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Since the albums do not sell anymore and they are only seen as prestige points, the concerts are the key. In many cases, they come even before albums. If the concerts of a certain band become popular, then new albums may be produced.

In the old times, when an artist or a band had a concert, usually they themselves, their managers, and the organizers earned the money from the ticket sales. However, since the hardening of the conditions of the industry, now the album companies are also part of the equation. Since there is basically not much money that can be made from album sales, they have found an alternative option. From scratch, they sign “360 degree” contracts with the artists so that they can make a percentage of the concert revenue as well.

With pop and rock music basically there are three types of concerts:

1-      Huge brands sponsor artist for a concert tour with the aim of popularizing their own products, such as Fanta Festival. Sponsors choose their artists and usually go for the no-fail mainstream ones. These types of concerts are more catered toward product sales. This is a no-risk concert for the artists as according to their contract will will get paid a set amount

2-      University festivals are usually organized by university clubs that make arrangements with artists and pay them a set amount. Some of these events have ticket sales but most of them do not.

3-      An artist organizes his/her concerts and takes off on a tour. They connect with local organizers and make their money from ticket sales. This is the most difficult option but is actually the real heart-to-heart connection that musicians can have with their real fans. Rock band Manga was one of the few examples of this dying way of making money by singlehandedly touring Turkey this past summer.

The following information is based on the interview of music critic Mehmet Tez with Biletix’s (Turkish ticket sales giant, now owned by Ticketmaster) founder Ali A. Abhary.

  • The average ticket price for music events is 52 TL
  • There were 1.2 million tickets sold in 2006, 1.4 million in 2007, 1.2 million in 2008. Because of the economic crisis of 2009, sales dropped to 945,000. Sales are getting better in 2010, As of May, it is at 650 000.
  • In 2009, tickets were sold for about 3000 events. The highest selling 50 concerts make up for 38.7% of all sales. The highest 100 events make up for 52.7%.
  • The average ticket price for Turkish musicians is 36.59 TL in 2008, 41.3 TL in 2009 and 34.17 TL in 2010.
  • In terms of foreign musicians’ ticket prices, 2010 is the highest. The average price is 94.85 TL. In 2009 it was 66.61 TL and in 2008 it was 53.47 TL.
  • Based on 2009’s information, the highest selling tickets were the ones between 26-50 TL with 41.3% of all sales. The ones cheaper then 25 TL make up 25.9%. The tickets more expensive than 125 TL only consist of 2%.

The main reason that the ticket prices are high is because of the artists’ portion. Since the artists are no longer making money out of album sales, they are dependent on concerts for survival.