In what has become a tradition for music fans and social media users, Spotify released its personalized 2022 Wrapped year-in-streaming interactive analyses for listeners this week.
With fun, colorful graphics, Spotify users are able to proudly share their lists of artists most streamed, albums most listened to, musical personality and more.
Small groups of fans also get informed that they are "top listeners" when they stream the most minutes of a given artist. I was in the top 0.5% of Lana Del Rey listeners for the second year in a row, for example.
Being in the top percentile of listeners can cost as little as $9.99 for a Spotify premium subscription (can't let ads get in the way of your streaming hours), but superfans may be more willing to shell out to celebrate their favorite artists.
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Concerts are back, but so is inflation
As many expected, 2022 will go down as the year people officially went back to filling stadiums and singing along to live music performances. Entertainment giant Live Nation reported a record 44 million quarterly attendance at concerts between July and October, with a whopping 89 million fans attending over 11,000 events so far this year.
But recent events have highlighted issues fans have with ticket pricing, especially the market dominance Ticketmaster (owned by Live Nation) has taken.
Ticketmaster received criticism from numerous groups last month after malfunctions on its site meant millions of fans missed the opportunity to buy tickets to Taylor Swift's highly-anticipated "Eras" tour during what was supposed to be a limited pre-sale window.
The debacle also showed just how far some fans are willing to go to support their favorite artists, whether it's paying thousands for concert tickets or calling their congressperson.
And earlier this year, Bruce Springsteen fans griped over Ticketmaster's "dynamic pricing" program that calculates ticket costs based on demand, sending the price of some tickets into the thousands. Even President Joe Biden called out the "hidden junk fees" that often come along with even reasonably priced tickets.
Still, Ticketmaster's gross transaction value before fees is up 62% from 2019, Live Nation reports.
Overall, concert ticket prices are up an estimated 17.8% compared with 2019, according to data from Pollstar. Halfway through this year, the average ticket price hit $108, compared to about $92 in 2019.
It's possible some music fans were prepared, or at least comfortable, paying for more expensive tickets. Earlier this year, 32% of planned concertgoers expected to spend $500 or more attending events, a LendingTree survey found. The survey also revealed 38% of concertgoers were willing to pay more for better seats, up to $328 for their favorite artists.
High demand equals high ticket costs
Naturally, the most popular artists are able to command higher ticket prices. And while the cost of your ticket can vary depending on venue location, seat assignment and other factors, you can expect to pay a pretty penny to see the biggest artists in the country.
Not all of this year's most-streamed artists are currently selling concert tickets, but estimates can give an idea as to how much fans are willing to pay to see their favorites live in concert.
Swag costs extra
Superfans often want to show love for their favorite performers by buying merchandise. Live Nation reported a 30% year-over-year increase in "ancillary" fan spending at concert venues, which can include snacks and artist merchandise.
That's not surprising given the LendingTree survey found 60% of concertgoers expect to buy food at the event and another 29% look to buy merch.
Even if the fans aren't attending concerts, there's still a good chance they're buying merch online. About 60% of all merchandise purchased through Spotify artist profiles comes from listeners who've added the artist to a playlist, Spotify reports.
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