While hundreds of artists and bands sold tickets, only a few dominated the landscape in 2012. However, it was a landscape that changed often, and sometimes very quickly. Meanwhile, some new acts, especially in the pop genre, burst onto the scene with enough force to at least partially overshadow other artists who had been wildly popular only a year earlier.
At TicketNetwork.com, the best-selling concert artist of the year was one of those new bands, One Direction. We took a little time to explore some of the stats that made up their year. Click on the image below to see the full infographic.
Taylor Swift moves into Top 5 at the 11th hour
Perfectly illustrating how quickly concert landscapes change is Taylor Swift. She moved into the Top 5 performers over the course of a month. When I crunched the initial numbers for the infographic and this post on November 19, Jason Aldean, Justin Bieber, Kenny Chesney, and Bruce Springsteen were the four runners-up. When I finalized the data on December 17, enough Taylor Swift orders were made that she replaced Springsteen as the fifth top-seller. I knew that was a definite possibility, but I didn't expect it to happen quite so quickly.
Swift's ability to climb into the Top 5 so quickly demonstrated her standing compared to One Direction. Their position was actually threatened by Swift. It took her only about a month and a half to get into the Top 5, whereas it took 10 months for One Direction to accumulate the number of orders it needed to maintain its #1 spot. Given a couple more months, she may have been able to displace them. It's not surprising; she's a more established artist with a solid fan base.
Jason Aldean, Justin Bieber, and Kenny Chesney
The velocity of sales for Swift is interesting, but there are other stories to tell, and they mostly involve other artists being beat out by One Direction. Jason Aldean was a real contender for #1 for much of the year, and orders for his shows made up 3% of all concert sales at TN.com. Ultimately, however, he was beat in part by One Direction releasing more tickets for their 2013 dates. Put simply, 1D tickets sold for longer than Aldean tickets.
Even more relevant, Justin Bieber's #3 spot is a story in how the whims of pre-teens can change in an instant. Once the king of that age group, the emergence of One Direction put a dent into demand for his tickets. Don't get me wrong; Bieber is still extremely popular, but in 2012 he had real competition for the first time since he emerged onto the scene.
The only artist in the Top 5 that I don't really feel was affected by 1D's great year was Kenny Chesney. The fan base there is somewhat different and he and tour partner Tim McGraw were never contenders for the top spot. That said, the Brothers of the Sun tour certainly stood out on its own, with 2% of all concert orders.
States and stadiums
It's not surprising that California was the top state for concerts orders in 2012, both because of where the customers live and where
concerts were held. 11% of all concert orders were for California venues and 10% were placed by residents of that state. Runners-up for the location of customers include Texas with 8%, New York with 7%, Florida with 5%, and Pennsylvania with 5%. Runners-up for the venue location are New York with 7%, Texas with 7%, New Jersey with 5%, and Florida with 5%.
When broken down by individual venue, there's nothing too impressive. For the record, though, Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut had the highest percentage of orders, with just about 2%. What's more interesting are which stadiums did best. Whenever an artist or band plays at a stadium, you know they're probably going to be good (that's why they can fill a stadium). In this case, I found that Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, made up 16% of all stadium concert ticket sales. Just behind Gillette are Hersheypark Stadium with 9%, Dallas Cowboys Stadium with 7%, MetLife Stadium with 7%, and Tacoma Dome with 6%.
When it comes to determining how well a certain genre during the year, it can be a little tricky, due to the way performers are categorized. At TN.com, most pop and rock acts are combined into one category. So, although I can say with some level of confidence that pop and rock combined did the best in 2012, I'm unable to look at them separately.
Instead I analyzed those genres that are more clear cut. Therefore, I can say that country was the second best-selling genre in 2012, with 22% of all concert orders. Jason Aldean's very successful tour with Luke Bryan made up 16% of that number, followed by Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift/Ed Sheeran at 10% each, and Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts at 6% each.
There were also many genres that showed a lot of growth in 2012. The biggest, by far, was the Children and Family genre, with an incredible 1442% growth over 2011. The category really came into its own this year almost entirely thanks to the extremely popular Fresh Beat Band, the group based off of the Nick Jr. show of the same name. Orders for the FBB made up 98% of the category. In a similar way, Bluegrass experienced growth of 556% due to Allison Krauss' tour. Other genres with large growth included Classical with 114% growth, Religious with 101%, and Electronic with 93%.
Where pricing is concerned, there was no close competition—at $1,115 on average, tickets for the Rolling Stones were the priciest of the year. Many of the highest prices were for events with few dates, such as festivals and mini-tours like the Stones'; essentially, less supply and more demand equals higher prices. Other high average prices included the iHeartRadio Music Festival at $679, the Z100 Jingle Ball at $475, and Pearl Jam at $462.
On the flip side, most of the lowest-priced tickets were for events with low supply. For example, Alabama Shakes had one of the lowest average prices of the year at $56. There were some exceptions to the rule, however. The average price for Avicii in 2012 was $86, even though it sold moderately well. The lowest average price for any event, despite levels of demand or supply, was Lucuna Coil at $4.
Looking forward to 2013
There will be many questions to answer this year. Will One Direction be able to maintain the popularity they found in 2012 or will another band replace them? Will the make-up of the Top 5 look any different than 2012 (more women, older bands, etc)? And will anyone top the price of Rolling Stones' tickets, or will the top average be more moderate? There is a lot of things we'll discuss right here during the year, so stay tuned!
Data is as of 12/17/2012 10:00 AM EST. Ticket prices are not set by TicketNetwork.com and may fluctuate based on market demand. Show, performer, and venue names are the property of their respective owners. TicketNetwork.com does not claim any right or ownership to any of the show, performer, or venue names contained in this post. These names are strictly used for descriptive purposes and do not imply an endorsement or partnership.