicates a more conservative vacancy rate (26%), but this still means ticket sale strategies need to improve. 

We take a number of steps to reduce the gap of unsold tickets. By driving traffic to event microsites embedded with retargeting pixels, as well as spreading the word via Facebook event response ads, we can identify a large pool of people with high purchase intent—all before tickets go on sale. This strategy increases the likelihood that new ads signaling the start of ticket sales will move both core fans and interested new audiences through the purchase funnel.

We also tailor each stage of the purchase journey with messages that match the action we want people to take. For example, informing on the experience of the festival when announcing it versus reminding potential ticket buyers to act with urgency as the event approaches.