Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jobs’


November 6, 2011

The Steve Jobs book is having a big effect on my thinking lately.  There’s a quote from Jobs about halfway through that hits like a sledgehammer.  “In the end, you just don’t want someone else to control a big part of user experience.”  In Live Entertainment, that’s all we do…with a few exceptions.

The talent/artist/act/athlete/producer/director has their vision and from there, the watering down begins.  Costs play the biggest role in diluting the message.  The show needs a place to play (w/ venue ops people, box office, security, ticket takers, ushers, parking attendants, customer service, etc, all between the show and guest) , marketing, ticketing, production and design, crew, etc, which can all have negative impacts…yet can be cost prohibitive to carry.  Cirque du Soleil has their touring shows in tents and the others, installs/sit-downs (Vegas, NY, LA, etc) where they can transform and control the environment.

Disney is similar in wanting control of the experience.  With Broadway, the theme parks, cruise ships, adventures and vacations, guests are coddled from the first interaction. The exception would be Feld Entertainment’s Disney On Ice which is a license that has been in place for decades. 

So what do we do?  It needs to start with a hybrid model.  Let’s use Feld as an example. 

Tickets are sold, mostly through Ticketmaster rather than Disney or Feld’s own ticketing.  This is necessitated by the multiple venues the show plays under contract (although Feld does have their own promoter agreements with TM).  The same with ticket takers, security, ushers, box office, etc.  Yet Feld does promote the shows internally (w/ help from venue marketing), caries production, crew, performers…and their own merch and concession operations and sales people (to the dismay of venues around the world).

Take a look at your upcoming projects and find every touch point with guests that you can take control of.  Apple, along with Disney and Cirque believe in the end-to-end user experience.  You should too. 

Aspen Update – The 16th Annual Aspen Live Conference is filling up like it hasn’t in years.  At this point, The St. Regis, Aspen is completely sold-out.  There are still Grand Deluxe rooms available at the Limelight Hotel.  Please go to and register today.


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  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

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  Thanks to Ben Liss for sharing!

Steve Jobs Book Lefsetz said Walter Isaacson “missed the target” 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!