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Ticket scalpers and resell sites have ruined concerts for everyone, but it looks like Taylor Swift may have cracked the code on how to fight back. The Hustle Sponsored by Taylor Swift cracked the concert ticket inflation problem and made...
By: Wes Schlagenhauf
October 19, 2018
Ticket scalpers and resell sites have ruined concerts for everyone, but it looks like Taylor Swift may have cracked the code on how to fight back.
Taylor Swift cracked the concert ticket inflation problem and made an extra $50m
Concert ticket prices are outrageous. And, though many artists are fighting the good fight to make it cheaper and more accessible to get fans in the seats, scalpers and resell sites continue to win out.
Now, Quartz reports, Taylor Swift may have cracked the code. Her plan: Make it damn near impossible to sell out shows.
Fun fact: If a concert sells out, it means the tickets were too cheap
When tickets are considered ‘underpriced’ (say, $100 for T Swift), more often than not some greasy Stubhub scalper named Bobby with an extensive collection of oversized Hooters tees will buy up as many tickets as their tentacles can snag and resell them for $300.
Then -- boom -- that’s $200 profit a pop.
Back in March 2017, Al Doyle of the band LCD Soundsystem called out Stubhub via Twitter claiming all of LCD’s tickets on the site are “most certainly bullsh*t, DO NOT BUY THEM.”
T-Swift just couldn’t “Shake It Off”
In 2015, Swift sold out nearly every show on her tour within seconds -- mainly because of scalpers grabbing them for resell sites -- yet, according to the Financial Times, Swift lost out on an estimated $150m in revenue from selling her tickets below market value on that tour.
So, for her 2018 tour, Swift partnered with Ticketmaster (who has been caught up in its own “hush-hush” scalper controversy) to make sure she got that money back, and to make sure actual fans were able to buy tickets at a fair price.
Scamming the scammers
She used Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan platform, which scans online data to verify purchasers, and hiked the price of tickets sold elsewhere up to nearly $700 a pop for general admission -- leaving an average of 600 unsold tickets at each show on the table.
And it worked. It may not have sold out, but Swift made an estimated additional $50m on this tour -- and cut down her resell tickets from 30% in 2015 to 5% in 2018.
Is Taylor Swift Batman?
Palantir, Silicon Valley’s most secretive startup, is worth $41B -- 55x its revenue
Peter Thiel’s data mining company Palantir is considering an IPO after bankers gave the business a $41B valuation, more than double its last valuation 3 years ago.
After staying private for years because an IPO would have made “running a company like [Palantir] very difficult” (to use CEO Alex Karp’s words), the surveillance giant is poised to go public now that the price is right.
So, why is Palantir finally coming out of the shadows?
Essentially, to find new customers.
Palantir (which was named, let’s not forget, after a magical crystal ball in the Lord of the Rings used to spy on people) started out in 2004 as an intelligence tool for military and spy agencies.
Initially, Palantir remained private to avoid public scrutiny: but there are only so many big spy budgets. So Palantir began working for corporate clients like JPMorgan, morphing from a government subcontractor into a big startup.
Secrets are valuable
Like many Silicon Valley startup successes, Palantir has never reported a profit, relying instead on fundraising to keep the lights on (in a funding round in 2015, Palantir raised $880m).
Now that IPO funding seems to grow on trees, Palantir is considering going public like all the other mega-startups.
Last week, Uber made headlines when banks pegged its IPO value at $120B, or 12x the company’s revenue. But, thanks in part to its secretive (and lucrative) spy and law enforcement contracts, Palantir’s IPO was forecast at $41B -- or 55x its annual revenue.
Fertility startup Future Family welcomed a new, $10m Series A into the world
Future Family, a startup that helps would-be families afford expensive fertility services like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and egg freezing, raised a $10m Series A to expand its offerings.
For many women and families, fertility treatments are prohibitively expensive. But by providing financing and counseling, Future Family and other fertility startups hope to change that.
Fertility costs a fortune
IVF usually costs between $12k and $20k, and egg freezing costs an average of $11k, if everything goes well. But, multiple rounds end up costing $100k+ out of pocket (standard insurance doesn’t cover fertility).
Some deep-pocketed employers are willing to foot the bill -- Apple and Facebook cover the cost of fertility treatment up to $20k, and Google will pay up to $75k.
But if you don’t have a disposable $100k or work for Google, you’re pretty much out of luck -- for now, at least.
Eggs for the people
Future Family wants to make fertility services more accessible with installment plans, allowing women and families to pay between $195-$250/month over the course of 5 years for an IVF ‘subscription.’
The service works out to $15k over 5 years. Not much cheaper overall, but it provides women with constant telehealth support from fertility nurses and counselors -- and a more flexible payment option.
Beddr releases a $149 forehead sticker that monitors sleep disorders
1B people suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep, and even more suffer from “poor quality sleep.” We know what you’re thinking: There’s gotta be a better way!?
Are your employees stuck doing work that isn’t work?
The answer, unfortunately, looks like a resounding yup.
Employees spend more than 30% of their week on “other” work, whether that means admin duties or just straight up chores -- not exactly the best use of their time.
Not to mention those menial duties can put a real damper on office culture, which 52% of millennials consider very important.
The modern office is a productivity minefield...
But Managed by Q can help. They collected data from thousands of companies across the US to pull together an in-depth report on what’s really going on with office operations, budgets, and hiring practices:
91 hours per year - How much time is lost by the average employee to IT issues
$117,000 - How much an average cyberattack costs a company
24% - Percentage of employees who work from home full-time
Why’d they go through all the trouble of crunching these numbers?
So you can stop wasting your -- and your employees’ -- time. After all, their mission is to help people like you create an environment that inspires your team’s best work.
Click below to give their report a gander and learn how to grease your office wheels.