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Ticketmaster integrates with Snapchat

Ticketmaster has partnered with Snap, the developer of Snapchat, to launch two TM-branded ‘experiences’ in the popular teen-friendly video-sharing app.

The integration with Ticketmaster is one of several new features announced at Snap’s partner summit yesterday (20 May), with the leading ticketing company getting its own layer on Snapchat’s location-sharing feature, Snap Chat, as well as a Ticketmaster ‘Mini’ (Snap jargon for an in-app game or utlity) that allows Snapchat users to share concerts they are interested in with their friends and buy tickets.

Map Layers launches with two partners: Ticketmaster and restaurant review site The Infatuation. The Infatuation’s Layer overlays Infatuation-approved restaurants, while the Ticketmaster layer displays upcoming concerts at nearby venues. The Ticketmaster layer, which rolls out later this year, will take Snapchatters directly into the Ticketmaster Mini to buy tickets to the show.

The Ticketmaster layer rolls out later this year

The TM Mini also allows users to swipe right or left on different artists to connect with Snapchat friends across the world who want to see the same show.

At launch, the Ticketmaster layer and Mini will specifically on live music events, a spokesperson confirms.

The integration with Ticketmaster is the latest live music partnership for Snap, following an earlier tie-up with Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation, as well as secondary ticketing site SeatGeek. Snapchat had around 265 million daily users as of Q4 2020.

 


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Bandsintown launches Instagram tool

Popular concert discovery service Bandsintown has launched a new Instagram tool which will allow artists to promote concerts and sell tickets directly through the photo-sharing app.

The new Events Landing page will allow Bandsintown’s some 450,000 registered artists to promote themselves via the Instagram Stories function, therefore converting “links into ticket sales”. By swiping up on an artist’s story, fans will be able to access tickets, pre-sales and further information about events. The new integration will also allow artists to monitor their social media analytics – things like clicks, conversations and RSVPs – via the Bandsintown Manager platform.

Converting “links into ticket sales”

Using social media to promote events and sell tickets is becoming increasingly popular. In 2016, Live Nation began selling tickets through Snapchat and in the same year, Instagram debuted their Events channel, providing users with tailored suggestions of videos and pictures from concerts. In May this year, Instagram teamed up with Eventbrite to streamline ticket-buying with the creation of the ‘get tickets’ button for business profiles.

More information on how the new integration works can be found on the Bandsintown artist website.

 


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Snap debuts AI-powered Crowd Surf at Outside Lands

Snapchat developer Snap Inc. used last weekend’s Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, as the debut for a new feature for the app: Crowd Surf, which stitches together audience ‘snaps’ to create a multi-angle video account of a concert or live event.

Snap deployed Crowd Surf during Lorde’s performance on Sunday 13 August, synchronising the audio using artificial intelligence from multiple fans filming the New Zealand singer to create an interactive Snapchat ‘story’ in which viewers can cycle between different crowd perspectives using a button on their smartphone screen.

Tech site Mashable has a video demonstrating Crowd Surf during Lorde’s song ‘Green Light’, showing multiple angles, including crowd selfies and the view from stage left.

A Snap spokesperson says Crowd Surf will be available at select events in future.

According to Mashable, with Crowd Surf Snap “hope[s] to bolster its Stories feature so that users submit to them more and also spend more time watching them. That’s good for Snap Inc. The more time users spend with Stories, the more likely they’ll be served an ad, which contributes to the majority of Snap’s revenue.” Snap Inc. posted disappointing financial results in Q2 2017 with a loss of US$443 million, below Wall Street forecasts.

Both Live Nation and AEG Live/Presents have agreed commercial partnerships around their festivals with Snap, with advertisers and sponsors using Snapchat to target festivalgoers. The former has, since last September, also sold tickets on the platform.

 


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16 in 2016: The year in review

With 2016 drawing to a close, in many aspects, it’s been a banner year for the live music business. So in case you miss our regular Index email updates, or recently emerged from a time capsule, here’s 16 key 2016 takeaways (in no particular order) from the year that nearly was…

1. Seconds out, round…?

As IQ wrote last week in our investigation into take-up of dynamic ticket pricing, “if 2016 will be remembered in the live music business for any one thing, it will be as the 12 months in which the pitchforks well and truly came out against secondary ticketing”.

While the UK, as it often tends to, hogged the lion’s share of the headlines, the backlash against what the FanFair Alliance calls “industrial-scale” ticket touting was a truly global phenomenon, with American congressmen, Belgian ministers and promoters in SwitzerlandJapan and, most successfully, Italy also all getting in on the action.

Look for continued action in this area in 2017 as the boundaries between primary and secondary continue to blur, calls for greater transparency continue, and more income is driven back to the industry, out of the hands of those who contribute nothing to it.

2. The Ticketing Gold Rush

One of the key topics tackled in this year’s International Ticketing Yearbook was the increasing appetite for ticketing by the world’s biggest online players. After Alibaba Group, the $14bn Chinese ecommerce giant, launched event ticketing operation Tao Piao Piao in May, Amazon caught the industry’s attention with several hires in the UK for the new Amazon Tickets, the start of a bid to become “Earth’s most customer-centric ticketing company”.

“From an artist or sports franchise point of view, any channel that will allow [major ecommerce companies] direct access to the end consumer is powerful and attractive,”

Slightly closer to home, Spotify unveiled a tie-up with Ticketmaster in November, Songkick is settled into its dual role as concert recommendation and ticketing app and Apple Music is dabbling the live space on the current Drake tour. Initial hiccups in some areas aside, 2016 could well be remembered as the moment the ticket started to go where the fans are.

“From an artist or sports franchise point of view, any channel that will allow [major ecommerce companies] direct access to the end consumer is powerful and attractive,” comments ticketing consultant Tim Chambers.

3. Live domi-Nation

The world’s leading live entertainment group showed no signs of bringing its ten-year buying spree to an end in 2016, making no less than eight major acquisitions.

Bonnaroo/AC Entertainment, French promoter Nous Productions, Greek ticketing company TicketHour, Australia’s Secret Sounds (Splendour in the Grass/Falls Festival), Canadian festival promoter Union Events, Sweden Rock festival, Big Concerts in South Africa and YouTube multi-channel network InDMusic were amongst those becoming part of the Live Nation family this year, to the tune of more than US$113 million.

“As we look forward, we see tremendous opportunities to continue global consolidation of our concerts and ticketing businesses, with further growth in advertising and ticketing from the concerts flywheel,” said CEO Michael Rapino in a Q3 statement.

4. Splendid isolation?

On 23 June, in the first major political upset of the year (bet you can’t guess no.2!), the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), ending more than 40 years of political and economic union with continental Europe.

Thanks to a two-year exit process – which won’t even begin until next March – we’re still no closer to discovering the effect Brexit has on the international live music industry, although a common sentiment in the UK has been to stress the importance of prioritising the creative industries in any future divorce settlement.

“There is a very real risk that skills shortages in the UK will be made worse – at least in the short to medium term”

Industry body Creative Industries Federation called last month for the UK to retain freedom of movement with the rest of bloc – something especially important for touring artists and crew, many of whom have spoken of their opposition to the return of border visas. “There is a very real risk that skills shortages in the UK will be made worse – at least in the short to medium term – by any restriction on freedom of movement that comes with tightening immigration laws and the UK leaving the European Union,” said the federation.

5. Pollsters Trumped

Despite a majority of analysts predicting a victory for Hillary Clinton in last month’s US presidential election, it was not to be: the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, was victorious in 30 of 50 states, and will be inaugurated as president in January.

Like Brexit, the implications for the touring business of a Trump presidency are still unclear, but Nederlander Concerts CEO Alex Hodges seemed to sum up the mood in the Americas when he told IQ the day after the elections: “The show must go on”.

6. Good times

While Q4 and end of year figures are yet to be published, there are few who’d believe that 2016 was a slow year for live music. Billboard puts the value of the US live music business at a staggering $25billion in 2016, with performance show averages up 25% worldwide (43% in the US) and average per-show attendance up 30% globally (29% in the US).

“The top two global tours grossed more than a half-billion dollars in what has been a great year for the concert business.”

Pollstar, which traditionally offers a more accurate barometer of US market health, has yet to reveal annual numbers, but reports: “the top two global tours [Bruce Springsteen and Beyoncé] grossed more than a half-billion dollars in what has been a great year for the concert business.” Pollstar’s Q3 results pegged the top 100 tours up a more modest 3% year-on-year on combined grosses, with average tickets up 7.6%.

7. Rebates under debate

In terms of page views, IQ’s biggest story of 2016 was the revelation that an increasing number of artists are choosing to bypass their local PROs (for example, PRS) in favour of collecting performance royalties directly.

Direct licensing, as it’s known, presents a headache for festival promoters – the vast majority of which have one-stop, blanket licences – with many facing the prospect of paying multiple licensees: the PRO (performance rights organisation) and the artist directly.

Adam Elfin, who runs direct-licensing agency PACE Rights Management, said leaving promoters out of pocket “is not something we want or that should happen”, but added that it’s “beneficial that we’re having this conversation now, because if they weren’t aware of this [direct licensing] and they proceeded with their deals for next year with local PROs, the impact will be massively different.”

No PRO has yet declared they are willing to offer promoters a discount on fees if they have acts directly licensing bands on their line-up, but it’s not a stretch to imagine that might be a possibility for 2017.

8. Beyond music: eSports/YouTube

More than ever before, 2016 saw a raft of new content being introduced to venues, with the likes of eSports events and YouTube stars regularly selling out shows.

The scale of the eSports business was highlighted in October when Reed Midem, the organiser of the Midem music industry conference, announced plans for a similar event for the eSports market, on the back of new data revealing that global revenues in the sector for 2016 are estimated at US$493 million. That news came on the back of the Electronic Sports League (ESL), the world’s largest eSports promoter, agreeing a strategic partnership with AEG, giving it access to 120 AEG-operated venues for qualifying events, tournaments and world championships.

“2016 saw a raft of new content being introduced to venues, with the likes of eSports events and YouTube stars regularly selling out shows.”

Meanwhile, the power of social media continued to grow, posing opportunities for enterprising promoters to take YouTube stars on tour with agencies including WME, CAA and UTA making a big play for online talent. This rapidly growing sector is engaging young fans the world over – underlined by events like Summer in the City, in London’s ExCel centre, where more than 10,000 people bought tickets to meet their favourite YouTubers, watch them live, and listen to panel discussions.

9. Terrorism

The threat of terrorist acts around the world did not diminish during 2016, forcing promoters and venues to increase the amount of investment they are spending to guard their premises, artists, crews and fans from those intent to inflict death and injury.

Atrocities at the likes of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, as well as attacks on festival sites and, of course the mass murder at Le Bataclan in Paris in late 2015, have brought about stricter security measures, with clubs throughout France now using airport style checks for patrons.

As a so-called soft target, concerts and festivals have found themselves under the microscope, especially in certain countries where terrorist cells are known to operate. At the IFF in September, Rock Werchter promoter Herman Schueremans stated his belief that “We’re more safe now” thanks to some of the efforts that he and fellow promoters around the world have implemented.

Elsewhere, Live Aid promoter Harvey Goldsmith lent his support to a new anti-terror training course, but such measures haven’t appeased everyone, with British peer, Baroness Henig, making moves to force staff at UK music venues to undergo such intensive training.

10. Social media integration

Having a Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat account for your event or venue is hardly rocket science these days, but the past 12 months have seen a number of deals forged to better exploit the audience who uses these and other social media platforms.

In April, Ticketmaster and Eventbrite both agreed deals to sell tickets through Facebook, while later in the year, Live Nation tied up with with Snapchat, initially to create ‘Live Stories’ at V Festival, Way Out West, Creamfields and Reading and Leeds, before taking it to the next level by using links for adverts on Snapchat to sell tickets to their shows.

The past 12 months have seen a number of deals forged to better exploit the audience who uses these and other social media platforms.

Not to be outdone, AEG entered into a multi-year agreement with Snapchat to promote its festivals via the video-sharing app.

Hinting at more deals to come, a survey by Nielsen found that Instagram is used by more US concertgoers than any of its rivals, with an astonishing 83% of those active on social media at shows making use of the photo-sharing app.

11. The SFX/LiveStyle saga

The year ended on a brighter note for those working for beleaguered dance music conglomerate SFX – although a number of creditors might take issue with that statement.

In November, Former Global Group and AEG Live chief, Randy Phillips, was appointed as the company’s new CEO and then, just days later, the SFX reorganisation plan was finally given a green light, following nine months of official administration, but at a cost of nearly US$400million of debt being written off.

The company managed to exit its bankruptcy situation earlier than planned and, moving swiftly to distance the group from its former self, Randy Phillips rebranded the entity as LiveStyle.

Quite whether the saga is truly at an end remains to be seen, with at least one shareholder still asking the courts to look at an alleged undervaluation of the company that accelerated its emergence from debt.

12. Goggle Boxes

The influence of new technology on the live experience continued to break new ground in 2016, with Virtual Reality (VR) a popular talking point. In May, music streaming service Rhapsody launched the Rhapsody VR app which promises, “free, immersive 360-degree videos of great artists from the best seat in the house”. May also saw Live Nation announce a partnership with NextVR to film and stream concerts in the format.

Festival including Wacken Open Air in Germany have begun filming their events for VR headsets, and other players in the space include Warner Music (partnered with MelodyVR and Digital Domain) and Universal Music and iHeartMedia, both recording concerts in VR.

The influence of new technology on the live experience continued to break new ground in 2016, with Virtual Reality a popular talking point.

But is it a genuine source of new revenue streams or a short term fad? Time will tell, but research company Nielsen found that early VR adopters are outspending the average American by 2:1 on live events.

13. Weathering the storm
In Europe, the 2016 festival season was one of the most turbulent in living memory, with FKP Scorpio’s Hurricane and Southside, Marek Lieberberg/CTS Eventim’s Rock am RingUltra Europe, Live Nation’s Rock Werchter and Broadwick Live’s Festival №6 all badly affected by severe weather.

Responses ranged from a government-backed €500k bad-weather fund in the Netherlands to FOLD Festival cheekily giving away tickets to Glastonbury-goers who couldn’t face the mud, while panellists at Reeperbahn Festival’s Epic Production session called for collaboration between festivals and a unified code of conduct for dealing with inclement weather.

Wacken Open Air – which avoided the worst of 2016 – has, meanwhile, embarked on a major overhaul of its festival site for 2017, with a new drainage system and gravel-based ground covering.

14. Bot-tomming Out

The controversial use of bots to harvest primary tickets during an onsale saw inbound legislation in 2016, both in the US and UK. The state of New York made using ticket-buying software on offence in June, while plans for a new anti-both bill were introduced in Ontario, Canada, in October.

By November, the UK’s digital minister, Matt Hancock, had launched his Computer Misuse Act, but the strongest move yet came last week when outbound US President Barrack Obama signed the Better Online Ticket Sales (Bots) Act, which proscribes their use.

15. Desert Trip

Hailed as one of the greatest rock events of all time, Desert Trip, didn’t just smash records – it took dynamite to the entire jukebox.

The concept of putting together three headline acts across three days might not have been rocket science, but when the dream ticket was the Stones, the Beatles and Pink Floyd, the complexities kicked in. But promoters Goldenvoice pulled off the improbable, lining up the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Roger Waters across successive nights and adding in support acts Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Who for good measure, while using the site of California’s uber cool festival, Coachella, to stage the show – and lending to its popular nickname, Oldchella.

Hailed as one of the greatest rock events of all time, Desert Trip, didn’t just smash records – it took dynamite to the entire jukebox.

Not so fortunate were some of the ticket touts who gambled on scooping up as many of the weekend and day passes as they could get their hands on. Despite issuing a ‘sold out’ notice, Desert Trip organisers held back a number of tickets, which were released a month before the shows, prompting a collapse in the value of the secondary market to the extent that, in the days running up to the concerts, many tickets were listed at lower than original face value.

16. In Memoriam

Already considered an annus horribilis due to the number of fallen musical heroes (with Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen among them), the business lost more than its fair share of heroes in 2016. Dan Panaitescu, head of international booking at Sziget festival was killed in a car crash in July, the same month that veteran concert promoter James Nederlander passed at the age of 94.

July also claimed the life of Baloise Session founder Matthias Müller, when the longtime Swiss festival promoter lost his battle with cancer. Meanwhile, other tragic losses to the business included Brazilian promoter and youth project champion Bianca Freitas, who died in October after contracting the rare Guillain-Barré syndrome.

 

Trying to squeeze 12 months of news, views and innovation into this short feature is always going to be tricky, so what did we miss? Please feel free to comment below. We may even publish the best bits…

 


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Live Nation begins selling tickets on Snapchat

Building on the existing partnership between the two brands, Live Nation has begun selling concert tickets on Snapchat in the US.

As discovered by Digiday, Live Nation – which in July signed a deal to package footage from four of its European festivals as ‘Live Stories’ on the social video-sharing app, which has over 150 million active users – over the weekend launched a Snapchat ad campaign for Grande’s upcoming North American Dangerous Woman tour.

The adverts, which appear for users browsing Snapchat’s sponsored Discover channel, link to a Ticketmaster page to buy tickets for the Little Mix-supported tour, which begins on 2 February at the 18,422-cap. Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.

IQ reported in May that movie ticketing platform Fandango was, similarly, selling tickets for superhero blockbuster X-Men: Apocalypse within the app. AEG Live also has a multi-year agreement with Snapchat to promote its festivals, although it has yet to introduce in-app ticket sales.

 


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LN signs Snapchat deal for festival Live Stories

Live Nation has announced it will partner with Snapchat this summer to package footage from four of its European festivals as ‘Live Stories’ on the popular video-sharing app. The company first partnered with Snapchat in 2014 for EDC Vegas.

Snapchat will cover Way Out West, V Festival, Creamfields and Reading and Leeds Festivals as Live Stories – or compilations of photos and videos from people using the app at specific events – in August. In June, Live Nation rival AEG agreed a similar Snapchat deal to do the same at Stagecoach, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Hangout, FYF Fest and Panorama.

“Thousands of special festival moments are captured at our events, and Snapchat’s Live Stories will bring these together for everyone to experience”

A spokeswoman for Live Nation confirmed to IQ that Snapchat will sell targeted advertising around the app, allowing festival sponsors to reach app-using attendees directly, but also tapping in to anyone who views the Live Story regardless of whether they attended the event or not.

“Some of our best summer festivals will now be covered from every angle by music fans themselves,” says Paul Latham, COO of Live Nation UK and Ireland. “Thousands of special festival moments are captured at our events, and Snapchat’s Live Stories will bring these together for everyone to experience – from fellow festivalgoers to fans across the globe.”

Snapchat has over 150 million active users, including an estimated 60% of 13- to 34-year-old Americans, with Live Stories watched by an estimated 10–20m Snapchatters daily.

 


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Fandango to sell tickets directly through iOS 10

Fandango, the movie ticketing company which last month signed a groundbreaking agreement to sell film tickets through social media app Snapchat, today announced another major coup in the form of a similar deal with Apple.

American iPhone and iPad users will, with the launch later this year of incoming operating system iOS 10, be able to find and buy film tickets through the inbuilt Messages chat client.

Customers will also be able to pay for their tickets using Apple’s Apple Pay mobile payment service.

“Fandango has worked for nearly a decade on new ways to enhance and simplify the moviegoing experience for Apple users, and we’re thrilled to introduce what we think is the ultimate social commerce solution for moviegoers – [a] truly a first-of-its-kind product,” says Fandango president Paul Yanover. “With Fandango in Messages, we’ll be able to quickly activate people’s desire to see a movie with friends and family and get them ready for the theatre by easily purchasing tickets, all with a few taps within their Messages conversation.”

Apple has sold well in excess of 700 million iPhones worldwide, and as of January 75% of users of iOS devices were using the latest version, iOS 9. iOS 10 will be released this autumn.

 


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AEG targets selfie-takers with Snapchat fest deal

AEG Live has entered into a multi-year agreement with Snapchat to promote its festivals via the popular video-sharing app.

As part of the partnership, Snapchat – which has 100 million daily active users, including an estimated 60% of 13- to 34-year-old Americans – will cover a number of AEG’s American festivals, including Stagecoach, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Hangout, FYF Fest and new New York event Panorama, as Live Stories – Snapchat-curated compilations of photos and videos from people using the app at specific events.

“The deal provides a great opportunity for brands to align with music content and reach our audience”

Snapchat will sell advertising around the Live Stories, allowing festival sponsors to reach Snapchat users directly via the app, and will also offer custom festival-branded ‘geofilters’ (described as “special overlays that communicate the where and when of a snap in a fun way”) only available to to people in or near the festival site.

The deal provides “a great opportunity for brands to align with music content and reach our audience”, says Snapchat’s director of partnerships, Ben Schwerin.

IQ last month reported that Snapchat had partnered with 20th Century Fox to sell tickets for X-Men: Apocalypse directly within the app, mirroring similar partnerships between Ticketmaster and Eventbrite and Facebook.

 


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Snapchat becomes next social ticket platform

Could Snapchat be the next ticketing battleground?

As live event ticketers fall over themselves to sell their inventories directly through Facebook, 20th Century Fox has instead turned to the youth-focused photo-sharing app to shift tickets for its upcoming superhero film, X-Men: Apocalypse.

By swiping up on a video ad for the film in Snapchat’s sponsored Discover channel, users in the United States are redirected to a web page within the app to buy tickets from Fandango. Until tomorrow (24 May), app users can also share selfies as Apocalypse, Cyclops, Mystique, Storm, Nightcrawler, Magneto, Quicksilver, Professor X or Beast using X-Men-themed photo or video ‘lenses’.

Snapchat has more than 100 million daily active users, and an estimated 60% of 13- to 34-year-old Americans use the app.