An official platinum ticket is a special type of ticket sold for high-demand live events like concerts, shows, and sports games. Platinum tickets give fans access to seats that are considered more valuable and allow event organizers and ticket sellers to capture more of the demand for top seats.
Platinum tickets differ from regular tickets in a few key ways:
- They are more expensive – usually significantly higher than face value tickets.
- Only a limited number are released.
- They grant access to prime seats or standing areas close to the stage.
- They are sold directly by the event organizer or ticket seller rather than by a reseller.
The platinum designation indicates that these are officially sanctioned, verified tickets being resold at a premium price point by the primary seller. This contrasts with tickets resold by secondary market resellers and ticket brokers which may carry higher prices but do not have an official platinum status.
Why Do Organizers Use Platinum Tickets?
Event organizers and ticket sellers use platinum tickets for a few key reasons:
Capture More Value for Top Seats
Platinum tickets allow organizers to capture more of the potential value for seats that are in highest demand. By pricing them higher than regular tickets, they can maximize revenue from fans willing to pay more for the best locations. This means more income for organizers and performers compared to if those seats were sold at normal prices.
Limit Resale Markups
When only regular price tickets are initially sold, prime seats often get resold at very high markups on secondary sites. Platinum tickets allow organizers to realize more of that resale premium themselves rather than letting it go to brokers and resellers.
Reduce Regular Ticket Face Prices
The trade-off for platinum tickets is that they allow organizers to keep general ticket prices lower. Some of the potential value gets taken out of regular tickets and allocated to platinums instead. This makes more seats accessible to fans unwilling or unable to pay platinum prices.
Reward Loyal Fans
Access to platinum tickets is sometimes restricted to fan club members or credit card holders as a loyalty reward. This gives perks to a promoter’s best and most loyal customers.
Limit Ticket Volume for Scalpers
By keeping platinum tickets to a limited quantity, organizers restrict the supply available to scalpers who seek to resell for a profit. This helps genuine fans get access over scalpers just looking to profit.
How Platinum Tickets are Sold
Platinum tickets go on sale in a few different ways:
Directly from Primary Ticket Sellers
Major ticket sellers like Ticketmaster, AXS, and Live Nation will often release an allotment of platinum tickets for the events they manage. These get sold exclusively through their own websites rather than any outside resellers. This enables them to control pricing and inventory.
Through Artist Presales
Performers will sometimes make platinum tickets available to their fan clubs before the general public sale. Fan club members get first pick of platinum seats as a membership benefit.
Via VIP Packages
Platinum tickets are sometimes bundled with VIP packages that include extras like pre-show receptions, exclusive merchandise, or meet-and-greets. These premium bundles justify the higher pricing.
Through Credit Card Rewards Programs
Some credit cards like American Express offer cardholder-exclusive access to purchase platinum tickets. This provides an incentive for consumers to sign up for and use their cards.
|Direct from Primary Seller
|Priority access before broad onsale
|Fan Club Members
|Early access for loyal fans
|Added perks like meet and greets
|Credit Card Programs
|Cardholder-only presale window
This segmented approach allows organizers to tailor platinum ticket distribution for different groups like cardholders, fan club members, and the general public. Each gets access at slightly different times as an incentive or reward.
Why are Platinum Tickets Controversial?
While platinum tickets have valid purposes, they are also controversial among some fans and consumer advocates for a few reasons:
The much higher prices compared to regular tickets makes platinums unaffordable for many fans. Some feel organizers are greedy and hurting everyday fans by pricing them out of good seats.
Lack of Transparency
Details like exactly how many platinum tickets are released and what the price levels will be are usually not disclosed upfront. This leaves buyers confused and frustrated.
Concerns Over Fair Access
There is criticism that platinum tickets give unfair priority to elite groups like fan club members and credit card holders over the general public.
Some fear the limited quantities actually assist scalpers by reducing supply for regular tickets, allowing them to resell the remaining tickets at even higher markups.
Artificially Reduced Regular Ticket Values
Since platinum tickets skim off the premium pricing, regular ticket face values are lower. This means less value for buyers of non-platinum seats.
The sentiment among anti-platinum advocates is that organizers are artificially limiting supply of good seats to drive scarcity and maximize revenue. Many feel this comes at the expense of fair access for the everyday fan.
Platinum tickets are a controversial evolution in live event ticketing. By offering premium seats at elevated prices, organizers can capture greater revenue from top inventory that would otherwise get marked up on secondary resale sites. This dynamic pricing model provides benefits but also faces backlash from buyers who feel it is unfair. Transparency over pricing and allotments can help make platinum tickets more palatable to skeptical fans. Ultimately, platinum tickets are an experiment by promoters to harness ticket market forces to their advantage and combat scalpers. Their future will depend on whether organizers can strike the right balance between profit generation and maintaining fan goodwill.