Louis CK's Direct Tour Sales: Over $6 Million In 1 Week, Scalping Drops From 25% To Below 1%
from the not-bad dept
We recently wrote about Louis CK’s latest experiment in being open, human and awesome and connecting with his fans: selling his entire tour directly from his own site at a flat price (no service fees, nothing) of $45. One of the “features” of that offering was also an attempt to cut down on scalpers. There is at least some recognition that this means leaving money on the table and, potentially, making things a little more complicated than they might otherwise be. However, Louis seems to recognize that the benefit here is making most fans a lot happier with more reasonably priced shows.
And, so far, it all appears to be working. Louis sent an update on both ticket sales info and scalpers to Laughspin. You should go read the whole thing there, but there were a couple points worth addressing here. First off, in one week, it looks like he’s grossed over $6 million.
I’m doing 67 shows on this tour and we’ve sold 135,600 tickets to those shows after one week on sale.
The math here is easy. Every ticket is $45. That’s it. So, multiply and you get $6.1 million. Obviously, that’s gross sales, not net, and there are significant overhead costs to factor in, but still — that’s not bad.
Perhaps more interesting is the impact on scalping. The Laughspin folks noted that there still does appear to be some availability of scalped tickets (some at high prices), and Louis and his team are working hard to track down and cancel many of those tickets. But he also provided some numbers that suggest the new plan is working quite well in minimizing scalping. He can tell this, in part, because prior to setting up this tour, he had two other shows booked in a more traditional way, and he can look at how many scalped tickets are available for those shows compared to the new ones. And the differences are striking:
There are 1100 tickets available on stubhub alone for those two traditionally ticketed shows out of 4,400 available ( Almost exactly 25%)….
There are less than 500 tickets available on all scalper sites (including stubhub) out of the entire 135,600 tickets that have already been sold, from the tour sold exclusively on my site, louisck.com (substantially less than 1%)
So it’s working. So far.
That’s a pretty massive difference. Assuming this really does work, it sounds like Louis and Etix (who is handling the tickets) have a service that lots of other performers might want to start looking into.
One final interesting point: Louis talks a little about how the scalpers are reacting — saying that they defend what they do…
Contact with these scalpers has been enlightening. They tend to respond with indignance and a defensive posture “Hey man! Scalping is NOT a crime!” We’re not treating it as a crime or even a wrong-doing. We are just competing with them, on behalf of my fans, to enforce the terms and conditions of our ticket sales and to keep the prices down. It’s worth the effort, it’s working and it’s even been kind of fun.
And that is part of what makes this so awesome. He doesn’t feel the need to go legal or whine about it. He’s innovating and adapting… and beating the scalpers at their own game. And that’s how it should be done.