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The rise of influencer-based marketing strategies

Are you seeing email open rates decline? Possibly higher cost-per-clicks in social advertising? Are website visitors spending less and less time on your site? If so, you’re not alone.

Businesses are struggling to stay relevant and to get in front of the right customer, at the right time, with the right call to action. This decline in relevance could be contributed to the ever-growing world of influencer-based marketing.

Individuals who are experts within their respective fields – be it an Instagram swimsuit model or an incredible athlete – are able to engage with their followers in a more intimate and connected way than individual brands can achieve via direct marketing efforts such as email or SMS.

The reason? Those direct messaging and direct marketing outlets have become so frequently used that consumers are almost immune to their effect. As a result, the outlets no longer have the strong impact that they once had. The text messages come in and consumers immediately ignore them or request for them to stop, whereas the emails go straight to junk or promotions folders.

On the other hand, as consumers, we extend trust to influencers that we recognise and admire. We award them credibility. These internet stars now have more ability to influence than ever before, due to the increasing popularity and prevalence of social media.

Direct messaging and direct marketing outlets have become so frequently used that consumers are almost immune to their effect

In a recent study conducted by Vamp Brands, 61% of people reported that they have interacted with an influencer on social media in some capacity, at least once a day. It was also reported that 87% of shoppers were inspired by an influencer to make a purchase.

However, in many cases, the best “influencer” is a customer, regardless of what their Instagram following may be. Why? Because a customer isn’t doing a mass promotion, they are selecting those of their friends who would be most likely buy. It’s a much more personal approach.

Right now, most e-commerce sites are not taking advantage of the most opportune time to convert existing customers into promoters. The best moment to ask a customer to share a promotion or product with friends is immediately post-checkout – no sooner – in order to avoid any disruption of the checkout conversion flow.

Furthermore, the customer is most excited and engaged just after buying, presenting the ideal opportunity to ask them to share the purchase with friends, or to encourage them to share coupon codes, offering rewards for the recruitment of any new customers.

In many cases, the best “influencer” is a customer, regardless of what their Instagram following may be

Therefore, when brands market to that customer – or to the people they recommended – they are going to convert a lot higher percentage than standard, direct marketing efforts, that go out to an audience of people without any basis of trust.

This is the foundation of influencer marketing and the reason why it works so much more effectively. Referral marketing tools are getting more advanced as machine learning algorithms become more refined, meaning that overall effectiveness and conversions will only continue to improve.

Essentially, influencer marketing is word-of-mouth marketing and, in the future, influencer and peer-to-peer marketing efforts are going to merge even more closely. As direct marketing becomes less and less effective, these modern kinds of marketing are only going to have more room to grow.

It’s time to make sure that, as a brand, you are properly enabled with the right tools and campaigns to support this shift.

 


Mark Miller is the co-founder and chief executive of TicketSocket, a white label ticketing and registration service for venues and events.

Tame Impala agent Kevin French joins CAA

Kevin French, North American booking agent for Tame Impala, the National and the Decemberists, has reportedly joined Creative Artists Agency (CAA) after a decade at Paradigm.

French, the founder of Portland, Oregon’s, Bigshot Touring Artists, joined Paradigm Talent Agency in 2009, bringing acts including Sebadoh, the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Walkman.

French will be based in the New York office, bringing Tame Impala along with the National, the Decemberists, Hamilton Leithauser, Tame Impala, Sharon Van Etten and Julien Baker, among others.

“I have always had tremendous respect for CAA’s music department, so I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining the team,” comments French. “I’m confident that the company’s collaborative culture, diverse clients and colleagues and entrepreneurial spirit will be a great fit for the next step in my career.”

“I have always had tremendous respect for CAA’s music department, so I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining the team”

Adds CAA’s co-head of contemporary music in North America, Darryl Eaton: “We could not be more excited to have Kevin join us.

“His impeccable taste, as reflected by his amazing client roster, coupled with his renowned character and leadership abilities, make him a huge asset for our colleagues and clients.”

Australian psych-rock act Tame Impala headlined Saturday at Coachella this year. The band, led by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker, are booked by French in North and South America, Alistair Green’s Maker Agency in Australasia and Charlie Myatt at 13 Artists in Europe and RoW.

 


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Report: UK festivals use 380m litres of diesel a year

A recent report has revealed the public health impact of the UK festival and events industry, detailing the level of diesel emissions and carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) produced by events each year.

Environmental sustainability management company Hope Solutions and power management specialists ZAP Concepts worked together with event industry professionals to produce the report in the run up to this year’s air pollution-focused World Environment Day on 5 June.

“Our findings show event sites in green spaces have worse air quality than inner-city areas, indicating a huge hidden contributor to the growing public health epidemic from air pollution,” says Hope Solutions director Luke Howell.

“We are releasing this report to open up the conversation with the industry to effect positive and practical change without diminishing customer experience. For the organisers, every litre of diesel not used is saving money and contributing to the fight against climate change.”

The emissions from the 380m litres of diesels used to power events release 1.2m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, the unit used to express the impact of each greenhouse gas in relation to CO2. This is approximately the same level of emissions as the European island country of Malta releases per year.

The environmental impact of the diesel emissions is equivalent to adding 220,000 additional cars to the roads every day.

“The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet”

The report suggests that diesel consumption could be reduced by up to 40% on average at each event, with some being able to avoid diesel use altogether through renewables and hybrid battery technologies.

Using mains or grid power can also negate the need for generators but, states the report, is often overlooked and under utilised, especially in urban areas.

The use of more efficient generators would also help to reduce emissions. Monitoring shows that diesel generators are often running well under full capacity, with efficiency ratings of between 10 and 20%.

ZAP Concepts UK head of operations, Rob Scully, says that events could reduce consumption “without risking any loss of power, any blackouts or any detrimental effect on the quality of the events.”

Scully states that “Venue managers and event managers should take professional advice in order to properly direct their power contractor and ensure that available power is matched to actual demand and where possible introduce renewables and other alternatives.

“The show must go on but it could go on in a far more sustainable manner, without risking people’s health and without risking the planet.”

The report draws on data collected by A Greener Festival, Julie’s Bicycle and Powerful Thinking, as well as 20 million data points of electronic monitoring, analysed by ZAP. The full report is available to read online here.

 


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Ex-Ticketscript chief to lead SeatGeek’s primary biz

SeatGeek has hired Charlie Sefi as managing director, EMEA entertainment, for its SeatGeek Enterprise primary ticketing platform.

Working out of US-based SeatGeek’s London office, Sefi will oversee the sales, implementation and support teams for SeatGeek Enterprises’s UK and European entertainment clients.

Sefi joins SeatGeek from online restaurant reservation start-up Resy, which was recently acquired by American Express. Prior to joining Resy, he was Ticketscript’s managing director in the UK and Ireland, leaving shortly after the company’s 2017 acquisition by Eventbrite, and was also a founding director of last-minute event discovery service YPlan, which was bought by Time Out in late 2016.

“We’re thrilled to have Charlie join us in London to continue the momentum the team has worked so hard to build,” comments James McClure, SeatGeek’s GM, international, who joined the company from Airbnb last summer. “Our team is investing into UK entertainment as there is a lot of room for us to thrive. Charlie’s experience across high-growth SaaS [software-as-a-service], ticketing and consumer start-ups makes him uniquely qualified to take on this position.”

“Our team is investing into UK entertainment as there is a lot of room for us to thrive”

SeatGeek, formerly a secondary ticketing platform, entered the primary market in summer 2016 via a strategic partnership with software company TopTix. Its first primary client was Major League Soccer (MLS), the highest-level football league in the US.

The company later acquired TopTix and its SRO⁴ box-office solution outright, and now counts venues including the Concertgebouw (1,974-cap.) in Amsterdam, the Theatre Royal (847-cap.) in York and several West End theatres, including the English National Opera at London Coliseum (2,359-cap.) – and sporting organisations such as the Dallas Cowboys, Royal Dutch Football Association, Sporting Kansas City, Leicester City FC, Los Angeles FC and Premier League champions Manchester City FC – among its SeatGeek Enterprise clients.

It opened an Italian office just before Christmas 2018.

“This is an exciting time for SeatGeek and the industry and I’m happy to be part of this team,” says Charlie Sefi, commenting on his appointment. “We see an opportunity to improve the ticketing experience in the entertainment space for both consumers and clients. The SeatGeek Enterprise team has grown successfully so quickly with clients that love the product and team.

“I’m happy to be part of the next chapter as we continue to expand the business globally.”

 


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‘The potential is immense’: DEAG buys into esports firm

Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) has become the latest major live music player to invest in the fast-growing esports sector, acquiring a minority stake in Ally4ever Entertainment, a specialist gaming events agency.

The investment, through DEAG subsidiaries Wizard Promotions and Handwerker Promotion, sees Deutsche Entertainment and Ally4ever partner to create a new esports stadium event in Germany. DEAG has the option to increase its minority stake in Verl-based Allyever by 2022.

The format of DEAG’s new event is “unique due to its concept”, says the company, combining a three-day event programme – viewable on television or online, as well as at the venue – with “extensive side attractions” for attendees and appearances by international music, film and sports stars, celebrities and influencers.

Players, meanwhile, will compete for a total prize pool of €3.5 million.

“The potential of the esports segment is immense,” says DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow. “For our company, this offers the opportunity of sustainable expansion into a new, fast-growing live entertainment segment with a young target audience.

“Our esports events are intended to represent the next generation of live entertainment in Europe”

“The objective for DEAG is to gain a knowledge and experience advantage with experienced partners for further growth opportunities in this rapidly growing entertainment format.

Other concert businesses which have an interest in the esports, or competitive videogaming, sports include AEG, Madison Square Garden Company, TEG and Vivendi.

Fred Handwerker, managing director of Handwerker Promotion, comments: “This new partnership sets standards in a still very young and rapidly developing live event sector. We are all the more pleased to be part of this trend-setting event.”

“Our esports events are intended to represent the next generation of live entertainment in Europe,” adds Oliver Hoppe, MD of Wizard Promotions, “and we are delighted to be part of this visionary project.”

DEAG promotes around 4,000 concerts and events, selling more than five million tickets, annually. The Berlin-based company reported 25% organic growth in the first quarter of 2019, with revenue climbing to €25.5m.

 


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SMG’s UK venues go digital with Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster is introducing digital ticketing technology across all SMG Europe-operated venues in the UK, beginning with the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena.

Fans attending events at SMG Europe venues will be able to receive tickets directly to their phones, send tickets securely to friends and use Ticketmaster’s fan-to-fan marketplace to re-sell tickets to fellow concertgoers.

Ticketmaster has also introduced tickets with moving barcodes to prevent to use of screenshots for counterfeiting tickets.

SMG Europe, the European subsidiary of leading venue operator SMG, runs 11 venues across the UK, including the First Direct Arena in Leeds (13,500-cap.), the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre in Scotland (8,500-cap.) and Newcastle’s Utilita Arena (11,00-cap.)

Digital tickets will be immediately available for all upcoming events at the Manchester Arena, including shows from Westlife, Carrie Underwood, Kiss, Boyzone, Cher and Christina Aguilera.

The digital ticketing technology will roll out across the remaining venues in due course.

“We are committed to bringing the benefits of digital tickets to fans across the country”

“We know fans want the buying and using of tickets to be as simple, straightforward and safe as possible, which is why we are excited to begin rolling out digital tickets at our flagship venue, the Manchester Arena,” says John Sharkey, executive vice president of European operations at SMG.

“Being able to partner with Ticketmaster to do this also helps to give fans the peace of mind that while they can now receive their tickets straight to their mobile, it is being powered by a ticket agent they know and trust,” adds Sharkey.

Ticketmaster UK’s managing director Andrew Parsons comments: “We are committed to bringing the benefits of digital tickets to fans across the country. Partnering with SMG Europe to introduce this technology across their entire UK estate is a major step in that journey.”

Ticketmaster is expanding its digital ticketing offering worldwide, recently introducing the technology to Marriner Group-operated Forum Melbourne, making it the first fully digital venue in Australia.

SMG Europe has used Ticketmaster as its official ticketing partner since 2016.

 


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Go local to achieve global: Asia’s growing live industry

There’s an old joke amongst local music fans that Asia must be an “extra-terrestrial.” Because until very recently, every time a band announced a “world tour,” they’d orbit around the Asian continent like it was an alien moon.

Thankfully, the 2010s have seen the business of live music expand to all corners of the globe. Where once, festivals and touring were limited to the core markets of North America, Europe and Australia (with a little Japan and South America thrown in the mix), the last decade has seen dramatic growth in the newly developing markets of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was estimated that there were nearly 300 music festivals in China alone in 2018, up from a mere three in 2007.

An ever-growing number of Western artists come through the region with increasing regularity at all levels of the live spectrum. New venues and festivals have sprung up from Jaipur to Hanoi, Chongqing to Ulaanbaatar, and ticket prices have increased many-fold as disposable income and willingness to spend goes up in all markets. Asian talent is now heading west, with Korean, Chinese and Japanese music touring the US, appearing in showcase festivals in the UK, testing radio waves on and offline, and fans buying billboards for their idols in Times Square. It’s an exciting time to be Asian (or an Asian economic migrant).

This region seems like a no-brainer. A huge population with the classic bulge around the younger end of the age range, young people that have both time and money and an awareness of global and local trends, and media and social media that is increasingly receptive to high-quality content from wherever.

But like any good opportunity, developing markets require investment, time and patience. The globalisation trend of the last two decades is in reverse as countries become increasingly protectionist, and we are seeing signs that the uplift of the last decade is slowing. The greed and short- sightedness of the global EDM industry has contributed to a four-year Asian boom-and-bust, as overly high talent and licensing fees have all but killed a platinum goose.

“Asia demands local know-how and grounded expertise. Diversity is its feature, not a ‘potential roadblock’ to skirt”

Internationally, the pressure on individuals in the newly consolidated agency giants have led to increased demands for worldwide rights from their artists and less urgency on territories that are not immediately profitable. Asia demands local know-how and grounded expertise. Diversity is its feature, not a “potential roadblock” to skirt. But the continuing consolidation of the world’s promoters under the dual aegis of Live Nation and AEG, and the aforementioned roll up of the world’s biggest agencies to create a “big four” have created an increased focus on profits and bottom line, and as such, less focus on building these locally grounded competencies. The focus on global markets and lack of focus on local expertise is creating a contradiction. With consolidation, we’re seeing a race to sign-up “buzzy” artists for “global” rights, for “worldwide” distribution. But many of these words carry the baggage of the past, when much of Asia was indeed extra-terrestrial territory.

It seems to us that there are two options – invest real time and resource in the region, or cede worldwide rights to regional specialists.

Perhaps it’s time to truly go global by ditching the word “global.” Let local differences shine, and recognise local and regional players for what they are: tireless champions of what makes their part of the world special.

If our industry’s superstructure is going to be giant monoliths, we can deflect some of the fragility that comes with it by diffusing responsibilities and opportunities down the line. Regional and local specialisation grows the pie for everyone and shows that we’ve learnt our lesson from the Napster days.

The best music in the world has always come out of hyper-local specificity. We can make sure that the best shows, the best tours, and the greatest experiences in the world do, too.

Of course, we write from from a position of self-interest. We are proud of an artist roster we have built over the last decade for our Asian booking agency. Forward-thinking artists, managers and indeed agents have enabled us to grow some of the world’s most exciting artists in one of the world’s most exciting regions.

You can see more at www.scorched.asia.

 


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Kelly Clarkson, Jamiroquai added to virtual reality platform

MelodyVR, the only licensed music virtual reality (VR) company, has partnered with four new artists, bringing shows from Kelly Clarkson, Jamiroquai, Bullet For My Valentine and Plan B to its platform.

MelodyVR captured Clarkson’s recent hometown show in Dallas, allowing viewers to watch the show from nine different perspectives, including from on stage, through the MelodyVR app on participating VR headsets.

Clarkson, who describes the the experience of watching the VR shows as “weird, but awesome”, says the VR platform is a good way for fans who are unable to attend her concerts to see the show.

“I’m pleased to be able to share this show in an exciting and immersive way, thanks to the team at MelodyVR”

The music VR company teamed up with Jamiroquai at London’s O2 Arena (20,000-cap.). Lead singer Jay Kay comments: “The O2 has always been a special gig for me, and the last two were no exception. I’m pleased to be able to share this show with you in an exciting and immersive way, thanks to the team at MelodyVR.”

Bullet For My Valentine’s Alexandra Palace (10,400-cap.) concert and Plan B’s O2 Brixton Academy (4,920-cap.) show also appear on the VR platform.

MelodyVR has broadcast multiple performances since its first ‘Live in VR’ event in December 2018. The company has partnered with a range of international artists to build a library of virtual reality music experiences. Shows by the Streets, Thomas Rhett, Rudimental, Calum Scott and the Horrors appeared on the platform earlier this year.

The MelodyVR app is available on Oculus Go and GearVR devices.

 


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Tinder for festivals goes down under

Location-based mobile Tinder is bringing its “Festival Mode” feature to Australia, announcing a partnership with Live Nation-promoted Splendour in the Grass festival

Festival Mode, a collaboration between Tinder and live music giants Live Nation and AEG, allows users to match with fellow festivalgoers before setting foot on the festival site.

Festival Mode debuted at UK festival All Points East and Hangout in the United States earlier this month.

“Splendour is a rite of passage for young Australians, making it the perfect playground to launch Festival Mode,” says Tinder Australia country manager Kristen Hardeman.

“With this feature, we are redefining the festival experience by enabling our users to make new connections before even stepping through the turnstiles and pitching their tents.

“Splendour is a rite of passage for young Australians, making it the perfect playground to launch Festival Mode

“We’re pumped to be partnering with Splendour in the Grass and are excited to see how Tinder’s new feature helps people find their crowd this winter,” adds Hardeman.

Attendees of Splendour in the Grass, which this year sold out a record 42,500 tickets, will be able to add the official festival badge to their profile, allowing them to view and match with other Tinder users who are attending. The function can be switched on and off as the user pleases.

The feature will begin rolling out in Australia on 21 June.

Other participating festivals include British Summer Time Hyde Park, Love Box and Parklife in the UK, and Bonnaroo, Governors’ Ball and Electric Daisy Carnival in the United States.

 


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Cisac expels controversial Spanish member

The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (Cisac) has voted to expel Spanish society SGAE for a one-year period, following the society’s failure to convince the body of its “commitment to reform”.

The decision to expel SGAE, known as the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, was made at Cisac’s annual assembly in Tokyo. The expulsion follows Cisac’s resolution to undertake a sanctions process against SGAE in December, “in view of the society’s breaches of Cisac rules”.

The expulsion is set to last for one year but “can be adjusted or lifted at any time”, provided that the Cisac board of directors concludes that SGAE has made sufficient progress towards implementing its requirements. Cisac recommended a series of changes to its rogue Spanish member following an in-depth investigation which concluded in May last year.

“Today’s vote to proceed with the sanction of a one-year expulsion follows an in-depth analysis of recent reforms set in motion by SGAE’s new President, Ms Pilar Jurado,” reads a Cisac statement.

“Further important technical work and changes are needed and expected by CISAC to ensure SGAE’s compliance with the Confederation’s professional rules”

“While a number of welcome changes have been proposed, they have not yet been approved by the SGAE General Assembly. Further important technical work and changes are needed and expected by CISAC to ensure SGAE’s compliance with the Confederation’s professional rules for member societies.”

SGAE appointed Spanish soprano singer Pilar Jurado as president in February following a vote of no confidence against former chief José Ángel Hevia, who held the position for just three months.

Jurado states that “Cisac is giving SGAE the opportunity to decide its own future”, and called on members to support her proposed reforms in the General Assembly in order for the society “to leave this situation behind us”.

Earlier this week, minister of culture José Guirao demanded SGAE produce a detailed outline of the steps it would take to comply with regulations. Failure to do so would result in intervention from the court.

SGAE has been at the centre of a scandal known as the wheel, or ‘la rueda’, for a number of years. The scam, which saw SGAE members and TV execs create “low-quality music” to broadcast on late-night TV, allegedly brought in several millions in performance royalties over the years.

 


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