Posts Tagged ‘Goldstar’

USING DISCOUNT CHANNELS

April 23, 2015

“Our job is to take the emotion out of discounting” is a line I use when talking with industry peeps about our consulting client, Goldstar. And emotion should never play into your decision to use discount channels to move tickets when making money, reaching an audience, and filling seats is the goal.

At the Pollstar Conference a few months back, a national promoter told me that “if I have to use Groupon or Goldstar, that means I didn’t do my job”. What? Do all of your shows sell-out or are they even projected to? If you are like the rest of us, the answer is no. In many of those cases, there is an audience that doesn’t even know your show is coming to town, so why not use all the tools at your disposal? Once the act hits the stage, every empty seat means $0 in revenue…and not just for that seat.

Shouldn’t we be counting the zeros when average ticket price tells us nothing? We should be measuring revenue per seat like the airlines do. For instance, if the Jim Lewi Band played a 15,000 seat arena and only sold 4-tickets (to my family of course) at $500, the average ticket price would be $500 even though a majority of the house is empty. But by counting your unsold tickets as $0, you find out how much each seat contributes to your bottom line. Based on the example above with a 15,000 cap, your average ticket price is $500, but your revenue per seat is only $0.0333. Revenue per seat tells us what we really need to know.

In music, many tell us of the perception that the show is a dud if you’re listing tickets through a discount channel. The truth, this “perception” is only in the eyes of the business, not the fan. It is an emotional response we give based on protecting the act’s brand and value in the market, but most fans aren’t doing research to find the best deal like they would with other products. Maybe someday there will be a “Kayak for live entertainment” where a consumer can search for the best deal, just not yet. Goldstar, Groupon, Living Social, etc., are all marketing avenues that need a new measurement scale. CPM (cost per thousand people reached) is generally how marketing is measured. It doesn’t apply here as there is an actual sale, so the more tickets sold, the higher your CPM goes. It should be going down.

The only way you will really know is to “test and measure” results. Don’t assume that you are hurting your show or act by discounting (unless it is to your own list) when chances are you are doing the opposite. There is a lot of data to back this up. When done properly, using a discount channel helps move the primary market. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. Otherwise, you are just guessing…and probably wrong.

Advertisements

REVENUE PER SEAT VS. AVERAGE TICKET PRICE

April 7, 2014

Do you use Average Ticket Price to measure success on your shows?  If yes, please stop, it is a façade.

I (probably like you) have always used average ticket price as a measuring tool.  It is what we learned and it makes sense.  That is until Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar Events did some simple math on a whiteboard and the light bulb went off.  We (concerts, sports, theatre, family, etc.) should be looking at Revenue Per Seat, not Average Ticket Price.

Lets say you and I were playing a show at your local arena and tickets were $500.  We sold 4-tickets to our family members but the rest of the 15,000 capacity room goes unsold.  What’s our average ticket price?

Average ticket price is calculated by taking your show gross and dividing by the number of seats you sold…so your average ticket price in the above scenario is $500 even though the promoter will be eating Cup of Noodles for a while.  Average Ticket Price = gross / number of seats sold.

Revenue Per Seat = gross / total number of seats.  This formula gives you much more accurate data as you are counting unsold tickets as selling for $0.  Average ticket price doesn’t really tell you anything…especially standing on its own.

In music and live entertainment, we talk about moving to a dynamic pricing model similar to the travel industry.  Well, airlines measure Revenue Per Seat while hotels and cruises, Revenue Per Room.  The average doesn’t tell them how full their properties are, just how much they are getting per sale.  It is a number that doesn’t really mean anything.

As the Blues Brothers once said, “we are on a mission from god”.  Our mission is to use revenue per seat versus average ticket price.  Please remember, although we are used to looking at the gross and average ticket, it doesn’t tell you what you need to know.  It doesn’t tell you anything.

Please share this mission with everyone!

INFLUENCES…ASPEN IN DECEMBER

November 4, 2013

Do you read? I do…a lot.  Not fiction (which I should)…mostly business, marketing, social media (also known as marketing), and biographies. Two of this year’s standouts are Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales From the New Abnormal in the Movie Business” by movie producer Lynda Obst and Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainmentby Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, Anita Elberse.

The big news here is that both Anita Elberse and Lynda Obst will be guests at this year’s Aspen Live Conference, December 12-15, 2013 at the St. Regis, Aspen.

If you till haven’t registered (hard to imagine), it isn’t too late.  We have 26 spots remaining, but believe based on the above they will go fast.  Register TODAY at http://www.aspenlive.com.  Follow us on Twitter: @AspenLive, and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aspenlive…and me on Twitter: @jimlewi and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jim.lewi?fref=ts.

The above books should be required reading for anyone in the music and live entertainment businesses.  In fact, please go to Amazon (or your local book store) and buy them today.  Blockbusters: http://tinyurl.com/n4qbcrt and Sleepless: http://tinyurl.com/nxw7s46.

Below is the latest Aspen Live 2013 Conference Schedule.  Please know that all are subject to change and probably will (just where meetings sit and what they are called…plus one or two more surprises).

Stay tuned, more announcements to come soon.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

7:00 pm             Annual Peter Tempkins Chow-Down @ Hickory House (optional) – Please contact Peter Tempkins @ petert@gnw-eg.com

Late Night                      St. Regis, Lobby Bar

Thursday, December 12, 2013

12:00 pm                       On-Mountain Get Together (Sundeck Restaurant-Aspen Mtn; Ullrhof Restaurant – Snowmass)

 4:00 pm-5:00 pm                        Cocktails With An Icon, Hosted By Dan Steinberg, Featuring Alex Hodges

Please feel free to grab a cocktail and unwind after a long day on the slopes as                                         we dive into the amazing career of an Icon.

 5:15 pm-6:15 pm            Jim McCarthy from Goldstar on “Selling Out” your shows

6:30 pm-7:30 pm            Q&A with Movie Producer and Author of “Sleepless in Hollywood, Tales of the New Abnormal in    the Movie Business”, Lynda Obst

                                    St. Regis – Maroon Bells

7:45pm-9:00pm              Voice Media Group Welcomes you to Aspen w/ The Opening Billiards Party @ Aspen Billiards and Eric’s Bar

Late Night                      St. Regis, Lobby Bar

Friday, December 13, 2013

12:00 pm                       On-Mountain Get Together (Sundeck Restaurant-Aspen Mtn; Ullrhof Restaurant – Snowmass)

4:15 pm-5:30 pm            Q&A with Harvard Business School Professor and Author of “Blockbusters: Hit Makers, Risk-takers and the Big Business of Entertainment”, Anita Elberse, Presented by Goldstar

5:45 pm-6:30 pm            TBA

St. Regis – Maroon Bells

7:30pm-9:30pm              Cocktail Party @ Belly-Up hosted by Michael Goldberg & Belly-Up Staff

Late Night                      St. Regis, Lobby Bar

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Cooking Aspen         An optional fun hands on cooking class, food and wine pairings, and more.  Please RSVP to jamie@nederlander.com

4:00 pm-5:00 pm            5 Things the Music Business Can Learn From Amazon, Presented by Ticketfly

5:15 pm-6:15 pm                        How Live Content Producers and YOU Can Partner and Make Money with                                   StubHub. 

6:30 pm-7:00 pm                        Aspen Integrated – Part III Hosted by Nic Adler

                                    St. Regis, Maroon Bells

 

7:45 pm- ?                     Closing Dinner (optional) Restaurant TBA…please RSVP to Jamie Loeb @                                   jamie@nederlander.com

Late Night                      Limelight Hotel Bar

Special Thanks To: Access Pass & Design, Adler Integrated, Bill Young Productions, Goldstar Events, Stubhub, Ticketfly and Voice Media Group and You for making such an exciting program possible.

                                       

“SELLING OUT”

October 13, 2013

In a perfect world, we would put our shows on-sale and they’d sellout. In reality, with few exceptions, that’s not what happens…and one reason why I’m part of the Goldstar team.

Goldstar’s mission is to get members to go out more…try new things…while helping partners sell every seat in the house.  And that’s what CEO Jim McCarthy’s new blog is all about, “Selling Out”.

Jim said “we’ve launched this site as a resource and tool for everybody whose job is to create, market or manage live entertainment. I’m your host, and I’ll write some things. We’ll also have guest contributors and links to useful info and articles elsewhere, and hopefully you’ll participate, too. If we do this right, we’ll all learn from each other.”

Please go to http://www.sellingout.com.  Sign-up to receive the blog via email…and if you have something to share, do that! I’ll see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

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

AMAZON OF TICKET SALES

November 15, 2010

A few years ago my cousin Annie turned me on to Goldstar.com.  Goldstar is a discounting ticketing company…of sorts, but only markets to its members.  Last week I got to sit-down with their head of Venue Relations Wendi Lebow to talk about their business.

It seems that the music industry is the slowest catching on to how great Goldstar really is.  Many managers and agents feel that if Goldstar has tickets for half the price of what a regular ticket costs, the consumer will just purchase from Goldstar.  That’s not how it works though.

You see, everyone who becomes a member of Goldstar is looking for a deal…or to be informed.  These are consumers that wouldn’t normally go to your concert, theatre performance or sporting event…but become aware of it through Goldstar.  To many of us, Goldstar actually helps sell full-priced tickets since the company markets to members based on their previous purchases and preferences.  Really they are the Amazon of ticket sales. 

Please let me encourage all of you to find ways to work with Goldstar.  You don’t have to give them every seat to sell…and can always add more if you need to.  The reality is that Goldstar is as much of a marketing tool as it is a ticket membership discounter.  Start working with them before your show goes on-sale and watch what happens.  Theatre and sports have had a lot of success working with them…and you can too.

For more information on Goldstar you can visit their website or hit me with an email and I will put you in-touch with them as Jamie Loeb from Nederlander did for me (she is a big fan too).

On another note, we are weeks away from the Aspen Live Conference and have gotten our special rates at our host hotels extended.  Please write or call for more info.

Speak with you soon!

Jim