Louis C.K.'s decision to go without Ticketmaster to sell tickets for his latest tour has proven another successful business experiment for the comedian.
"Well," C.K. tweeted Wednesday night, "after 45 hours, my tour has sold 100K tickets, box office gross of 4.5 mil $ (not all mine). I guess it was a good idea." He also noted in a tweet that though most of the shows have already sold out, more dates will be added soon.
The initial sales figures serve to validate C.K.'s self-directed ticketing model, as more comedians and other performers consider cutting out corporate middlemen in ticket sales. C.K. is charging a flat rate of $45 for tickets without the fees or service charges common to Ticketmaster.
But deciding not to use the ticketing services means C.K. will have to perform standup in many non-Ticketmaster-contracted venues on his 39-city tour. And he is skipping some notable American cities, explaining to jaded fans in these cities: “all theaters in your town won't allow our tix service. or your town sux. JK.”
The comedian's goal of eliminating business for ticket scalpers also appears to be working. According to SeatGeek, a site that aggregates different ticket-selling sites like StubHub and TicketsWeb, the average secondary market price for C.K.'s shows over the past three years was $110.05 -- almost double the $45 cost of a face value ticket to any show on his upcoming tour.
“For high demand shows in major cities anywhere from 500 to 600 tickets per C.K. show are re-sold on secondary markets," Alex Moss, a data analyst at SeatGeek, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. But for the upcoming tour's 52 shows, "there are only 122 tickets listed on major online secondary markets -- just slightly over 2 tickets listed per show.”
C.K.’s first sales experiment, for his “Live At The Beacon Theater” video special, racked up $1 million in sales over 12 days, prompting comedians Jim Gaffigan and Aziz Ansari to follow his model.