“There’s nothing more than this that they want in the world,” said Kearney, who directs the Aspen Economic Strategy Group. “The pandemic in general changed the way people think about what’s really important to them, and what brings them joy.”
Gustavo Coutinho, who’s never seen Swift play live, came up with a $US2,000 budget after 10 months of savings. The 25-year-old consultant in Boston ended up spending about $US1,500 to attend two concerts. “I would pay $US3,000 if I had to,” he said.
In the early 2000s, the late economist Alan Krueger came up with the concept of “Rockonomics” to explain the economy through the lens of the music industry. Krueger often used Swift, who released her debut album in 2006 at the age of 16, as an example of someone who played with strategies that boosted concert and product sales, calling her “an economic genius.”
His pupils agree. “She’s almost becoming a whole category,” said Carolyn Sloane, who teaches a “Rockonomics” class at the University of California at Riverside. “People don’t really see a great substitute for going to a Taylor Swift show. They really want to see her live, and I say that as a fan myself.”
Other artists, including Bruce Springsteen, have proved fans are ready to pay sky-high prices for mega post-COVID live events — recession be damned.
Meanwhile, Swiftonomics is a crash course on another concept: monopoly. Politicians and attorneys general seized on the moment to renew their criticism of Ticketmaster, a dominant player in the live-music industry.
Even before last week, Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment Inc. were at the centre of an antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice over whether the platform is abusing its power, according to people familiar with the probe.
Live Nation said Ticketmaster is a leader because of the quality of its platform, not any anticompetitive business practices. And Ticketmaster apologised to Swift fans, saying it would work on its system going forward. Swift herself said it was “excruciating” to watch mistakes happen.
Ultimately, the singer is the mastermind behind the supply. She has chosen to play at high-capacity stadiums, and has added new concerts. Still, there’s frenzy around her tours. “Very often you have the sense that scarcity increases demand,” said Pascal Courty, an economist at the University of Victoria in Canada who researches resale markets for tickets.
One of the biggest questions in the broader economy is whether consumers will continue to spend as interest rates and joblessness increase.
Swiftonomics probably won’t help answer. It’s its own economic microcosm, and fans just shake it off.
“I hesitate to read too much into people’s willingness to pay exorbitant amounts for Taylor Swift tickets in terms of what that says about the health of the US economy,” said Kearney, the Swiftie-parent economist. “I’m more inclined to read into it that for the die-hard Taylor Swift fans — of which there are many — the demand for tickets is nearly inelastic.”
The Business Briefing newsletter delivers major stories, exclusive coverage and expert opinion. Sign up to get it every weekday morning.
Denial of responsibility! planetcirculate is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.