1. We live in a society full of people who are obsessed with making sure that prices are right and supply meets demand. And then there’s the live-music business. NPR’s Planet Money talked to Kid Rock about how he’s trying to cut scalpers out of the business — and still sell cheap tickets to his shows.

  2. Yet to an economist, the very existence of scalpers and companies like StubHub proves that tickets are far too cheap to balance supply and demand. Pascal Courty, an economist at the University of Victoria, in Canada, who has spent the better part of 20 years studying the secondary-ticket market, has identified two distinct pricing styles. Some artists, like Streisand and Michael Bolton, seem to charge as much as the market will bear — better seats generally cost a lot more; shows in larger cities, with higher demand, are far more expensive, too. (If you want to catch Bolton on the cheap, head to Western New York.) The second group comprises notable acts, like Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam, that usually keep prices far below market value and offer only a few price points. An orchestra seat to see the Boss in Jersey costs only about $50 more than the nosebleeds in Albany.

    — In his latest New York Times Magazine column, NPR’s Adam Davidson looks at the secret science of scalping tickets. Read the whole thing here.

  3. You can sell an old CD to a record store, but what about songs from your iTunes library? Our friends at Planet Money tell story of a company that tried to set up an online marketplace where people can buy and sell old mp3s, and what happened to them.

  4. Say you buy a textbook in another country, where textbooks are cheap. Then you bring the book back to the U.S. and sell it at a profit. Did you break the law?

    No, you didn’t. In a ruling that came down yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a student who had his friends and relatives buy textbooks in Thailand which he later re-sold in the U.S. on eBay.

    The ruling was a key moment in something called the ‘first sale’ doctrine, which says that, if you buy something that’s copyrighted, you’re allowed to ‘sell or otherwise dispose’ of it without the permission of the copyright owner.

    — So does that mean you can sell your old MP3s?

  5. Taylor Swift’s new album, Red, sold more 1.2 million copies in its first week — the highest first-week sales total for an album in over a decade. She did it partly by answering a surprisingly complicated question: What’s the best way to sell an album?

  6. npr:

The No BS! Brass Band from Richmond, VA turns has turned economics into song. NPR’s Robert Smith—with the band’s accompaniment—reports on figures from the ISM Manufacturing Index, a tool helpful in gauging the U.S. economic outlook.
Listen to the story here. — rachel
Photo: Flickr

    npr:

    The No BS! Brass Band from Richmond, VA turns has turned economics into song. NPR’s Robert Smith—with the band’s accompaniment—reports on figures from the ISM Manufacturing Index, a tool helpful in gauging the U.S. economic outlook.

    Listen to the story here. — rachel

    Photo: Flickr