Posts Tagged ‘Bob Lefsetz’

GODIN ON TWITTER & NOISE

December 21, 2013

Had to cut and past Seth Godin again…please read below.  Kind of exactly what Lefsetz has been saying. How noisy are you?

BTW, stay-tuned to the LiveWorks Newsletter over the holiday break for info from the Aspen Live Conference, 2013.

Noise-tolerant media

Twitter is the noisiest medium in history. Do you actually believe that Taylor Swift has 33,000,000 million (and counting) people eagerly waiting for her next tweet, ready to click on whatever she links to?

In fact, less than one in a thousand people who ‘get’ one of her tweets will click. Most of the 33 million won’t even read it, making the word ‘get’ worthy of quotation marks.

And yet Twitter works just fine at this level. That’s because it immerses the user in waves of media, a stream of ignorable content that people can dip into at will. More noise makes it better, not worse. 

Email was wrecked by many marketers for many people, because email isn’t structured for noise. Noise is the enemy. Instant messages, because there is no easy accessible API, isn’t overwhelmed, but it too is noise-intolerant. Texts you don’t want to get are a huge hassle.

The simple rule is that the easier it is to use a medium, the faster it will become noisy, and the noisier it is, the less responsive it is.

You can play at Facebook and Twitter, and make them work. But they will only work if treat them like a cocktail party, as an opportunity to eavesdrop and layer general connection and value and insight. No, it’s not an ideal direct marketing medium. It’s a metropolis.

 

 

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LIVE NATION’S BRIAN O’CONNELL…PLUS ASPEN LIVE 2013

April 8, 2013

Watching last night’s ACM Awards reminded me of a conversation a group of us were having at February’s Pollstar Live Conference.  Everyone was asking what panel to go to.  I said I was headed to the Country Music panel and a member of our group blurted out, “why, to hear Brian O’Connell tell us all how great he is”.  At the same time, myself and a very prominent agent from Nashville said, “He is great”.

Ok so he dresses and travels (a tour bus with more large screen TV’s than your local Best Buy) like a rock star.  If you helped develop the number of superstars he has, you could to.  Let’s name a few…Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, and many more.

Brian created Live Nation’s “Mega-Ticket” which gives country music fans the chance to purchase tickets to all country shows playing their local amphitheatre at a significant discount.  It works great.  Most recently, he has launched The Faster Horses Festival which Brian described to Ray Waddell of Billboard as a “three-day hillbilly sleepover”.  The event takes place July 19-21 in Brooklyn, Michigan and you can find out more at http://fasterhorsesfestival.com.

So you want to be in the country music business, you better know Brian…and Louis Messina @ AEG too, but that’s for another newsletter.

ASPEN LIVE 2013

The Aspen Live Conference, 2013 (December 12-15 @ The St. Regis, Aspen) will be going on-sale this Wednesday, April 10th at Noon Eastern / 9am Pacific http://www.aspenlive.com.  Last year’s highlights included talks by festival streaming guru and CEO of Springboard Productions, Hank Neuberger, Andrew Dreskin, CEO of Ticketfly, John Boyle from EDM giant, Insomniac, and Q&A’s with The Lefsetz Letter’s Bob Lefsetz interviewing Live Nation CEO, Michael Rapino while Square Peg Concerts’ Dan Steinberg took us Inside the Agent’s Studio with The Agency Group, NA’s President, Steve Martin.

This year’s line-up is shaping up nicely.  Due to demand, we are capping this year’s attendance at 200.  You can find out more by following us on Twitter: @aspenlive Hashtag #aspenlive, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aspenlive, and Instagram: #aspenlive.  To register Wednesday, go to http://www.aspenlive.com.  The site also has information on special hotel rates, ski/snowboard rentals, activities and more.

Don’t miss out, space is limited and prices go up the longer you wait.

 

 

 

CHANGES AT AEG

March 14, 2013

So Phil Anschutz has taken AEG off the shopping block and at the same time, Tim Leiweke is leaving the company.  What????  Didn’t Tim build that company with Phil?

I don’t know, maybe Tim is going into politics.  Regardless, this is big news.  Perhaps AEG tries to close the football deal and then put the company back on the market.  It would be harder to sell the company once the NFL franchise is in place since any new owner would need the approval of the NFL and team owners.  Perhaps Phil doesn’t want a football team.  I’m just blown-away that Tim Leiweke is no longer with AEG.

Below is our friend Bob Lefsetz ‘s thoughts on the matter.  BTW, if you are at Austin Spring Break…I mean SXSW, have a great time.  Wish I was with you…kind of.

__________________________________________________

There’s only one owner here.

That’s what Rupert Murdoch told Barry Diller after Barry did the impossible, create a fourth television network. Barry believed he earned ownership. But Rupert felt otherwise.

You think you want a job, you think you want to sell out, but if you’re not in charge of your life someone else is.

I really don’t care if Phil Anschutz sells AEG or not. Hell, from the beginning it appeared he was asking too much, begging the question of whether he was seeking valuation or…

But one thing I’m categorically against is football in downtown L.A.

As my football fanatic friend Jeff says, we’ve now got it good, without a local team we get the best games on television. As opposed to being subjected to our local outfit on TV every Sunday, assuming they sell out and the game is not blacked-out.

Then again, true fans have the DirectTV package wherein they get every game.

As for going to the game… It’s better on television. You can feel it at the stadium, but you just can’t see it. Which is why attendance is faltering.

But this is kind of like the movie credit game. And the automobile factory game. Cities and states fall over themselves to give incentives to draw these enterprises, but the payback is minimal, the only people benefiting are the teams/companies themselves.

But ain’t that America, where we rob from our brethren, argue amongst the hoi polloi, and the rich walk straight to the bank.

Tim Leiweke will say he too did the impossible. Revitalized downtown L.A., brought a hockey championship to the city. And I don’t want to minimize his efforts, but Phil wasn’t always on board with them, and Tim never realized he didn’t own AEG. He acted like he did, but he didn’t.

As for Farmers Field, you can’t drive in L.A. to begin with. You’re gonna make it worse?

Leiweke strong-armed the government.

But no one reads the newspaper and if they watch TV news, it’s for the robberies and pet rescues.

It’s good we’ve got AEG as a concert promoter. They counterbalance Live Nation.

And Staples Center is far better than the decrepit Forum, at least for now.

Then again, Staples is evidence of our country today. It’s gigantic. There are three levels of skyboxes. The upper deck is so high and so far removed that almost no one can sell it out. Staples makes money, but it’s a lousy place for events.

Whereas the Forum was intimate. After Dolan gets through revitalizing it, will it become the concert destination?

We’ll see.

But know that billionaires rule the earth, and we’re just pawns in their game.

Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/

http://www.twitter.com/lefsetz

If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter,

http://www.lefsetz.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1

 

SENSATION

August 8, 2012

Lately, Lefsetz has been writing about EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and how the major concert promoters, specifically Live Nation and AEG have been late to the party.  Recently I stumbled on Sensation, a dance music event making its first appearance in North America October 26 – 27 at the new arena in Brooklyn.  Check out these links. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4Lk7ymHJiA , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYUeLnW-fqc

 Sensation is making its way over from Europe and is being promoted by the Jason Miller and the Live Nation New York office.  It has production elements that rival U2 and the Stones (set pieces, Pyro, lasers, water, etc), has sold-out the Saturday night play and has less than 3000 tickets left for Friday night. Tickets are $150 and $250 (the 2000 $250 VIP tickets for each night are sold-out) and partygoers even have to follow a dress code…all white. The tickets have sold without even announcing a line-up.

 Jason and Live Nation have been actively working in the dance music scene since 2008, set house records at Roseland for 6-consecutive sold-out deadmau5 parties (Jason makes a distinction that these are parties not shows or concerts) and have produced 40-50 EDM parties over the last three years. 

 Jason credits Andrew Dreskin (founder of Ticketfly) for turning him on to the scene (although he had been promoting dance music with the likes of the Chemical Brothers while still a young promoter in Vancouver) and Leon Ramakers of the Netherlands for introducing him to Sensation’s owners ID&T.  Over a long gestation period, Jason and Live Nation’s Perry Lavoisne developed a relationship with ID&T, even traveling to Belgrade to see one of their Sensation parties…eventually landing their two dates in New York. 

 The company sold-out their first EDM arena show with Swedish House Mafia at the Madison Square Garden last December which proved that fans would go to large capacity venues for the experience.   

Sensation isn’t just another dance party though.  Miller says “it is a complete spectacle…that tells a story” as part of the experience.  He believes that this music has “changed his life” and has developed a unique relationship with the audience, going so far as to setup a separate phone line in the office just for EDM parties.  Jason personally calls each fan back that leaves a message and has taken his cues of developing these personal relationships from what the Grateful Dead had been doing for years in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. 

 EDM fans (like Dead Heads before them) are in the know.  Not just in terms of the music and DJ’s but even the best sound systems to use.  Funktion One Sound is something that has impact with partygoers and talent alike and is used to help market the events.   

 

So one thing is for sure, EDM is here to stay, can play large venues at high ticket prices and if you aren’t in the game, it may be time to start brushing up.

 

 

 

 

Weekend Roundup…Late Again

November 3, 2011

Live Nation’s 3rd Quarter – Today Live Nation reported 3rd quarter revenue and earnings didn’t live up to expectations.  Revenue fell 2.5%…with concerts seeing a 7.3% drop due to lowered attendance.  Earnings were flat.  CEO, Michael Rapino said “We believe the stabilization of consumer demand for live events will continue into 2012 and, looking ahead, we are increasingly optimistic about our opportunities. Given the continued fan demand for concerts and a growing supply of artists hitting the road, we are optimistic about the future growth of the global concert industry.”  What do you think?

Billboard Conference – Next Wednesday, November 9th, I will be moderating the Tour and Production manager panel at the Billboard Touring Conference http://www.billboardevents.com/billboardevents/touring/schedule/index.jsp.  The panel has some of the biggest names on the road (Richard Coble, Tour Manager, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey, Jake Berry, Production Director, U2, and Walking w/ Dinosaurs, Steve Lopez, Tour Manager, Widespread Panic, Max Loubiere, Tour Director, Billy Joel, Steve Lawler, Live Nation, and Steve Powell, Tour Manager, Jason Mraz and Avril Lavigne).  The question, what do you want to know from these guys?  Please send and questions or idea to jim@liveworksevents.com

Concert Greening Project The North American Concert Promoters Association (NACPA) has underwritten a report by REVERB on “Concert Greening” with the stipulation that it be shared for free with the rest of the industry.  You can see it now at http://www.reverb.org/project/NACPA.  Thanks to Ben Liss for sharing!

Steve Jobs Book Lefsetz said Walter Isaacson “missed the target” http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2011/11/01/reinvention/but I don’t agree.  You hear from all sides of Steve’s life, the good, bad and ugly.  I would suggest you read it…and key-in on Job’s obsession with creating art over all else.  His goals were based not just changing the world, but changing the way “the masses” see art in everyday life.  For us lucky enough to work with art and artists, his passion should motivate us to strive harder toward perfection. 

Hope to see you in New York!

Jim

ART AND THE ARTIST

June 29, 2011

I read everything Seth Godin puts out (at least try to).  Not always on the day or week… or in this case even year it is released, but you can bet I’ll get to it.  That’s why we had to have him speak at the Aspen Live Conference 5-years ago.  He truly is as Ad Age dubbed him, “Marketer of the Decade”.  Anyway, just finished Linchpin and Graceful and can recommend them both highly.  You can go to Amazon right now and order them or download them to your Kindle right now.   

What was most exciting (besides the learning of course) is we all know people in his books…especially Linchpin.  Seth describes musician Keller Williams as only a true fan could.  He talks about the contributions of Bob Lefsetz to the music business…his warnings years ago to the labels…and how so many of them are now gone but Bob has just gotten bigger.

Seth describes how agent, promoter, manager and Madison House owner Nadia Prescher succeeds because of her passion for her artists…and the Madison House team broke the mold.  They didn’t follow the rules.  They’re managers and agents…and promoters.    

Seth speaks of both Bob and Nadia as artists.  They do their art for love…because they have to.  It is their calling.  Seth says you are an artist too.  Do you love what you do?  If not, why?  Stop and look around, art is everywhere.  As Godin says, you don’t need to write, hold a brush, sculpt, or play an instrument to be an artist.  You just need to be able to complete what you start without money being the first and only objective.  Seth calls this “shipping”.  Think of the way labels used to ship product.  Same concept here except what’s being shipped doesn’t have to be made in a factory.  In fact it shouldn’t.  It can be made tomorrow at work…right at your desk.

Till then, Happy Reading!

Jim

 

LESSONS FROM THE ASPEN CONFERENCE

January 7, 2011

This year’s Aspen Live Conference was one of our best yet.  Although I can’t speak for every member of the Aspen Family, below are some bullet points of important items discussed, learned, and debated.  Please comeback with comments and ideas.

  • Overplaying – Because most artists aren’t making their money from record sales and publishing anymore, touring has become a vital part of keeping cash flowing.  The problem discussed; some of us continue to book the same acts in the same markets over and over as we watch their business fall off.  This hurts everyone…fan, promoter, and especially artists.
  • Pricing – It really was the same old debate…ticket prices and ancillary charges are too high for fans…certainly for them to take a chance on discovering something new.  The only answer is for each one of us to take responsibility for and do our best to bring prices down.
  • Posse – This is blowing up in Australia and seems like a good idea.  Instead of just letting your friends know about a show you want to see like you would on Facebook, fans actually get commissions for each ticket that they sell.  Check it out… http://www.posse.com/home/index.  We did debate how that works in terms of credibility (your friend may just be sending you this to make money), but that’s not really how the internet works.  You don’t spam your friends (although many of you do and need to stop)…and fans are passionate about “their acts”.  We should get this going in the U.S. big time!
  • Don Strasburg’s Facebook Campaigns – Most of us can agree that Don Strasburg from AEG Denver is a great, passionate promoter.  He has followers on Facebook…creates cool contests…and the fan feels like they are on the inside because of it.  He is selling tickets, but more importantly building a community to help sell tickets for him.
  • Goldstar vs. Groupon – We were lucky enough to have 2 people from Goldstar attend Aspen this year, including the Co-CEO and founder of the company.  Some concert promoters use Goldstar and some don’t.  Both services are about discounts no doubt. I’ve received some pretty strong responses to Goldstar and whether they are good for the business.  Theatre, Sports, and Family has gotten squarely behind these services because they are selling “remnant inventory”.  Our group pointed out that it is different with most theatre, sports, and family shows since they usually play multiple dates in the same city.

 Currently, Groupon sells tickets at half the retail price and takes 50% of the sale on top, leaving the promoter with a “trickle” of revenue that doesn’t make up much.  As for those guests spending more money on ancillaries, most of my experience has been that “paper” or discounted ticketed guests actually spend less at the shows than the fan that paid full-price.  From everything we heard (and continue to see), you can really work with Goldstar.  They don’t take a 50% commission on the ticket…you can limit the number of tickets you give to them to sell (which works best prior to the on-sale)…and based on what I’ve seen recently, they even sell full-priced tickets (New Cirque show in LA)…so they can make for good marketing partners regardless. http://www.goldstar.com

 The argument to use these services…their members wouldn’t normally buy a ticket for your show.  As stated above, everyone who uses these sites is looking for a deal.  At the same time, some believe that fans will find the cheapest tickets no matter what and that we are selling a ticket at half of what the guest is willing to pay.  What do you think?

  • Customer Service – As the world gets better at customer service, we seem to stay stagnate.  Employees at our shows are not usually well-informed or trained properly.  In many cases this lack of information gives guests the opposite effect as the desired intent by management.  We need to spend more money and time in training everyone who touches the consumer.  When you go to a Disney Theme Park, every cast member can give you directions to anything.  Try asking one of your parking attendants or security people how to get somewhere and see what happens. 
  • Four Square – The jury seems to be out on whether this is a good tool for live entertainment and music or not.  If there was a consensus it was that like everything else in life, using Four Square is a case-by-case.  It may work for some and not others.
  • Filters / One Place To Go – There is still room and a need for filters to spread the word about live shows and music in general.  Fans and potential fans need one place to go (like a Google) where they can find all information.  Marc Geiger and company had this concept long ago with ArtistDirect.  It can suck sometimes to be too far ahead (as Marc and Don seemed to be) of the curve before everyone has caught-up.  Personally, my finger points to the labels here and their need to own the artist’s sites.  Eventually there will be one place to go…currently it seems to be iTunes although you can’t buy tickets…yet.
  • Marketing Materials – Well, if we are going to overplay our talent, let’s at least show them a new look.  Steve Kelly from Bill Young Productions talked about showing (in TV and Web) or talking about (radio and print) the new stage, something amazing the fan will experience, etc, versus the same old – same old.  U2 is doing this with the 360 Tour on their website…and as a fan; I couldn’t wait to see what the stage was going to look like.  We need to look into this much harder.
  • Quality Is A Problem – Again talked about forever, but with the live business now meaning so much to an artist’s livelihood, actually being good is more important than ever.  Everyone agrees there should be fewer releases…but we are talking about actually having fewer artists put out more material.  Remember when your favorite group would release two-albums a year?
  • Facebook Ads Sell Tickets – Almost everyone in Aspen could agree that their most cost-effective, measurable, and fun way to market shows is through Facebook.  Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or whatever, the important thing is to have a conversation versus a monologue with fans.
  • Reward Programs – Reward programs work for airlines, movie theatres, supermarkets, drugstores, theme parks, banks and credit cards, hotels, rental cars, gasoline, retailers of every kind, even pot dispensaries…why are we still not onboard with this?  Start a program today.  You could bring in some of the good people who have just been laid-off that know this stuff…Like Piper Taylor formerly of Live Nation as an example. 
  • Back To Singles Business – Lefsetz pointed out that we are back to a singles business.  Young music consumers are not out getting the full album; they want the song they like or their friends like.  Knowing this is the case, how do we take advantage of this fact? 
  • Jennie from Guerilla Marketing – Many from our group are fans of Jennie from Guerilla Marketing.  One quote was “she really understands the artist”. 
  • Mix Match Music – http://www.mixmatchmusic.com.  This is a fun website that actually serves several purposes…but really it’s about fan engagement and interaction.
  • Mobile Roadie – You want to create a mobile app for your artist, show, whatever… http://mobileroadie.com/  
  • Bandzoogle – Want to build a website for your artist, show, convention, etc, and don’t have a lot of money…not too internet savvy?  My good friend Jon Topper (manager of moe.) turned me onto this site.  If I can build a website with them, anyone can.
  • Search Engine Optimization – Not sure where we ended-up on this subject as there doesn’t seem to be an easy fix.  If a fan types an artist’s name into a search engine, they will most likely find Stub-Hub and sites like it on the top of the list…and I’m not talking about the ads at the top that are put in a different color to show they are ads, I’m talking about the regular searches.  A fan, promoter or ticketing company site is usually a few spots down.  What happens is that some fans that don’t know better will Google phrases like “Rolling Stones Tickets”…see that they are $1000 a piece and turn away.  They never realize that just a few spots down there are tickets for sale at face value.  No answer came out of our meetings, but that doesn’t mean we should drop the issue. 
  • Taylor Swift On-Sales – A question was asked on why Taylor Swift put her shows on-sale for next summer in 2010 (they all sold-out btw).  The answer everyone came up with is that they wanted to strike while the iron is hot.  If they waited, many of Taylor’s fans may fall-off…this way they stay engaged. 
  • Business with Friends – This is really what the Aspen Conference is all about.  It is much easier, smarter and quicker to do business with people who you know, trust and care about than to just serve up your goods to the highest bidder.  In sales they always say that you don’t make money on your first sale…it is about repeat business.  Why would it be different in your business?

 Our dates are set for Aspen Live 2011 so mark your calendars now.  Our dates are December 8-11.  Stay tuned for more information.

Happy New Year!

Jim