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'Masters' of the box office

Ticket Masters

Ticket Masters

If it seems like the cost of concert tickets has gone up astronomically, that's because it has. Ten years ago, the average price of a ticket to a major concert was about $60. Today, it's $94.50. 

Authors Dean Budnick (above left) and Josh Baron (above right) look into how prices got so high in their new book "Ticket Masters."

Why do concert tickets cost so much? Dean: Some of it is service charges, which are shared with the promoter, the venue, the ticketing company  and sometimes the artist, all of whom are aspiring to get larger pieces of the pie. ... But certain people in the industry would say prices were too low in 2001 to accurately reflect the cost of a ticket.

2010 was a rough year for the concert industry. Are fans finally fighting back? Josh: Ticket pricing is ultimately a consumer issue. If fans and consumers don't go, ticket prices will come down. Once someone like Bruce Springsteen sees a lot of unsold tickets, you better believe his price will come down.

Do you expect prices to drop? Josh: I think you'll see an increase in the price of the top tickets, but a decrease in the price of the bad seats.

What's the best strategy for getting a good seat? Dean: [T]here's something to be said for waiting it out. Last summer, Live Nation got desperate and starting dropping ticket prices and offering two-for-ones. ... They just wanted to get people in there so they could make money on parking and sell you a hot dog and a coke.

If you go: Dean Budnick and Josh Baron discuss "Ticket Masters" at the 92Y Tribeca on Thursday. 7 p.m., $10, 200 Hudson St.,


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