fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Amazon takes palm-recognition tech to venues

Amazon is bringing its palm-recognition technology to music venues, starting with the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the US.

According to AP, the e-commerce giant has inked a deal with AEG to bring Amazon One to the Denver venue, which sells tickets on AEG’s ticketing site, AXS.

Starting from today (14 September), concertgoers at the 9,525-capacity venue can sign up to connect their palm to a ticketing account by hovering their hand over a device.

Concertgoers only need to sign up once and then can use their palm to get into other shows and events at the venue. An Amazon account is not needed to use it.

It’s the first time the Amazon One technology will be used outside some of Amazon’s stores, where shoppers can pay for groceries by swiping their palms.

Concertgoers only need to sign up once and then can use their palm to get into other shows and events at the venue

Bryan Perez, CEO of AXS, says other venues plan to add the technology in the coming months but he declined to say where or how many. AEG partners with more than 350 stadiums and theatres around the world.

“Concertgoers can get to their seats faster with their palm than holding up their phone to an attendant to scan a bar code. Those who want to scan their palms will have a separate lane to enter,” says Perez.

“You don’t have to fumble around with your phone. Your hand is always attached to your body.”

Addressing privacy concerns, Amazon said it keeps the palm images in a secure part of its cloud and doesn’t store the information on the Amazon One device.

Users can also ask for their information to be deleted at any time, the company added.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Tim Leiweke: “Climate change is the fight of our lives”

Oak View Group (OVG) co-founder and chief executive Tim Leiweke has issued a call to arms for the live entertainment industry to take action on climate change.

“Climate change is without a doubt the fight of this generation’s lives,” he tells IQ. “At OVG, we believe that we, along with the whole live entertainment industry, have a unique opportunity to inspire others to take action on this era-defining issue,” adding that sustainability is one of OVG’s core values.

The global sports and entertainment company, along with ecommerce giant Amazon, is a few months out from opening the world’s first carbon neutral venue, Climate Pledge Arena (CPA) in Seattle.

“It hasn’t been easy, but I’m proud and excited that CPA will become the world’s first certified carbon neutral arena when it opens later this year. It’s also going to lead the way with commitments to zero waste from events and using recycled rainwater to service the NHL ice-rink,” explains Leiweke.

OVG and Amazon have set their sights on the 18,100-seat arena becoming ‘the most progressive, responsible, and sustainable arena in the world’ – a commitment underpinned by four goals.

The first goal is to maintain CPA’s carbon elimination by eschewing fossil fuel consumption for daily use; generating renewable energy from onsite solar panels; reducing all carbon emission activities and offsetting those not possible – like transportation – by purchasing credible carbon offsets.

“We have a unique opportunity to inspire others to take action on this era-defining issue”

CPA will also aim to eliminate single use plastics and achieve zero waste by ‘greatly simplifying the supply chain’.

Finally, the arena, home to ice hockey team NHL Seattle, will conserve water via its ‘rain to rink’ system which will harvest water off the roof and collect into a 15,000-gallon cistern. According to OVG, the system will save 50,000 gallons annually.

Other ways the CPA will conserve water include waterless urinals and ‘ultra-efficient’ showers, significant on-site retention tanks reducing stormwater runoff and water bottle filling stations throughout the arena.

Beyond this the CPA will have an advisory committee with partners at Amazon; create transparency and public reporting on initiatives progress; host arena events that celebrate the environment and its commitment to green operations; partner with educational institutions to utilise the arena as a classroom for environmental education.

Leiweke says that OVG is taking the learnings from CPA to guide future projects: “All of our arenas in both the US and around the world, from the UBS Arena in New York to Co-op Live in Manchester, are putting sustainability at the heart of both design and operations”.

If all goes according to plan, the UBS Arena (cap. 19,000) in Belmont Park, New York, won’t be far behind CPA in achieving a carbon-neutral status.

The arena, scheduled to open in time for the 2021-2022 National Hockey League season, is projected to be 100% carbon neutral by 2024 – which will make it the first to do so on the East Coast of the US.

“Climate Pledge Arena is going to lead the way with commitments to zero waste from events”

The UBS Arena is currently being built to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction (Leed) standards.

Elsewhere, Manchester’s Co-op Live (cap. 23,500) is leading the way for environmentally sustainable arenas in the UK, both in terms of design and future commitments.

The roof alone boasts 10,500 square-metres (1.5x a football pitch) of rooftop solar panels, air source heat pumps, high spec insulation and façade designed to reduce cooling and heating requirements.

The venue’s architecture is paired with renewable energy, low carbon technologies and intelligent building controls such as LED lighting design and smart building systems to minimise energy use).

Plus, in a bid to meet Manchester City Council’s 2038 net zero carbon goal, the venue is also using 100% electric fuel.

Taking note from CPA, Co-op Live will also use 100% rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing, bathroom use and water efficient catering, and will aim to be zero waste.

The Co-op Live development is targeting Breeam (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ‘excellent’ accreditation.

Other arenas OVG is currently developing include Moody Center, Austin; Coachella Valley Arena, Palm Springs; Savannah Arena; Cardiff Bay Arena; and Santa Guilia, Milan.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

OVG partners with UBS for $1.5bn New York arena

Venue development firm Oak View Group (OVG) has sealed a 20-year naming rights deal with Swiss bank UBS for a new US$1.5 billion arena in Belmont Park, New York.

The UBS Arena at Belmont Park is projected to open in time for the 2021-2022 National Hockey League season, and will be home to the New York Islanders.

The arena will host around 150 events a year, with a 19,000-seat capacity for concerts and 17,000 for sport. According to OVG co-founder Irving Azoff, the arena will be equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and some of the best high-end clubs and VIP spaces in live entertainment.

The redevelopment project, which OVG is working on in collaboration with the New York Islanders and Sterling Project Development, is expected to create 10,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs, generating approximately $25bn in economic activity over the term of the lease.

“UBS Arena is poised to become a global landmark entertainment and sports destination, leading us to partner with one of the world’s premier brands, UBS,” says Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group and leader of the arena project.

“UBS Arena is poised to become a global landmark entertainment and sports destination, leading us to partner with one of the world’s premier brands, UBS”

“Together we’re eager to deliver on our shared promise of helping reinvigorate the New York economy, creating jobs, supporting a sustainable future, and safely providing an unrivaled, distinctive premium experience for all.”

Ground was broken on the project on in September 2019 and halted in March 2020, as New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a suspension of all non-essential projects due to the coronavirus pandemic. Work started back up two months later on 27 May.

“We need good news and we’ve got to make people understand we’re going to get through this (pandemic), we’re going to get back on our feet, and the city’s going to get back on its feet,” says Leiweke. “I don’t care what anyone says, when it came time to invest $1.5 billion, there’s no place we said ‘yes’ quicker than New York because it’s the most important city in the world.

“We’re excited to bring our passion and unmatched guest service commitment to life, and we look forward to welcoming fans to what will surely become a popular global destination for world-class events for many years to come.”

In addition to committing to boosting economic activity and providing jobs in the local area, the UBS Arena team is working with sustainability experts to minimise the environmental impact of the venue and become a zero-waste facility.

OVG recently signed up to the Amazon climate pledge and is working with the ecommerce giant to build the world’s first carbon neutral arena in Seattle.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

OVG, Amazon team up for first carbon neutral arena

The former KeyArena in Seattle is to become the first carbon neutral venue in the world, powered exclusively by renewable energy sources.

Ecommerce giant Amazon announced it had secured the naming rights to the 18,100-seat arena yesterday (25 June). The venue, home to ice hockey team NHL Seattle, is to be known as the Climate Pledge Arena.

The online retailer has pledged to make the venue the first-ever net zero carbon certified arena when it opens in summer 2021, with zero waste production, ice made from reclaimed rain water, locally sourced food and an elimination of single use plastics by 2024.

The project, a joint collaboration between Amazon, NHL Seattle and venue operator Oak View Group (OVG) – which is funding the reconstruction of arena – has reportedly reached the $1 billion mark, partly due to the upgrades required to achieve carbon neutral status.

OVG has hired Seattle architect Jason McLennan, a specialist in sustainable design, as chief sustainability consultant for the arena.

“It’s not just about one arena. It’s the platform,” says OVG CEO Tim Leiweke, who is leading the arena development efforts.

“We must take steps to build arenas and stadiums that front-and-centre align with our zero-carbon mission statement”

“We challenge music, facilities, concert tours, and sports. It is our time to step up to face the challenge of our generation. We must take steps to build arenas and stadiums that front-and-centre align with our zero-carbon mission statement.”

“Instead of negotiating the assets, we’ve been brainstorming: What if we did this? What if we did that?” adds Tim’s brother, Tod Leiweke, president and CEO of NHL Seattle.

“Every day, we get to promote this idea of a sustainable world. It’s a beautiful vision, that we can change the course of what’s happened to our planet and dream of having a zero-carbon footprint. It’s going to require investment and policy, but it’s absolutely possible.”

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the arena’s name is to serve as “a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change”.

“We look forward to working together with Oak View Group, a new Climate Pledge signatory, and NHL Seattle to inspire global climate action,” says Bezos.

Amazon created its climate pledge last year with activist group Global Optimism, pushing for corporate America to achieve net zero carbon by 2040. Current signatories include Verizon, Infosys and consumer-goods giant Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB).

Earlier this week, Amazon announced the Climate Pledge Fund, a US$2 billion venture capital fund dedicated to investing in clean energy.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

700+ artists boycott Amazon over ICE ties

Just over a week after Amazon Web Services (AWS) revealed the full line-up for its Intersect music festival, over 700 musicians have pledged to boycott any Amazon-affiliated event or partnership due to the e-commerce giant’s links with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Artists including Deerhoof, Speedy Ortiz, Downtown Boys, Priests and Guy Picciotto have signed the ‘No Music for ICE’ open letter, published by digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future. The group is also behind a recent campaign urging festivals to ban facial recognition technology.

The letter states that the signatories are “outraged” that Amazon “continues to provide the technical backbone for ICE’s human rights abuses”.

The artists pledge to boycott “Amazon-sponsored events” and “exclusive partnerships” until the company terminates existing contracts with ICE, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR); stops supplying cloud services and tools to organisations that “power the US government’s deportation machine”; and ends facial recognition projects and any others that “encourage racial profiling”.

“We the undersigned artists are outraged that Amazon continues to provide the technical backbone for ICE’s human rights abuses”

The boycott comes after DJ the Black Madonna pulled out of her appearance at Intersect, claiming that Amazon Web Services’ affiliation with the event was not made apparent.

“If you were shocked I’d play for Amazon, well that makes two of us,” tweeted the DJ. “Please be patient while I burn some bridges.”

Artists still confirmed to play AWS’ Intersect festival, which is taking place from 6 to 7 December in Las Vegas, include Kacey Musgraves, Foo Fighters, Anderson.Paak, Beck, Brandi Carlile, Jamie XX and HER. Weekend passes are available for US$169.

Amazon has attempted to tap into the live scene in recent years, with its streaming arm, Amazon Music, hosting Taylor Swift-headlined Prime Day concert in July. Other, albeit short-lived, forays into the live industry by the web giant include event ticketing operation Amazon Tickets and concert series Prime Live Events.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Amazon announces full line-up for new Intersect festival

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has revealed the full artist line-up for Intersect, its music and technology festival debuting in Las Vegas next month.

Acts including Jpegmafia, Toro y Moi, the Black Madonna, Japanese Breakfast and Kelsey Lu join the likes of Foo Fighters, Kacey Musgraves, Anderson Paak and the Free Nationals, Beck, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, HER and Jamie XX at the event, which will take place on 6 and 7 November at the 85,000-capacity Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

The festival – which follows the Taylor Swift-headlined Prime Day concert as the web giant’s first new live entertainment project since the abrupt shutdown of Amazon Tickets and Prime Live Events early last year – also includes a reported million square feet (93,000m²) of games and activities, including a video arcade, a ‘post-apocalyptic’ dodgeball stadium and a huge ball pit with 200,000 balls, as well as installations and exhibitions by acclaimed visual artists and a drone light show celebrating women in tech.

“We’ve built a pretty amazing and unusual live music experience at our annual AWS conference that attendees have loved”

Ariel Kelman, vice-president of worldwide marketing for AWS, comments: “Music has been an uncanny unifier of people over the years. We’ve built a pretty amazing and unusual live music experience at our annual AWS conference that attendees have loved, and with Intersect, we’re excited to extend this unique event into a two-day, public music festival.

“Festivalgoers can look forward to a mix of musical performances from legendary acts like the Foo Fighters and Kacey Musgraves, and unique musical talents from the likes of Brandi Carlile, Kelsey Lu, and Jpegmafia, coupled with immersive digital installations and some of the interactive games and technology elements our AWS re:Invent and re:Play attendees know and love.”

Two-day tickets are priced from US$169 and available from intersectfest.com.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Streaming companies up live presence with new concerts

Apple and Amazon, whose Apple Music and Amazon Music platforms are respectively the second and third most popular music streaming services worldwide, have announced plans for new live events this summer.

Ecommerce giant Amazon will expand this year’s Prime Day – a Black Friday-like discount day for members of its Prime loyalty programme – with a new entertainment component: a Prime Day concert headlined by Taylor Swift.

Available to view from 9pm EST (1am GMT) next Wednesday (11 July) on Amazon’s Prime Video service, the concert’s all-female line-up also includes Dua Lipa, SZA and Becky, as well as actor Jane Lynch, who will host the event.

“We can’t wait to celebrate Prime Day with an extraordinary night of unforgettable performances, for members around the globe,” says Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music. “Prime Day brings members the best of both entertainment and shopping. To celebrate, we’ve curated a line-up across multiple genres with performances from artists our customers love.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating Prime Day with this can’t-miss, one-of-a-kind event.”

Amazon previous organised a series of shows in the UK, dubbed Prime Live Events, though these were wound up in early 2018 following the shutdown of its Amazon Tickets business.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating Prime Day with this can’t-miss, one-of-a-kind event”

Apple, meanwhile, is taking Apple Music’s Up Next programme and playlist, which focuses on emerging artists, to retail stores across Europe and the US under the banner Up Next Live.

Up Next artists, including Bad Bunny, Daniel Caesar, Khalid, Ashley McBryde, King Princess, Lewis Capaldi and Jessie Reyez, will each play an intimate show in Apple shops in Italy, France, London and the US, starting with Latin star Bad Bunny at Apple Piazza Liberty in Milan on 9 July.

Apple operated its own music festival, Apple Music Festival (formerly the iTunes Festival), in London from 2007 until its cancellation in 2017, and has also sponsored select tours.

Commenting on his involvement with the Up Next initiative, Puerto Rican-born Bad Bunny says: “The impact [of being part of Up Next] can be seen in everything, in numbers, in plays, in shows. There are a lot of fans that, when I go out in the street in the US, people who do not speak Spanish, I think they will not know me and they stop me, they ask me for pictures and they sing my songs…

“It helped me very much to make myself known in a market different from mine, not only the US, but in places where Spanish is not spoken or where perhaps Latin music does not dominate, exposing my music and giving people the opportunity to get to know what I do.”

Streaming market leader Spotify has also taken its playlists on the road, including the Latin-led ¡Viva Latino! Live, grime-focused Who We Be Live and US hip hop-orientated RapCaviar Live.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

DotMusic beats Google, Amazon to win .music domain

DotMusic Limited has won an eleven-year legal battle to gain rights to the .music top-level domain (TLD), beating the likes of Google and Amazon, as well as leading domain registries.

DotMusic founder and chief executive Constantine Roussos announced on Friday that his company had won the rights to the TLD, having first submitted an application to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in 2012.

“Excited to announce that after more than a decade, DotMusic has prevailed and will be the .music registry,” says Roussos in a Twitter post.

Roussos plans to launch the .music domain as a protected, exclusive  online space for the global music community and industry. He aims to  combat piracy and domain squatters who register trademarked domain names to profit from the traffic it receives or plan to sell the domain to the trademark owner at inflated prices.

“[I am] excited to announce that after more than a decade, DotMusic has prevailed and will be the .music registry”

“The .music registry will work closely with the global music community and the .music governance board to prepare for the safe, responsible and prudent launch of .music,” says DotMusic.

The company states that it will use “music-tailored policies to ensure that music artists, bands, industry professionals and organisations register a trusted, secure and verified .music domain,” creating domain identities similar to those ending in .edu or .gov.

Domains will become available in three phases. The first phase will make the .music TLD available only to verified trademark holders within the music industry, with a second phase accepting registrations from members of the Music Community Members Organisation (MCMO).

The final phase will open up applications to everyone on a first-come, first-served basis. A strict verification process will be enforced to ensure the security and integrity of the domain.

.music will launch in 2020.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free digest of essential live music industry news, via email or Messenger.

Ticketmaster teams up with Amazon Alexa

Ticketmaster has announced that it has teamed up with Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, enabling fans to discover events and buy tickets to live events using their voice.

The integration allows fans to ask Alexa-enabled devices to open Ticketmaster, voicing an artist or band name, city or date range to search available tickets. From there, buyers can finalise order details and purchase tickets by linking their Ticketmaster account to Alexa.

In recent years, Ticketmaster has integrated with marquee streaming services, e-commerce sites and social media platforms, including Facebook, Spotify, Groupon, BandsinTown, Samsung and YouTube.

“This new integration with Alexa will offer another avenue for fans to access live events, allowing them to discover and buy tickets using only their voice”

“Ticketmaster has the largest ticket inventory in the world, and our team is always looking to leverage it along with our open platform to reach new fans,” says Dan Armstrong, senior vice president and general manager of distributed commerce at Ticketmaster.

“This new integration with Alexa will offer yet another avenue for fans to access the best live events, allowing them to discover and buy tickets using only their voice. We’re excited to be working with Amazon Alexa and look forward to seeing fans utilising it to see the artists, teams and events they love the most,” added Armstrong.

Discovering and buying tickets with Ticketmaster on Alexa-enabled devices is currently only available in the United States and will expand to more countries in the near future.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free digest of essential live music industry news, via email or Messenger.

See Tickets offering three-month Amazon Music sub

See Tickets has partnered with Amazon to offer See customers a free subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited.

Until 2 November, purchasing a ticket using Amazon Pay will entitle the buyer to a three-month subscription to Amazon’s music streaming service, which the company says has a library of 50m songs.

After completing payment with Amazon Pay – a digital payments platform competing with the likes of Apple Pay and Google Play – a code for Amazon Music Unlimited will appear on the bottom of the ticket confirmation email.

According to MIDiA Research, Amazon Music Unlimited – usually £9.99/$9.99 a month – has a global streaming marketshare of 12%, behind Spotify (36%) and Apple Music (19%) but ahead of China’s Tencent Music (8%), Deezer (3%) and Google Play Music (3%).

Amazon was briefly a competitor to See Tickets in the UK market, before its fledgling Amazon Tickets business was wound up in February.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.