There has been much talk this past week about iTunes Radio music streaming service, also referred to as iTunes Radio, which Apple confirmed will launch this fall. Like Pandora and Spotify, there will be both a free option and a paid option without ads. At $24.99 per year, iTunes Radio’s ad-free option is cheaper than both competitors: Pandora $36/year and Spotify up to $120/year. With a low subscription fee and large selection of music, iTunes Radio has the potential to take over the industry. If you use iTunes, Apple has the ability to play the songs you’ll likely want to listen to through iTunes Radio. Songs you hear streamed on the radio service will be songs related to previous choices (i.e., searches and past downloads). Recommendations, however, are just that – not always the exact song you’ll want to listen to. In other words, iTunes Radio is a great promotional tool for Apple to market future downloads from iTunes. So while it may not be the first of it’s kind, iTunes Radio will know its consumer’s habits well and will be a product that can directly impact revenue, not only for Apple but artists and labels too.
With all this talk, we took a look at what’s trending this week on iTunes in order to see if artists with Top 25 album downloads have similar concert tickets demand based on average price. In most cases, the average price of a concert on the secondary market is a good indicator of how high demand is to see an artist or band live. In addition to an artist’s popularity, other factors like cities, venues, and number of tour dates also contribute to the price of a ticket. Fifteen of the twenty-five artists with top albums are (or will be) on tour. Of these artists on tour with a Top 25 album, Justin Timberlake tickets have the most expensive concert ticket at an average price of $255. Black Sabbath tickets are the next most expensive ($198), followed by Journey tickets ($189). JT, however, has only the fourteenth most downloaded album and Journey the twenty-fourth. One other notable difference is Big Time Rush, music similar to One Direction and The Wanted, who has the fourth most popular album but some of the cheapest concert tickets, averaging under $100. BTR will be on tour throughout the summer with Victoria Justice whose own debut album drops June 18th.
In general, there appears to be little correlation between the demand for an artist’s most recent album and the popularity of their current tour. Although Timberlake has the most expensive concert ticket among artists on tour with an iTunes Top 25 album, the average ticket price for his Legends of the Summer shows with Jay-Z combined with the average ticket price of his solo tour ranks 23rd. As for the top 22, many have not released an album as of late, like One Direction (most expensive concert ticket in 2013) whose album was released in November of last year, and The Rolling Stones who are touring classic material.
|Artist||Rank of Album on iTunes||Avg. Price of Tour (Rank)|
|Black Sabbath||1||$198 (2)|
|Jimmy Eat World||3||$87 (14)|
|Big Time Rush||4||$85 (6)|
|Goo Goo Dolls||6||$169 (4)|
|Imagine Dragons||11||$107 (11)|
|Fall Out Boy||13||$106 (12)|
|Justin Timberlake||14||$255 (1)|
|Florida Georgia Line||15||$74 (15)|
|Queens of the Stone Age||17||$116 (9)|
|The Lumineers||19||$102 (13)|
|Vampire Weekend||20||$127 (7)|
|Harry Connick Jr||21||$144 (5)|
|Darius Rucker||22||$116 (10)|
|Blake Shelton||23||$125 (8)|
Image Credit: Jeff Kravitz (FilmMagic)