1/3 of Italians book tickets for post-corona shows
In news that bodes well for the immediate future of the Italian live industry, nearly a third of live music fans have already bought, or are planning to buy, tickets for their first post-lockdown concerts, new research suggests.
Dopo l’Intervallo (After the Interval), based on the results of a survey of over 32,000 Italian eventgoers between 27 May and 19 June, reveals that 30.5% of respondents are actively seeking to buy tickets for shows – nearly double the number in the UK (17%), where the first After the Interval survey was conducted on 16 April–6 May.
“Italy is considered to be 2–4 weeks ahead of the UK in their experience of Covid-19. Could these results give us an idea of how our cultural audiences might be feeling in 6–8 weeks?” asks Indigo, the consultancy behind both surveys.
Italy’s concert scene reopened for business earlier this month, with phase three of the easing of lockdown seeing indoor shows of up to 200 people and outdoor events of up to 1,000 people allowed from 15 June. Some 90% of bars and restaurants are now open, though the live industry continues to wait for news on major gatherings such as large concerts and festivals.
“[Italians] consider it an integral part of their culture … to participate in music events and live shows”
The Italian version of After the Interval – produced by Indigo for Teatro Stabile del FVG, with input from live music associations such as Assomusica and KeepOn Live – additionally reveals a huge 96% of Italian respondents said they have missed live events during the Covid-19 pandemic (73% of them “a lot”), and that nearly a quarter (23%) would return to an event “as soon as venues reopen”.
However, of the 30.5% of those who are actively booking tickets, around half of them are booking for events after November 2020, indicating there will likely not be a full-scale recovery until 2021.
Vincenzo Spera, president of promoters’ association Assomusica, says the survey results are testament to the importance the Italian public places on live events. “We can take comfort and confidence”, he explains, in the fact Italian audiences consider it an “integral part of their culture […] to participate in music events and live shows.”
Italy is the world’s sixth-largest music market, with US$635m in ticket sales in 2019, according to PwC.
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Why live music can’t ignore data in a digital world
With over 25 years’ experience behind him, Crowd Connected’s founder and CEO, James Cobb, is well placed to assess how live music is reacting to the challenges of a digital-first world.
The driving force behind Crowd Connected’s multi-award winning software – described more than once as “Google analytics for live events” – Cobb talks to IQ about the seismic changes he’s seen in the attitude of festivals and venues towards new technology over the past five years, and how the pacesetters in the live music industry are increasingly embracing data to compete with digital.
IQ: Crowd Connected is now well established when it comes to enabling live events to benefit from data. But how did Crowd Connected come into existence?
JC: I started in live music in 1994 , working for Paul Walden and Derek Nicol at the Flying Music company. Ten years later, I found myself working with Hugh Phillimore on the very first Cornbury Music Festival.
As a self-confessed data “geek” it frustrated me how little insight we had once the gates had opened. Pre-event I could analyse the post codes of previous ticket-buyers, and use that to predict ticket sales and target marketing spend. But once fans were on site the approach seemed to be cross your fingers… and fire-fight.
That frustration stayed with me and became even stronger as I started designing festival sites and stadium configurations. Where was the data on how people moved around?
So I set up Crowd Connected. Live Nation had teamed up with Innovate UK to look for innovative digital solutions to improve the festivalgoer experience. We entered and won the competition. Our first deployment was Wireless Festival in 2014.
As a self-confessed data “geek” it frustrated me how little insight we had once the gates had opened
What exactly does Crowd Connected do?
Crowd Connected delivers three things: real-time situational awareness, personalised audience communication and audience movement analytics.
In a nutshell, we enable live events and venues to better monitor, measure and engage with the audience.
We’re used by events of all types beyond live music. But we first established ourselves with festivals, who quickly begun using our technology in really creative ways.
Often, that’s to enhance the festivalgoer experience. Sometimes even before they are on site. One US festival in 2019 could see huge traffic jams building up on the way into the festival, using our live heatmaps. So they used our targeted notification platform to send them all a festival playlist to keep them in a positive frame of mind.
Another festival – this time in the UK – was also alerted to traffic issues during ingress, through using our heatmaps. They reported this to the Highways Agency who were a little confused as to how someone had better intelligence than they did.
We’ve had events use our data to support licensing applications; to report footfall figures to sponsors; to analyse which artists are getting the largest audiences; or to evaluate which facilities are being over and under-utilised.
Once you have situational awareness across (and beyond) your entire venue, and you have the means to talk to very specific groups in your audience, you start managing live events in a completely new way.
Once you have situational awareness across (and beyond) your entire venue, you start managing live events in a completely new way
How does Crowd Connected get the data?
We integrate into the official mobile app for the festival, venue or show. Event fans come with their smartphone, expecting a first-rate digital experience to complement the physical joy of the live event. For a big event like a festival, that’s £20m+ of hardware.
Today’s smartphones can provide step-by-step tracking throughout the duration of the event. We take this data plus some smart algorithms to produce a single, accurate journey around the event site for each app user that’s granted permission.
So, while we don’t develop apps ourselves, we work with all the major app developers.
So what’s changed over the last five years?
We’ve seen a huge change in the attitude towards technology.
I remember in the early days approaching a leading UK festival. I was told there was no point talking to them. They believed in an organic and thoroughly non-digital live experience. Data was viewed as a dirty word.
That festival is now a Crowd Connected client, seeing real value from the situational awareness and analytics tools they now have. And it hasn’t spoilt the festivalgoer experience. It’s improving it.
That illustrates that you can’t compete with digital if you don’t embrace data. This has now dawned on pretty much the entire live industry.
You can’t compete with digital if you don’t embrace data – this has now dawned on pretty much the entire live industry
Who’s using Crowd Connected?
We can mention some names, but not others. If our clients don’t want us to disclose that we work for them, then, of course, we won’t. That can be a bit frustrating sometimes, but we’re a privacy-first company. Privacy and security of user data, and confidentiality for our customers.
The big companies – Live Nation and AEG – were early adopters. Leading festivals like Coachella have worked with us since the very beginning. Many renowned independents use us too, for example Roskilde.
Over the past couple of years we’ve worked with hundreds of festivals and venues across the globe. I think we’ve got to the point where major events are thinking they can’t afford not to – at the very least – consider the value of this kind of technology.
What’s next for Crowd Connected?
One focus for 2020 is to make sure smaller festival teams get real value from our technology. Maybe they don’t have the in-house personnel or technical expertise that the big players have. But that shouldn’t matter. We want them to use digital tools and data like ours to help take the live music experience forward in the 2020s.
So we’ll continue to innovate. We’ll continue to listen to our customers, to develop new features. As smartphones get ever smarter, our mission is to help live event promoters do the same.
Festivalgoers’ data for sale in latest email scam
Email marketers are offering to sell lists of festival attendee data to music business professionals, in the latest suspected email scam to target the live industry.
IQ has learnt that alleged fraudsters have offered to sell the data of attendees to “many events across Europe”, including Norway’s Øya Festival and the UK’s Tramlines, to booking agencies and record labels.
The majority of the emails, all sharing the same format, come from several email addresses traced by IQ to one Vikram H, operating from an apartment block in Bangalore, India. If one takes Vikram up on his offer, respondents are directed to a company registered anonymously in Arizona. None of the people involved responded to multiple requests for comment.
The alleged scam entails offering music businesses the opportunity to purchase attendees’ full names, email addresses, job titles, complete mailing addresses and phone numbers.
“My guess is that they either don’t have the information they claim to have, or they have nicked the info from our Facebook event somehow”
It is suggested that the data, which is supposed collected from “permission-based, double opt in contacts”, compliant with the new GDPR regulations, be used for “pre-show and post-show marketing campaigns, appointment setting and networking”. It is unclear whether said individuals are actually in possession of the information.
A list of data for 25,127 Øya attendees is priced at US$298. The number is a small proportion of the more than 100,000 visitors expected at this year’s festival – which takes place from 6 to 10 August – but was “very much the same number” as those attending on Øya’s Facebook event at the time of the quotation, says the festival’s chief executive, Tonje Kaada.
“They claim to have gathered the data from surveys, and that all the contacts have agreed to receive emails and calls from third-party companies,” Kaada tells IQ. “My guess is that they either don’t have the information they claim to have, or they have nicked the info from our Facebook event somehow.”
The live music industry has seen several similar scams in recent months. In June, Asian promoters received emails from fraudsters posing as agents of high-profile acts. A scam also targeted artists, with bogus UK festival directors offering acts non-existent headline slots.
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Data that drives ticket sales: Music to a marketer’s ears
With live performances accounting for the largest portion of an artist’s income, it’s no wonder that selling tickets is high on their priorities list.
In the digital music era, listeners are prioritising experiences with their favourite artists. But while other industries have committed to data-driven marketing techniques, there’s been a disconnect between the data collected via ticketing platforms and an event manager’s ability to use the data to drive ticket sales. These platforms are built for facilitating sales, not customer relationship management (CRM).
It’s the data collected on ticket buyers – from demographic information, to merchandise purchases, to past ticket purchases – that holds the secret to personalising marketing efforts to increase ticket sales.
In fact, a personalised fan experience is expected by concertgoers. An artist’s biggest fans want to be recognised for their commitment with limited-edition merchandise and meet and greets to stay engaged with an artist performance after performance. It is only through the careful analysis of fan data that these super-fans can be identified and given the special treatment that will encourage ticket sales for years to come.
With the right tools and marketing strategies, artists and event managers can get more concert and event tickets into the hands of fans.
The goal is to collect as much data as possible on past and potential concertgoers
Data integration tools
First and foremost, a robust data integration tool is required to take the data captured via a ticketing platform and integrate it into the tools used to automate sales and marketing processes. Because ticketing platforms were never intended to be CRM tools, more often than not, the most basic information that could personalise an artist or event manager’s marketing campaigns, like birthdates, geographic information and past ticket and merchandise purchases, are only available within the ticketing platform.
The proper data integration tool should remove the manual work that is the current standard for connecting ticketing platform data to a marketing campaign. Data on demographics, attendance, purchases and more should regularly and automatically update as ticket purchases are made.
Customer relationship management
Just as important as the data integration tool is the CRM that it’s integrated into. This is the tool that is most important to a ticket seller’s marketing journey – though it can’t function properly without the data integration tool it’s paired with. A CRM should allow for the development of marketing initiatives in tools like Marketing Cloud, Pardot, HubSpot, Eloqua or Marketo and automatically send emails and text messages, as well as target customers with social media ads.
Ticketing platforms were never intended to be CRM tools
With the proper data integration and CRM tools in place, data-based marketing strategies can be put in place. The goal is to collect as much data as possible on past and potential concertgoers in order to use that information to personalise outreach ahead of an event.
Begin by using previously collected information
When an event attendee purchases a ticket online, it is likely that they have already submitted key information like their email address, phone number and address. They also have given information on the area they are likely to attend in a concert in. Using this data, automatic marketing campaigns can be targeted to fans that are likely interested in seeing the artist again.
Move merchandise ahead of the concert
Merchandise sales are a reliable indicator of a strong relationship between a fan and an artist. Fans who go to an artist’s website to purchase merchandise will likely be interested in joining the artist’s mailing list for insider information ahead of a tour. Take this mailing list a step further by collecting data on those willing to buy merchandise ahead of an event. This data can then be used to retarget an artist’s biggest fans with early-bird access to tickets, meet and greets and more.
Offer preferred access to previous concertgoers
Using the data collected within a ticketing platform, past ticket purchases can be viewed, evaluated for patterns and used for personalised campaigns. By leveraging already available data, an artist or event manager can offer personalised messages to those who meet certain criteria.
Of course, an artist’s most loyal fans deserve special attention when possible. Using attendance data, it is easy to identify committed fans and offer them an unforgettable experience. This data can also be used to identify not-so-committed fans and reengage them with the artist – securing ticket sales for this event and increasing likelihood of purchase of another ticket in the future.
Leverage social media
Any marketer worth their salt understands the value of a robust social media strategy ahead of an event. Targeting social media ads to those who already like and follow an artist is obvious, but lookalike ads can be created to target new fans.
A Facebook event for the concert can help target fans in the area of the event. Creating a robust mailing list can also help identify the accounts of fans and reach them on their social media channels, in addition to appearing in their inbox. With emails receiving only a 20% open rate, the more channels used to engage with fans, the better.
An artist’s most loyal fans deserve special attention when possible
Once the hurdle of connecting data to a CRM and marketing tools is overcome, data-based strategies are much easier to implement.
By personalising outreach to an artist’s biggest fans, potential new fans and touching them through as many mediums as possible, the gold mine that is ticketing data can be fully realised.
Jon Robinson is the president of Lunar, a Salesforce consulting and SaaS product development company that automates and integrates technology to get more out of its clients’ existing sales and marketing. A Ticketmaster Nexus partner, Lunar uses its product TicketBeam to integrate Archtics and Salesforce to help the entertainment industry visualise and take action off of customer data without having to leave the Salesforce environment.
GDPR, mailing lists and the live business
The data generated by digital platforms such as Spotify provides musicians with valuable insights into their fans’ locations and behaviour. Fortunately, much of the data provided by third-party platforms is anonymised, which means it generally falls outside data protection legislation.
However, bands, promoters and booking agents routinely collect contact details and other personal data relating to their fans and customers, which falls squarely within the remit of the legislation.
There is a legal requirement when collecting, using and storing personal data to inform the data subjects about what data you are collecting and what you will be doing with it. This doesn’t just apply to companies; bands and musicians acting in the course of business also have this obligation (there are exemptions, and you should visit your local information commissioner’s office website to find out more).
If you’re planning to share personal data with a third party, such as between a band and a promoter, it’s important to establish a legal basis
So, if you receive an email from a fan asking for information about a forthcoming tour, can you add their email address to your database and start sending them marketing material? The simple answer is no, you can’t.
Individuals usually have to give explicit consent to their personal data being used for marketing purposes. However, you can reply to the fan, answer their question and ask if they want to join your mailing list. If they agree, you are free to market to them, but remember to make a record of their consent, and ensure that your marketing emails include simple instructions to help the recipient locate your privacy information and opt out of the emails.
Rob Eakins can be reached on +44 161 358 0280 or email@example.com
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Ticketmaster launches SafeTix for digital tickets
Ticketing giant Ticketmaster has launched SafeTix, adding anti-counterfeiting features to digital tickets and providing event owners with more data about event attendees.
The SafeTix feature issues buyers with a unique, identifiable digital ticket. The tickets are tied to each fan’s mobile phone through an encrypted barcode that automatically refreshes, preventing the use of screenshots to duplicate tickets.
The tickets also include near-field communication (NFC) technology to allow attendees to enter venues with a “tap and go” experience.
Fans can sell or transfer tickets to a friend’s mobile number or email address. A new digital ticket is tied to the recipient’s account and phone each time a ticket is transferred or sold, making the journey of each issued ticket visible to organisers.
This visibility provides event organisers with more data on each individual fan attending their event, rather than just that of the original ticket purchaser. Organisers can communicate directly with attendees, providing fans with venue- or event-specific information and personalised food, drink and merchandise offerings.
“SafeTix will allow fans to arrive at a show or game with confidence that their tickets are always 100% authentic”
“Given that a new ticket is issued every time there is a transfer or sale, event owners have the ability to develop a unique relationship with each fan, leading to in-venue personalisation and future communication while increasing their known fanbase,” says Justin Burleigh, chief product officer of Ticketmaster, North America.
“SafeTix will allow fans to arrive at a show or game with confidence that their tickets are always 100% authentic and will dramatically reduce the amount of ticket fraud event owners are dealing with on event day.”
SafeTix will be used across NFL stadiums for the 2019 season and for a variety of touring artists. It will be available at additional participating venues in the future.
Later this year, fans will also be able to add contactless tickets to Apple Wallet, allowing them to enter venues easily and securely using their iPhone or Apple Watch. Tickets are automatically selected when a customer holds their iPhone near the ticket reader, using proximity-based technology.
Apple and Ticketmaster unveiled the integration this month during the opening keynote at Transact, the world’s premiere FinTech conference.
Ticketmaster acquired blockchain-ticketing service Upgraded in October 2018.
Ticketmaster in £5m lawsuit over UK data breach
A British law firm has launched a £5 million law suit against Ticketmaster following a security breach in June last year, which may have affected up to 40,000 users of the ticketing service in the UK.
Widnes law firm Hayes Connor issued its claim at the High Court in Liverpool on Wednesday (3 April) on behalf of over 650 claimants. The company is pursuing damages of up to $5m (US$6.5m), saying many claimants “suffered multiple fraudulent transactions” and a third endured “significant stress”.
Ticketmaster UK confirmed it had identified a major security breach on its systems on 23 June 2018. The breach was caused by malicious software on a third-party customer support product hosted by Inbenta Technologies. Ticketmaster immediately disabled the product across its platforms.
The following month, cyber-security firm RiskIQ warned the TM hack was the “tip of the iceberg”, noting that the Ibenta plug-in also ran on hundreds of other ecommerce sites.
Data, including personal information and payment and login details, is believed to have been stolen. Ticketmaster has not confirmed how many customers were affected.
“More than two thirds of our clients have suffered multiple fraudulent transactions since the serious data breach”
The breach was announced after the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect.
Digital, mobile-only bank Monzo claims to have spotted the breach months earlier, notifying Ticketmaster to the security breach on 12 April.
“Ticketmaster failed to action the breach until two months after it was alerted to the fact by digital bank Monzo,” says Kingsley Hayes, managing director of Hayes Connor Solicitors.
“More than two thirds of our clients have suffered multiple fraudulent transactions since the serious data breach with the remainder still at risk of having their money stolen or their details used for fraudulent activity in the future,” adds Hayes.
Investigations into the security breach by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and National Crime Agency (NCA), along with officers from the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), are ongoing.
Audience profiling: monetisation beyond the ticket
Year on year, millions of fans happily pay to see their favourite bands and attend their favourite festivals. The challenge for artists and promoters alike is that in many cases they have no clue who the majority of their fans are. Even for those they do know, there is no insight into what they value or how much they are willing to pay to access various products or experiences.
Creating this insight requires the collection of quality audience data and the refinement of that data into clusters of people who have similar artist interest, affluence, life stage, digital fluency and other relating factors.
Festyvent’s touring and festival apps are a key pillar for the collecting of this kind of quality audience data, which when combined with ticket data, mailing lists and RFID data, forms the raw material for the Festyvent data refinery and produces audience insight.
This audience insight removes the guesswork and enables the creation of successful acquisition, retention and cross-selling campaigns, as well as simplifying event planning and improving conversions when pitching for brand activations. Moreover, it also provides insight into artist popularity outside of the headliners, which is invaluable for future line up curation and can be an advantage when negotiating artist fees.
“The ability to view an audience at the individual level is increasingly important to reflect the variations in interests, spending power and channel use,” states Festyvent founder David Jacobs, who presented on the new technology panel at this year’s ILMC.
“The ability to view an audience at the individual level is increasingly important to reflect the variations in interests, spending power and channel use”
“You wouldn’t target recently employed millennials with the same campaign as their 50-something parents. So, while they may live in the same house, Festyvent’s apps and data refinery ensure that the messages they’re sent and the channels that they receive are relevant,” explains Jacobs.
In a recent case study, Festyvent looked at the audience composition of a UK festival to demonstrate the value of audience segmentation. Four axes were used to profile the audience: life stage (young adults, families, empty nesters and retirees), affluence (high, medium, low), digital awareness (from always online to seldom connected) and age group (18 – 70), with the objective of reaching a better understanding of the core audience at the event.
The organisers had expected a crowd of young, not very affluent attendees. Based on this assumption, they had only offered basic camping facilities, provided no fine food options and had partnered with a lower-end beverage brand as their primary corporate sponsor.
Festyvent’s analysis showed that the audience was much older but, more importantly, much more affluent than expected. Even the segment of young adults scored higher on the affluence measure than anticipated. As a result, the festival left money on the table as there was nothing the audience could spend their money on, no glamping, no premium brand food and beverage and no designated VIP zones.
The case study shows that to push monetisation beyond the ticket; the event organiser has to understand the make-up of their audience to ensure that the relevant products, services and brand activations are on offer, when and where the public is willing to spend their money.
New platform launched to track bias in music industry
Genevieve O’Neil, former director of diversity and inclusion at Live Nation, has joined the team behind InChorus, a third-party platform used to track incidents of bias and harassment in the workplace.
O’Neil joins London and New York-based InChorus Group as chief marketing officer. The company’s platform aims to de-escalate reporting for employees, allowing users to anonymously tag and measure incidents in the workplace.
The platform also provides companies with the data needed to build a more inclusive workplace.
“I, like many, am frustrated by the pace of change, but our industry is unfortunately one playing catch up,” comments O’Neil, who says she is “thrilled” to join the InChorus team.
According to InChorus Group, the online tool acts as the ‘missing middle’ when reporting microaggressions, giving employees a safe and informal way to tag “previously hard-to-voice problem-behaviours”.
“We are in desperate need of a user friendly, data-led tool such as this to get things moving in the right direction”
The platform offers on-demand professional support to employees and provides companies access to anonymised data, allowing employers to identify problems at an earlier stage and attempt to avoid more serious misconduct.
“We are in desperate need of a user friendly, data-led tool such as this to get things moving in the right direction. This online tool is ideal for all companies, those already on the path to an inclusive workplace, and those just starting out,” says O’Neil.
“Diversity and inclusion leadership starts at the top, and so I ask industry leaders to stop just thinking about it and start acting.”
Rosie Turner, co-chief executive of InChorus Group says that she, along with fellow co-chief executive Raj Ramanandi, is “passionate about giving employees a voice and allowing them to flag issues sooner before they escalate.”
“This data has the power to drive effective change for both employees and the business, and to create a baseline for the music industry as a whole,” states Turner.
Women dominate ticket buying for live events
New data collected by event discovery guide and ticketing outlet, Skiddle, has revealed that women are buying record numbers of tickets to live music events.
Traditionally, men have been the predominant buyers of tickets to live music events. However, over the past five years, women have grown their market share of overall ticket sales by 22%, with females purchasing on average 13% more live event tickets than men.
The ticketing outlet revealed that women are most dominant in the festival ticket-buying arena. Last year, women bought 65% more music festival tickets than men, an increase by more than a third from the year before.
“An increase in the number of women at live music events can only be a positive thing for music”
Skiddle suggests that a move towards more equal representation on stage, as well as initiatives like Safe Gigs For Women and Girls Against have contributed to the increase in female buyers.
Victoria Bamber, head of campaigns at Skiddle, says the data is “incredibly encouraging”.
“An increase in the number of women at live music events can only be a positive thing for music,” said Bamber.
“Efforts are being made to diversify both on stage and behind the scenes, and it appears that this messaging is filtering through to female music fans who are growing in confidence and making a real impact across gigs, club nights and festivals UK wide.”