Too Many Fans, Not Enough Customers
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Billboard (11/15/13) Williams, Nick
Executives from Facebook, Eventful, Gupta Media, AEG Live, Live Nation, Eventbright, and Ticketfly agreed at the Billboard Touring Conference that converting massive numbers of music fans into paying customers is the biggest challenge they face. When queried about how fan data can maximize profitability, AEG Live's Ashley Bradbury says activity done through Facebook, the Web, and mobile is fed into the user profile, "which makes targeting that much more exact." Meanwhile, Live Nation's Ryan Okum contends that content remains the central marketing tool for artists. "Fans will do a lot of the marketing for us," he notes, pointing out that the average concertgoer has about 300 Facebook friends. "Just that hand raising of 'yes I am attending this event'—it does wonders for us," Okum says. Personalization is unanimously acknowledged as critical, with Ticketfly's Kristina Wallender citing her company's Fanbase product as a tool designed to serve fans' need to feel special. Fanbase enables Ticketfly's clients to identify and engage directly with top fans. "For most clients, the top 5 percent of their fans generate up to 20 percent of their total sales," Wallender observes. With Eventful's DemandIt platform, the artist surveys fans via social media to see where demand is highest. "Performers can also now see the demographics—the age and gender—but most importantly, there's a highly effective contact tool, and the open rates on the emails sent out are usually around 80 percent, which are sizable audiences," notes Eventful CEO Jordan Glazier.
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