Posts Tagged ‘Pollstar’

LIVE INDUSTRY’S RACE TO THE BOTTOM

February 12, 2013

Thank you to Pollstar and the North American Concert Promoter’s Association for bringing Seth Godin (BTW, there is a great article on connecting with customers in the February issue of Entrepreneur Magazine) in to deliver the keynote for this year’s Pollstar Live Conference.  Here are some of my takeaways. 

  •      We are on a race to the bottom. Seth tells the story of meeting Bill Graham while he was promoting a Rolling Stones tour.  At the time, tickets were $50 and Seth asked Bill why not charge $100 since he could get it.  Bill agreed he would probably get it but thought it was important to leave money in the market since he would be promoting other shows during the year.  In 2013, we are looking for the one event we can get music fans to attend rather than trying to get them to discover artists and buy tickets to more shows.  A race to the bottom.
  •      Opportunity. We all need to be looking for it.
  •      Build Assets.  Your assets don’t have to be real estate; they can be anything…especially a mailing list…where you received permission to speak with consumers. 
  •      Look for the Ridiculous.  You want to standout from the noise.  The more ridiculous, the better.  Give people something to talk about. 
  •     Connecting.  It seems today we are all looking for ways to measure our money and time investments in social media.  Seth pointed out that social is just another weapon in a marketer’s arsenal.  One the Grateful  Dead employed for years to help foster community.  You need to find the best place for your voice.  For instance, Seth made a conscious decision to stay off Facebook and Twitter (his Twitter feeds you his blog) and use his blog as his voice to the world.  Remember, connecting is ultimately about the exchange of ideas.  If you are having a one-way conversation, that can’t happen. 
  •     Believe in what you are making.  So many times we find ourselves competing rather than truly believing in what we are doing.   
  •     Build Slowly.  Probably the hardest for us to do in this environment and yet we must.  Things that start fast end just as quickly. 

Certainly the panels I attended (including the one I moderated) could not hold a candle to Seth’s presentation.  Perhaps something to work on for 2014…along with the Concert Industry Awards.  Please make it a seated affair like the Golden Globes.  Let guests eat and drink and start the awards as desert is served. 

 

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DODGE DART REGISTRY

January 29, 2013

Honestly, based on an article comparing Dodge Dart sales to Honda’s Civic, the advertising might not be working…but thought you would be interested in the Dodge Dart Registry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK_DOJa99oo

The concept is Kickstarter meets a wedding registry, where family members, friends, etc, fund a piece of the car till it’s paid for.  In theory, this should work well with high school and college students…although I haven’t seen any data to back that up.  Regardless, Goldenvoice has been doing a layaway plan for Coachella and Stage Coach Festivals and believe they do well with it.  

So what do you think about crowd sourcing live event tickets?  Will it work?

ASPEN RECAP

Since you still haven’t seen a recap of Aspen Live 2012 yet (you can always read Lefsetz‘s take now http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2012/12), I figure we can combine the Pollstar and Aspen reports. 

Are you going to be @ Pollstar?  This is not the year to miss as the keynote speaker is marketing guru and Aspen Live alum Seth Godin

Also, I’ll be moderating the “Nurturing Mid-Level Festivals” panel at 11am on Thursday, February 7th. Please join us as we explore how these festivals have competed and thrived while others have faltered.

 

 

CLUB PASSPORT UPDATES…

September 20, 2009

It is good to know that all of you are alive and well.  The last LiveWorks Newsletter on Live Nation’s new Passport got a lot of you writing… whether it by email or Facebook.  In that time, I’ve learned a lot.  First from our friends Debbie Speer at Pollstar and Jim Steen from Live Nation who informed me that I had it wrong on the number of venues in each market that are participating.  It is all Live Nation clubs (and some small theatres), not one per city.  Then came the rest…

Going back to the last LiveWorks Newsletter https://liveworksnews.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/livenations-passport/ again, we talked about our conversations at the Aspen Live Conference (this year’s dates are Dec. 10-12 @ the St. Regis, Aspen…please call (310) 385-2800 and ask for Jim for more info) regarding “Season Passes” at clubs to help grow developing artists.  More specifically, the problems agents and managers might have with this concept.  Well, look no further than the Live Nation’s website for your answers. 

For instance, take LA where I live.  The Wiltern Theatre has 28-shows remaining this year according the calendar on their website.  Of those, Club Passports can only be used at three; Billy Squier, Enanitos Verdes, and Moby.  The House of Blues Sunset’s percentage is better.  According to their website, of the 25-shows (excluding Sunday Gospel Brunches) remaining on their schedule, the Club Passport is good for 9.  But before you get too gitty, the “new music” fans will be discovering include Better Than Ezra, Dinosaur Jr., The Sippy Cups (guessing this is either a kid’s group or a new fad from The Hills), and K.C. & The Sunshine Band.  Looks like not too many managers or agents bought into the concept of having the Club Passports competing against their artist’s hard tickets.  I’m not sure what’s going on in the real world, but many of you wrote screaming foul and pointing at Live Nation.  Is it really them?

I’m going to stay out on my limb and continue to say that no matter what, Live Nation’s Club Passport is good for our business.  If it does nothing but generates publicity for Live Nation, that’s still drawing attention to Live Entertainment and Branded Live Entertainment. It still gets a dialogue going about concerts.  How about a few more of you sign-on with Live Nation’s program and see where it gets you?  What are you doing to help after all? 

It is time to innovate…and I for one think we should start with our marketing!  Who is going to have the first TV or Radio spot that looks and sounds like those of “national brands”?  When are we going to see our industry take a serious look at communicating with consumers?  Not talking at them but with them.

Let’s get a movement going!  It can start at our next “Dinner Club”.  The summer is just about officially over now and it is time to get to work.  How about Wednesday, October 7th for our next Dinner Club meetings?  For those who have never been, it is time you came.  Put the date in your calendar and stay tuned for the times and locations in your city (some locations may choose a different date too) or area.  It isn’t so much about dinner as it is drinks and socializing.  Sharing ideas face-to-face.  You know, LIVE!!!

Till then…speak with you soon…

Jim

Selling-Out Isn’t Good, It’s Great!!!

November 2, 2008

To start, wanted to follow-up on working hand-in-hand with brands.  Please follow the link to see our designer Jim Lenahan take Ford and Toby Keith from conception to reality. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB1plbRXytM …now to the subject at hand.

Mike Krebs from Golden Voice/AEG Live in LA is a great concert promoter, and most of you in the music business reading this would probably agree.  Last week Andy Somers and I had lunch with Mike.  Among the many things we discussed was the importance of shows selling-out, and how few do these days.  “Krebsy” got into detail about the impact a sold-out show has on the promoter, public, press, artists (even if they are in Feld’s Disney on Ice) venue staff, and yes even the secondary ticketing market.  Maybe it’s time we all look at the venues we are playing and remember what kind of impact the words “Sold-Out” have on everything. 

I wish it was Monday so I could call on our friend Gary B. over at Pollstar to see if he has stats on how many concerts sold-out in 2007 and so far in 2008.  My guess is a lot fewer than you would think.  Fact is we aren’t playing the numbers much differently than the folks in the mortgage businesses that are now failing.  Instead of “I’m going to make more money so we will be able to afford this house”, its “we can sell the tickets this time”.  The theory is the bigger buildings have higher gross potentials so, let’s just have our show play there.  If your ticket price is low enough, this tactic could work but it usually doesn’t.  Just as those who thought they were going to make more money and thus bought houses they couldn’t afford, never did get that paycheck they were hoping for.  So then we start looking at ways of “making the house look better” for the show.   And as Mike Krebs brought up at lunch, papering our shows is doing no one any good.

If your show can sell 10,000 tickets in a market, put it in the appropriate venue.  Probably an 8000 seater if they have it.  Going bigger puts your show in a position for the bean counters to start talking about papering (giving tickets away) it.  This is good for no one in the long term.  In the short term, it sells parking, beer, and hot dogs.  It doesn’t sell tour merchandise or do anything else positive for the artist, show or event.  Papering does; trains the public to wait for free tickets, pisses off the fans that paid full price, and ultimately weakens the market for show (artist, touring property, etc), promoter, venue, etc.  Paper in a market long enough and even those ancillary sales the venue accountants are relying on will dry-up.  You may already see it happening. 

Here are some suggestions to follow during the down economy.

1) Start early, get your venue holds as early as possible.

2) If you work with a promoter, listen to their opinions on venue, dates, days of the week, ticket price, advertising and promotion, etc.  Otherwise, promote the show yourself.

3) If you have sponsors, make sure they are part of your marketing campaigns and collaborate with promoters.  In some cases, you should take less money in favor of targeted advertising (just make sure you get approval of those ads in writing).

4) Summer concerts need to stop going on-sale so early.  It is killing your summer.

5) Price your show smart.  In talking with concert promoters this summer they told me that John Mayer’s numbers actually went up this summer…ticket price + good product = success. 

6) Play venues that are either the “right size” or even a little smaller than your show should be in.  Selling-out has huge impact on the market and will keep fans coming back.

In a recent copy of our friend Bob Lefsetz’s The Lefsetz Letterhe spoke with Irving Azoff about his plans for the future after taking over as CEO of the newly branded Ticketmaster Entertainment.  One thing Irving said that rang in my ears was that too many of us were still living in the old business.  One part of the old business that we should try to hang on to with everything we have is selling-out our live shows.  If you need an example to help, remember that U2 doesn’t play stadiums anymore and they are doing just fine. 

As always, would love your input.

Talk with you soon…

Jim