Archive for May, 2010
With breathless enthusiasm came the announcement that RIM (makers of the Blackberry) had teamed up with Ticketmaster to make BlackBerry the “Official Smartphone of Ticketmaster.”
Oh … but only in USA, Canada and UK.
The question is why? Is it really advantageous for Ticketmaster to associate with one brand of platform, and one losing marketshare at that? More to the point, isn’t broad and unfettered access essential for a mainstream brand like Ticketmaster?
Forbes states that in 2009 Apple (iPhone) had a 2% market share of the mobile phone market while RIM (Blackberry) had 3%. This is changing fast however, “We expect Apple’s market share to overtake that of RIM by 2011, and for Apple and RIM to have 11% and 8% market share, respectively, … We believe sales of the iPhone will eventually outpace BlackBerry sales for the following reasons: …“
Read all about it !! in this blog post RIM announces ‘lifestyle’ apps for BlackBerry
A few articles recently regarding traditional venues embracing new technology … or not. A common assumption seems to be that new technology will suddenly make old entertainment formats new and exciting to new and younger audiences.
From The Clyde FitchReport A Vision: Arena Stage Permitting Tweeting During Performances
It refers to a post on Arts Marketing by Chad Bauman where he addresses the demographic challenges facing live theatre by going to the tools of marketing, and in particular Product and Place.
By the way ““Demographic challenges” is the euphemism for “fewer young folks are attending the theater and the average age is rising faster than the federal deficit.””
Also on the subject of tweeting, in The Stage West Yorkshire Playhouse decides against ‘tweet seats’
After “… some very interesting conversations about how we communicate with people and whether or not we are embracing the way young people communicate.”
However, the theatre eventually tweeted: “Thanks all for input to ‘tweet seat’ debate, had lots of interesting feedback, more negative than positive and have decided it’s a no go.”
I got a laugh out of the Artsistic Director Ian Brown’s response “People who think tweeting during performances [is a good idea] have to be prepared to tell the actors that is what will be happening. I shall be hiding”.
On a slightly different tack Yankee Stadium Bans iPads
Yankee Stadium has banned iPads under the same security concerns as the ban of laptops at the venue. Wi-Fi is available throughout the venue yet laptops and iPads are banned. You may have take a laptop out for screening at the airport, but not an iPad. I would have thought airports and planes would have greater security concerns than Yankee Stadium?
Hmm I wonder if broadcasting and streaming rights have any thing to do with it?
“Nearly a decade after “The Producers” introduced the $480 ticket to Broadway, V.I.P. pricing has established itself in the ledgers of rock ‘n’ roll. This summer Justin Bieber fans can pay $350 to attend a pre-show soundcheck. For $800, Christina Aguilera will pose for a picture. (For $900, Eagles fans get dinner but no photo-op …“
“At Bon Jovi’s three sold-out shows this week at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the top package — which includes the takeaway chair, a leather bag and a catered meal — is $1,875.“
“… despite the soft economy, promoters have found that hard-core fans are willing to pay premium prices to get red-carpet treatment for their favorite shows.“
“It’s probably the biggest negotiation in any tour deal,” said Randy Phillips, the chief executive of AEG Live, promoter of the Bon Jovi tour. “On a hot act you can make as much money from 10 percent of the house as the other 90.”
William Band of Forrester interviewed 58 business and IT executives to uncover best practices for wringing more value from CRM deployments. He found that successful companies focus on five proven strategies:
1. Redouble efforts to promote user adoption.
2. Focus on underlying business processes.
3. Rethink your approach to executive sponsorship.
4. Reinvent data management practices.
5. Define and track the right metrics.
A background piece in Bloomberg Businessweek about Barry Kahn of Qcue (pronounced “Q-Q”).
The San Francisco Giants are using Qcue software to “price baseball games in much the same way airlines manage seat prices to keep planes full“. Hmm a full plane (i.e. all seats sold) is reducing loss on the fixed price of ‘empty seat’ and is a different thing to maximising profit on prices alone. There are issues here regarding access, let alone equity.
Will this preclude such cutting edge technology from being applied to the ‘not-for-profit’ or subsidised arts? Alternatively, will it just be a more complex algorithm that addresses larger issues of better synchronising demand with supply (not just audience development) within the parameters of a cross subsidy of yield maximisation?
“The Giants say the technology could add $5 million-plus in revenue this year. Revenues are up 12% this season and attendance has jumped 7% (true, the team is playing well), …” That is one thing entertainment does not have going for it – a winning streak!
“”There’s big money out there in lost revenue from mispricing,” Kahn says—more than $20 billion a year for live sports and entertainment, much of it cash that today goes to scalpers. Flexible pricing, he says, lets teams “hedge their bets in bad times and capture the benefits of the good times.“”
I am not so sure that scalping is purely due to ‘mis-pricing’. What do you reckon?
Morgan Stanley has made a variety of interesting predictions regarding Mobile Internet and its adoption and subsequent influence.
“…the impact of the mobile Internet will be bigger than the impact of desktop Internet…and personal computer…and minicomputer…and mainframe…“
A big call? The study details a fairly convincing argument.
“… more users will likely connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within 5 years.”
“The mobile Internet cycle, the 5th cycle in 50 years, is just starting. Winners in each cycle often create more market capitalization than in the last. New winners emerge, some incumbents survive – or thrive – while many past winners falter.“
They observe five trends converging to exhibit an exponential impact = 3G + Social Networking + Video + VoIP + Impressive Mobile Devices.
Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino in Is This Merger Just The Ticket? “In my business, the cheaper the ticket price the better. I’d love for more consumers to walk into an amphitheater, park, have a beer and eat a hot dog. There’s no advantage to me to have anything but sold-out shows.” – LA Times 12 Feb 2009
However, just over a year later Rapino’s tune has changed in the 1st 1/4 2010 Conference Call: “Our fundamental belief at Ticketmaster/Live Nation is the answer to grow our business is less about trying to make $5 or $6 million in service fees off secondaries and much more important to figure out how to capture that $1 billion in up-sell on the face value of tickets,“
The merged entity, Live Nation Entertainment, now seems less concerned with fees and wants control of the price of tickets.
I enjoyed the opening to this article bemoaning outside ticket charges in the Washington Post:
“For generations, pop fans have been confronted with vexing questions.
And why am I being charged $23.75 for a $15 concert ticket?“
The attached summary of ticket charges is interesting for its range and diversity.
The UK Competition Commission (CC) has again concluded that the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation in the UK “would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market for live music ticket retailing or in any other market in the UK, including live music promotion and live music venues“.
“The CC has also reiterated that, while the merged entity might have the ability to use its position as a ticket retailer, promoter and venue operator to harm its competitors in different parts of the supply chain, either by reducing the supply of its services or by supplying its services on worse terms, it would not have the financial incentive to do so. Specifically, the CC has found that, if the merged entity tried to harm its competitors in these ways, it would suffer significant short-term losses in pursuit of very uncertain long-term gains“.
We will wait to see those leaps of faith justified …