Louis C.K. & Kid Rock: Are they “generous” to their fans?

“Louis CK speaking at Just For Laughs in Montreal,” @ 2011 Flowizm, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

“Louis C.K. speaking at Just For Laughs in Montreal,” @ 2011 Flowizm, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Both Louis C.K. and Kid Rock have gotten attention in the last year for charging much less than market value for tickets to their shows. In Kid Rock’s case, tickets are just $20 for this summer’s tour, and in both cases, shows sold out extremely quickly as a result of the pricing, and, I would add, the massive publicity about the pricing.

So, are they being “generous” to their fans with these low prices, as some feel, or do they, as others believe, have ulterior motives?

I’ll argue both sides.

Yes, they’re being generous. They could’ve charged more money per ticket and, more importantly, they could’ve netted more total revenue from these shows.  They’re both already famous and have big fan bases. Even without sell-outs in these venues, they could have made more in total. So, yes, they’re essentially giving some of their own money back to their fans in the form of lower prices.

Yes, they have ulterior motives. Peering deep into the minds of these two guys, their deep, dark ulterior motives become clear. Brace yourself. They are lowering prices for the nefarious purpose of getting more people to come to their shows so they can grow their fan bases even more and serve them again in the future.

“Kid Rock, CMA Fest 2,” @ 2009 Larry Darling, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

“Kid Rock, CMA Fest 2,” @ 2009 Larry Darling, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

Ugly, isn’t it? They’re hoping to get more people to see them live so they can sell them tickets (and other things) again in the future.

What they have in common (besides already being famous and having an existing large fan base) is that their shows will make them lots of money, even at lower prices. Not, perhaps, as much as if they had charged the maximum, but plenty. It’s perfectly logical for both of these guys to grow their base, get some nice publicity and cultivate goodwill for the future because they have the financial freedom to do it.

So are they being generous, or are they being savvy?

Both!

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