Battle of the top sellers: The Throne vs. Taylor Swift

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It's always fun to watch a new event start selling tickets, and seeing how quickly it can overtake the leader. That's been the case with The Throne, made up of Jay-Z and Kanye West. Of course, both artists are popular enough in their own right, but put them together and you apparently have a powerhouse. Taylor Swift, meanwhile, has maintained a position in the top two since December. She was the top-seller for January, February, April, and July, but faced a challenger in March from Bob Seger, in May from American Idols Live, and in June from Paul McCartney. Now the challenge is from The Throne.

It's a bit difficult to speculate this early on, but Swift may lose August, too. That said, she has a comfortable position right now, as even though The Throne is leading in revenue, Swift still has more ticket sales (approximately 34% more for the period August 1 to August 10, which is the period from which all the following data comes).

Where Are Attendees Coming From?

Pie chart showing states where Taylor Swift ticket buyers live.
Click to see a larger version.
Percentages based on 50 U.S. states as well as select Canadian locales.
Pie chart showing states where The Throne ticket buyers live.
Click to see a larger version.
Percentages based on 50 U.S. states as well as select Canadian and Australian locales.

So about those tickets, who's buying them? Where are they from? As it turns out, the ticket buyers for each live in different regions, albeit with some overlap. The Throne has seen 51% of ticket buyers come from east coast states, with the largest chunk of all buyers, 16%, from New York, and another 11% from New Jersey. The largest chunk of Swift's fans, meanwhile, are coming from the Plains States, including 16% of the total from Illinois, and 6% from Missouri.

Swift also has a large contingent of fans coming from Texas. This is a little surprising, as a study I did of her ticket sales earlier in the tour placed the percentage of attendees from Texas and the immediately surrounding states in the single digits. I'll speculate that it's possible more fans from that state are buying tickets now than earlier this year.

I also wanted to know how far fans were willing to travel to get to a show. Previous research I've done for festival attendees show that the largest portion traveled as far as 150 miles, so I wanted to know if the same is true for regular concerts. As both the Watch The Throne Tour and Taylor Swift tour have a large number of attendees from California, I looked at data for the Los Angeles shows, which make up the lion's share of orders for California.

In both cases, over 90% of ticket buyers live 150 miles away or less - 91% for The Throne and 96% for Swift. Of those numbers, 88% come from 50 miles or less to see The Throne and 69% are coming from 50 miles or less to see Swift.

The Speak Now Tour is currently ongoing and ends in late November with two shows in New York City. The Watch the Throne Tour begins on September 22 and ends on November 3.

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