Archive for July, 2010
I am all for cutting out the middleman and producers or event owners dealing directly with their fans/patrons/supporters etc. It is encouraging to see Topspin assisting music artists to develop a relationship with fans by providing a variety of online marketing tools
However, here is a very questionable example of ‘journalism’ Matt Rosoff on CNET.com regarding Topspin. It looks like Matt bought the press release and blog entry hook line and sinker. No research, no clarification or verification and definitely no industry knowledge.
Here is part of Mark’e breathless enthusings:
“Here’s the brilliant thing: the show had no promoter and no ticket broker. No service fees, no big markups. Topspin explains the details in a blog entry and video posted Thursday morning.“
hmmm “no service fees“? See below. “No big markups“ maybe no outside charges, but there are inside charges. Read about the inside fees on the Topspin site.
“Direct-to-fan ticketing isn’t going to take over right away: artists planning massive stadium tours will probably still need to use a ticket broker like Ticketmaster to serve large numbers of customers quickly, and Live Nation does a lot of marketing to build demand. But in five years, I wouldn’t be surprised if most touring artists are using platforms like Topspin’s to sell their tickets directly to fans, no middlemen required.“
I guess he has not heard of venue exclusive ticketing contracts?
Some more background to the misunderstanding of “no fees” is provided by an interview on Hypebot with Topspin CEO Ian Rogers.
“We aren’t public about our pricing yet because to be honest we don’t know what our pricing will be long-term.“
“As far as our pricing right now, we’ve been taking a rev share of 20% of retail which decreases as volume increases.“
Ian Rogers is quite in frank in this more balanced journalism and an actual interview:
“I agree we’ve been a bit over-hyped, actually. … We’re just a young company, building software, working with artists, trying to figure out what marketing and distribution looks like in the future, just like y’all. But we’re also a good group of music-loving people who have been very approachable — if you have issues with how we’re pricing, let us know. There’s nothing secretive or shady going on here.“
Sounds like Topspin may be worth watching and we wish them luck.
I am always suspicious of yest another acronym, not CRM, now CMR.
I have ordered this book and I will let you know if it is ‘the answer’ or just more new clothers for that emperor.
“CRM was supposed to help businesses better understand their customers and increase efficiency. Yet most companies are not getting the return they expected. Is it possible to make customers happy and, at the same time, improve ROI? Is there a practical, affordable way to get customers to say what they really want?“
“In Why CRM Doesn’t Work, leading international marketing consultant Frederick Newell explains why it’s time to change the game to CMR (Customer Management of Relationships). CMR allows companies to empower customers so they’ll reveal what kind of information they want, what level of service they want to receive, and how to communicate with them–where, when, and how often. It is a bold solution for businesspeople at all levels in all industries who want to stay ahead of the curve in the development of customer loyalty.”
“Newell shows by lesson and example why the current CRM isn’t working, what needs to change, and how to put the CMR philosophy to work–without additional expense.“
“Advances in people, process, and technology over the past 15 years have helped make customer relationships deeper and more meaningful. But the next 15 years will deliver innovation at a much faster pace, and organizations will only survive by embracing meaningful two-way dialogue with increasingly mobile customers.“
Beyond commitment, expertise, and innovation‚ this requires mastery of three essential CRM developments:
- Engagement – a two-way dialogue (See a related video at http://sn.im/jul10-smvideo.) “Online communities increasingly allow people to get information, opinions, solutions, and ratings directly from each other rather than from organizations.“
- Mobilization – innovative software is the key to mobile and builds upon increasingly ubiquitous access.
- A New Paradigm – CRM success will still depend on the people/process/technology mix: 50% of success depends on people, 30% on process and 20% on technology. But new collaborative technologies will change how people interact, combining real-time information and analytics and two-way customer dialogues and integrating these communications into accessible customer history.
READ FULL ARTICLE ONLINE The Next 15 Years of CRM: Your customer-centric business strategy must become a two-way street.
“The elephant in the room is the service fee, … The data says you sell more tickets when you bundle it all in.” – Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard
I am sorry but I have to feel very cynical about Hubbard Suggesting or even blaming ”practices that insult buyers’ intelligence” for the softening of demand for live events.
He, as CEO of the largest ticketing company worldwide, is soley responsible for the practice of add-on fees for ‘convenience’ through to charges to print your own tickets.
Surely, even they get embarassed by the self-serving nature of such contradictory nonsense.
READ FULL ARTICLE Ticketmaster Chief Wants More Transparency>>
The State of New York has set an interesting precedent enacting a law that requires artists, promoters, sports teams and venues to purchase traditional paper tickets if the seller does “not allow consumers to transfer their tickets independent of the operator.”
Transferability is the issue here and the right of consumers to pass on the right to attend an event if they so choose and to whomever they choose.
It is interesting that the technological innovation of paperless ticketing has been hijacked by Live Nation Entertainment as a means to block the secondary market. I am not commenting on the validity of the secondary market and the potential downsides of scalping and touting. However, it is a good start that the rights of consumers are being protected here, the right of transferability.
In addition, strategic limitations upon the increasing market power of Live Nation Entertainment can not be a bad thing. Great concern has been expressed over the dominance of the vertical integration of the Ticketmaster ticket agency and the Live Nation venue and artist management business. While the merger has been approved, it makes no sense to also allow Ticketmaster monopolise the control, of inventory down to the individual consumer level.
Lets hope that the issue of the secondary market is not used by Ticketmaster and Live Nation to justify a reduction in the rights of consumers.
“Recent weeks have seen two of the UK’s five mobile operators make further inroads into the £800m ticketing market. Orange is trialling a discounted ticketing service called Last Second Tickets from Orange, while Vodafone has launched its Vodafone VIP service through a tie-up with Live Nation.“
“The trend is regarded as an attempt to emulate the success of Orange Wednesdays, which has won the approval of every UK cinema chain to allow the network’s subscribers two-for-one entry each Wednesday. Pizza Express jumped on the success of the scheme and joined the promotion in early 2009.“
“Although these schemes are unlikely to generate much in the way of new revenues, they are good at attracting new and keeping their existing subscribers” for the mobile operators. But there is no indication that it develops attracts new audiences to the events or assists in retaining existing.
“Such schemes also give (mobile) operators an alternative to competing in a price war to keep subscribers.“
“…it’s difficult to see how they’re making money for partner brands, particularly since the key proposition is discounts.“
So in summary, the mobile operators are attempting to add value to their brands to avoid purely competing on price as a commodity. The value they are adding is a discount on another product or service, in this case music events. The value the mobile operator gains is at the expense of the value of the partner product or service. Unless the discounting is attracting new audiences (that will return without a discount), then it is just discounting the value of existing customers and generating no new or additional revenue.
Crikey asks “is it really “a radical new business model that purports to slash technology costs by up to 80%”?
A good primer on cloud computing that answers questions such as:
- What is cloud computing and why is it called that?
- Can it really cut IT costs by 80%?
- Is there a downside and is it secure?
“It’s not water vapour. All it is is a computer attached to a network. What are you talking about? I mean, what do you think Google runs on? … Water vapour?” Larry Ellison, CEO and co-founder of Oracle Corporation at techpulse360
Google has bought ITA Software, a Cambridge, Massachusetts flight information software company.
“The deal will allow Google to pursue the creation of new flight search tools that will enable users to find better flight information more easily on the Internet.“
“… travel intermediaries should be very concerned as Google moves towards becoming central to consumers’ travel purchasing behaviour”.
There seems to be little to stop the march of Google and its far reaching effects on various industries: “It is only a little over seven months ago since Google made a similar move with property intermediaries,”
Ticket agents like Ticketmaster may not be in trouble with a new major competitor as rumoured this week with G-Ticket. ”Google might also want to avoid getting into the business of selling tickets given the company’s struggling track record as a merchant”.
However, such moves in other industries suggest that Google will continue to create new ways for people to more easily find better information online. That can’t be a bad thing for entertainment marketing and audience development in general?
“In a thread at website Reddit, people decided to voice their displeasure with Ticketmaster through a groundwell campaign. The plan was for people to repeatedly entered the search term “G-Ticket Google’s Alternative to Ticketmaster” in Google’s search engine. If enough searches were undertaken G-Ticket would rise in the search rankings and get Google’s – and Ticketmaster’s – attention.“
“And it worked. On Friday morning, G Ticket had made it to No. 11 on Google’s Hot Searches list.“