METALLICA manager Peter Mensch talked about the band’s continuous increase in ticket prices without upsetting the fans. He was one of a number of interviewees in the second episode of BBC series Hits, Hype & Hustle: An Insider’s Guide to the Music Business, narrated by U.K. promoter and agent John Giddings.
Giddings noted: “In the ’90s, we were still living by the old rules. Record sales were still huge, making up nearly 80% of a band’s income … it wouldn’t last.” Giddings said.
Mensch then recalled the very beginnings of METALLICA‘s Napster case, saying: “When I first heard about Napster I was in this office. We had to find the one person with a PC computer in our office. She typed some stuff in and we saw, I don’t know, 50 versions of ‘Enter Sandman.’ Was there a sinking feeling that the game was up? Yes… We knew that we were in deep shit.”
Over the next 5 years, album sales dropped by 50% pushing the demand for live tickets “through the roof” according to Giddings.
Mensch commented: “We hadn’t made a record in years. This is just what we do – we play in front of our fans. Rock bands have always had to bring it to the fans.We did some tests in the last couple of years. We realized the top price for a METALLICA ticket could be much higher than it used to be, and we charged it – and there was no audience pushback on it. Shows that might have made X now made 3X. The ticket price thing has changed everything.”