Last week, folks started to notice you could get tickets for JAY-Z's 4:44 tour for as little as six dollars.
Then a show scheduled for November 1 in Fresno, California was canceled and the local paper suggested it was due to poor sales.
Live Nation, which has a ten-year $200 million deal with Hov, is pushing back hard against the idea the tour is a flop.
In an interview with Billboard, Live Nation VP Omar Al-Joulani argued that 4:44 is, in fact, JAY's most successful tour.
Just three dates in, JAY-Z’s 4:44 Tour is already the rapper’s highest grossing solo tour ever, promoter Live Nation tells Billboard. Average gross for the 4:44 Tour’s completed shows is up 21 percent over his 2013 Magna Carter Tour — Live Nation said the Honda Center show in Anaheim, Calif., earned nearly 49% more than the same stop in 2013. "This tour will be the biggest headlining tour of Jay’s career,” says Omar Al-Joulani, VP of touring at Live Nation.
Live Nation claims that by aggressively pricing front row seats, VIP experiences and platinum tickets they can take in more money from those seeking a premium experience.
In the past, scalpers would buy up those high-end seats and upcharge them. But with Live Nation doing the upcharging, scalpers are reduced to buying cheaper upper-level seating, which they often have to dump at a loss.
Do you buy Live Nation's explanation for the low prices and high availability on the 4:44 tour?
It's never a good idea to bet against Hov. But his sales numbers have all seemed a bit sketchy since he's got in bed with big businesses like Live Nation and Sprint.
[Related: You can legally download JAY-Z's 4:44 album from Sprint.]