The Billboard Touring Conference celebrated its 10th anniversary in NYC, offering a wealth of information for bands and brands pushing the live music space forward.
No Bubble In Sight
High ticket and overhead/insurance costs, weather, and Molly aside, the EDMifiction era for music rages further to quench a rapidly growing electronic music culture. Big festivals and tours are growing, with more expected to enter the fray.
Organizers have been aptly pruning attendance to optimize the balance between experience and scale as their festivals grow. All proclaimed broad notions of responsibility, with safety being a top priority, from providing roving undercover medical teams, to free/fair-priced water, to rational decision-making of needed set cancellation.
The festival producers appeared intimately and emotionally invested in their work,. Despite increasing offers, many proclaimed that they have no thoughts of exits in mind.
Give The Fans What They Want
Within their respective carved niches, it was clear the mantra has been what’s it’s been for entertainment all along: give the fans what they want. From looking at charts, the clubs and airplay, ticket history, social page requests and to merch that appeals to the young crowd, each had a separate distinct formula for curating, building and evolving their respective brands. Knowing your specific audience and creating a unique experience were key to differentiation.
“Everyone can be an influencer,” said Facebook’s Ashley Bradbury, but as with many industries, the general consensus was that there are too many fans and not enough customers in music. New technology was deemed to be to a potential bridge from passion to purchase – as long as it remains easy, accessible, useful, and engaging.
Indeed, there was necessarily high expertise in SoLoMo search, discovery, notifications and e-mail marketing bouncing around. Big blast and (s)pray promotion has matured into conversation and sentiment listening, personalization and (re)targeting. Building superfans, empowering the loud influencer-evangelists, and phased behavioral loyalty is the mix of the today,
As social wanting and wishing comes of age, Eventful‘s ‘Demand It’ feature proves particularly interesting as evidenced by the 80% open rate of participating artists eager to see which demographics want performances in which towns and cities.
Ultimately, there is a finite group for ticket sales. LiveNation reported on the success of Facebook-tagged Ticketmaster seating, where concert-goers can go and sit near friends at concerts. Ticketing 2.0 appears imminent.
There was also praise for the reach and efficiency of Facebook’s Custom Audience, matching emails or phone/SMS currency in the graph with native feed promotion. Incidentally, Facebook plans to use re-targeted mobile search/use later to desktop use.
And if you can’t quickly utter what keynote speaker Roger Waters’ favorite color is, maybe you’re in the wrong place.