Dynamic Ticket Pricing: Amazing or Disaster?

Beyonce's North American tour is full of Ticketmaster "Platinum" tickets.

Everybody hates paying too much for tickets on resale sites. Some people say “dynamic ticket pricing” solves the problem with high resale ticket prices. It has some positives and negatives. It can be great for artists and venues, but unlikely to help fans see more shows or get better seats. The bottom line: Dynamic pricing doesn’t really change how much you pay for a show, it just changes who you pay for the show. If you like giving more of your money to the artist, then dynamic pricing of tickets is great; but don’t expect it to reduce how much you pay for that ticket.

What is Dynamic Ticket Pricing?

Dynamic ticket pricing is when the primary ticket seller (in most cases this is Ticketmaster) raises or lowers the price of a ticket on a regular basis to meet the demand for tickets. In a previous post, we talked about why everyone loves to hate Ticketmaster. While they’re part of the problem with high ticket prices, they’ve also tried to implement dynamic ticket pricing to limit the impact of ticket brokers on fans. Ticketmaster calls their dynamic pricing “Platinum” tickets. These tickets are not resale tickets. They are official tickets straight from Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster just sells them at different prices depending on the market demand for the seats you’re buying.

“Dynamic pricing doesn’t really change how much you pay for a show, it just changes who you pay for the show.”

Advantages of Dynamic Ticket Pricing

The primary advantage of dynamically pricing tickets is more of your money will go to the band. The venue(usually a Ticketmaster venue) will raise and lower the price based on their own market analysis. The increased money will be split between the venue and the band.

Secondarily, dynamically priced tickets reduce the power of ticket brokers. The more expensive a ticket is, the less likely a ticket broker will buy it and sell it on a secondary ticket reseller site like SeatGeek or StubHub.


Dynamic pricing’s biggest flaw is that it excludes fans who are on a budget. In January this year, Jack Antonoff, Bleachers’ lead singer said this about dynamic ticket pricing: “Don’t turn a live show into a free market…Because that’s really dirty. Charge what you think is fair … but if [for] one person $50 is nothing and for one person $50 is more than they can ever spend … you’re creating a situation where a different group of people can come together at one price. The second everything fluctuates is the second it goes K-shaped and turns into a weird free market is not what we do.” (Check out this article for more of his thoughts on dynamic pricing.)

Bottom Line

We love the idea of dynamic prices, but it doesn’t deal with the fundamental problem in ticket prices; ensuring that fans of all stripes can see shows from their favorite bands. If anything, it probably makes the problem a little worse for fans on budget.