Archive for the ‘concert’ tag
“Wow, your Facebook News Feed is filled with pictures of your friends’ kids!” said my 26-year-old brother-in-law after glimpsing my phone’s Facebook News Feed.
I never thought of my Facebook News Feed as a mecca for pictures of my friends’ kids. To me, it’s a blur of status updates from family, friends, work peers, and more distant industry colleagues.
Nonetheless, the contrast observed by my brother-in-law is a good example of how our opt-in social connections and social network algorithms (like Facebook’s EdgeRank) give the sense of mass-shared experiences when, in fact, they are more personalized and niche. While everyone is on Facebook, what you see and experience is likely very different from what others see and experience. Similarly, search engines (Google and Bing included) are suggesting personalized results based on your social connections.
The flipside of this trend is that social networks are propagating hyper-niche segments for marketers, filled with prospects who expect messaging that is not only more targeted to them, but in concert with their increasingly personalized and social experiences.
That helps explain why Facebook’s Sponsored Stories — which amplify socially endorsed and created content — perform so well compared to conventional, static ad formats. Socially endorsed ads tend to drive deeper engagement, more click-through and higher brand recall, while establishing connections with micro targets and interest groups.
There is a huge opportunity for marketers to seize the power of Sponsored Stories, though the challenge has been — and will continue to be — one of departmental and agency workflow. Sponsored Stories demand dynamic coordination between content, fan connections and media buying. Rebecca Lieb and Jeremiah Owayang at Atlimeter Group refer to this growing integration of paid, owned and earned media as ”converged media.” Over time, marketers and their agencies will become more sophisticated and integrated in their approach, and they’ll increasingly become savvier in Facebook Sponsored Stories and similar converged-media tactics.
But smart marketers have another opportunity beyond social networks alone: to integrate the micro targets and interest groups of social networks with their own prospect databases, and then again to their larger online and offline marketing communications strategies.
If you think of social as a middle layer, marketers should use social segmentation data – where people of affinity naturally self-select and organize — to enhance segmentation and targeting within their own CRM databases. For example, imagine you discovered on Facebook that I have a newborn (hypothetically speaking). If you’re a bank or retailer or other service business, you might integrate that data with your CRM system, and trigger an alert to your staff at my local branch or store so they can personally seize the opportunity and deliver value to me. And then you can update my profile in your database to programmatically provide related offers to me and other connections in my social network.
Similarly, marketers should use micro segments of the middle social layer to influence multichannel media strategies beyond social networks. If you can attain the demographics, interest and message-response data of your Facebook Fans, why not use those insights to drive messaging and offers in your broader display advertising, television, radio, print and direct mail campaigns?
Who knows if privacy laws and expectations will ever allow a full, seamless connection among all three layers? In the interim, marketers should begin to apply the segments of the middle social layer to fuel the top and bottom layers of the customer marketing funnel — to acquire new customers, and deepen relationships with existing ones.
Such ambitions require sound strategy, extensive data integration and organizational planning, but it can be done. Again, prospects expect messaging that is not only more targeted to them, but in concert with their increasingly personalized and social experiences.
It’s time to start making your marketing social — not only by being present within online social networks, but by using them to fuel the top and the bottom of your larger marketing funnel.
This article also appeared in MediaPost.
Music has always been naturally social. It dates all the way back to our early ancestors, who sat around a fire while banging on a drum. Fast forward to the present day, and you’re sure to have noticed people of all ages with trendy headphones plugged their ears, listening to music through their mobile devices.
But how can marketers leverage these new behaviors to interact with users and encourage transactions? By 2014, consumers will be plugged into 4 billion smartphones. We first need to understand and analyze user engagement with mobile music apps to determine an appropriate entry point for promotional messaging.
No longer confined to the home or car, access to music has evolved with the advancement of smartphone technology. As devices become more sophisticated, so does the user’s ability to discover, create, and share with anyone in the world. Mobile provides a real-time, end-to-end music experience in which users can discover new artists and follow their lives, tours, special appearances, and conversations. And they pass this information along to others. This has resulted in an accelerated life-cycle of fan development and promotion.
One of the most visibly noticeable effects that smartphones have had on the music industry can be seen at concert events. At any given moment, you can see viewers taking pictures or video and texting or uploading to their social networks for all their friends to see. A T-Mobile survey recently found that 66 percent of concert-goers use camera phones to take pictures during a show, and 32 percent send these as updates to Facebook or Twitter. Fans now use music as input in creating their own content, which reflects an aspect of their identity and enables them to derive “credit” for their discoveries.
And how about all the great music apps out there? Most of us have heard of Spotify, the digital music streaming service. Another that uses social networks is Soundtracking, an app that allows users to follow friends via Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare and posts music searches and music playing activity on others’ mobile devices. Users can also get creative and attach a photo and comment on whatever they are sharing. Since its launch in March 2011, Soundtracking has had 2 million downloads and shared 3 billion music moments.
This direct consumer interaction from fans is opening a plethora of opportunities for marketers to connect fans with artists and their products. Mobile phones now permit increased transactional behavior, including the purchase of songs, concert tickets, and merchandise. Users can discover a new artist from a friend, buy the artist’s hit song, a ticket to an upcoming show, and the tour T-shirt — all within a matter of minutes.
Here’s a good example of how marketers can insert themselves in the mobile user’s behavior: A recent campaign for Jack White’s live stream concert and mosaic compilation connected fans with the artist. White joined American Express’ Unstaged concert series last April to provide fans with live streaming video of his concert at Webster Hall in New York City to promote his debut album, “Blunderbuss.” Thirteen cameras were used, with three angles fans could choose from, all accessible from a mobile device. Additionally, fans were able to submit photos of themselves that would later be used to create a digital mosaic portrait of White’s face.
In a May issue of Billboard, an article by Andrew Hampp examined how Coke and Pepsi — two superbrands that have been harnessing the power of music for decades — are using music to promote their products. Combined, the two spend a total of $570 million on their U.S. sponsorships of entertainment and sports, and both partner with the world’s top music execs and consultants to direct their strategies. Coke has united with Spotify and its more than 10 million users to facilitate and support its music-marketing initiatives. That’s just one way of reaching a consumer with his or her ears plugged.
One major obstacle inhibiting opportunities for mobile interactions and transactions is limited bandwidth. If bandwidth from cell service providers is unable to keep up with fan demand and activity, opportunities will be missed or, worse, result in frustrating slow-downs. As 4G and Wi-Fi become more ubiquitous, creative marketing tactics through mobile music can become more easily executed.
So, while mobile users might appear unreachable with their ears plugged, it is this very behavior that offers creative opportunities for marketers to plug-in. It’s actually a superior environment for promotional messaging as other distractions are silenced, allowing exclusive attention and focus on a brand’s message. Couple this with reaching a consumer in a positive emotional state based on his or her own musical choices, and mobile music might be the ticket directly into a consumer’s mind — and heart.
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Ticketfly Challenges Ticketmaster, Tackles 3X Bigger Market By Now Helping Venues Sell Reserved Seats
Ticketmaster could get away with high service fees because it’s one of the few ticketing options for huge venues, but not anymore. Ticketfly can now power sales for any reserved seating venue, not just general admission shows, with today’s relaunch of its ticketing platform. Considering 70% of advanced event ticket sales in North America are for reserved seats, this triples Ticketfly’s addressable market.
Along with the freedom to ditch Ticketmaster, Ticketfly’s social tools for efficiently marketing tickets on Facebook and Twitter are now available to concert halls, arenas, and sports stadiums that are too big for GA free-for-alls. And this could all mean lower ticket service fees for you.
Ticketfly considers itself a software company first — and a high-performing and fast-growing one at that. The 500 venues it powers saw a 17% increase in their tickets sold last year compared to the industry average of 3% growth. It doubled its client base in 2011 and is up another 65% so far in 2012 with only around 100 employees.
The Ticketfly software-as-a-service lets venues quickly map out a visual model of their general admission or reserved seat floor plans. Venue managers can set different prices and whether fans can pick their seats or only buy the “best available, and instantly put their show up for sale on stable platform that won’t crash when hundreds of thousands of people rush to purchase Radiohead, Lady Gaga, or Rolling Stones tickets.
Rather than having to rebuild their seat map for each show, venues can reuse templates. Ticketfly clients can also edit prices and add seats on the fly (har har). For comparison, Ticketfly’s co-founder and CEO Andrew Dreskin says his competitor Ticketmaster’s platform takes days to create an event, and venues have to start from scratch to change prices and seating options. I’m awaiting a response from Ticketmaster on that claim, though Dreskin should have good insight considering he sold his last company Ticketweb to Ticketmaster a few years ago.
Reserved venues that partner with Ticketfly and pay it a fee per ticket will also get access to its social marketing tools. These let venues automatically create Facebook events for their shows, schedule tweets to promote them, and quickly generate email marketing blasts.
The Facebook integration includes deep hooks into Facebook’s Open Graph so a user can automatically RSVP to the Facebook event, publish to the Ticker and Timeline that they’re attending, or Like artists on the bill. Ticketfly clients also get analytics about which channels are driving sales so they can spend their marketing dollars in the right place.
Ticketfly still has a lot of work to do. It can’t handle season ticket sales, ticket subscriptions, or donations which it will need to serve performing arts and sports events. It also lacks Ticketmaster’s awesome concert recommendations based on your Spotify and other music streaming listening habits. And it doesn’t yet allow buyers to see where their friends are sitting so they can buy seats next to them, which you can do on Ticketmaster. Expect that in an upcoming Ticketfly product update, though.
It’s going to be an uphill battle to displace the domineering Live Nation / Ticketmaster. Most huge venues have signed three year contracts with Ticketmaster, so Ticketfly will only get a shot to steal 1/3 of them away each year. But if it can focus on efficiency, affordable rates, and powerful marketing tools that let venues sell more tickets at lower prices, event promoters will hopefully pass the savings on to their customers. It might even force its Ticketmaster to lower its fees to compete.
So if you don’t feel gouged the next time you buy a concert ticket, you can thank technology!
Musicians are looking for new ways to make their shows more interactive and to connect with fans. And Sonic Notify thinks it’s got just the technology to do so. With that in mind, the startup raised $4.25 million and has struck a partnership with Interscope Records, which will make its technology more widely available to musicians on that label.
Sonic Notify uses soundwaves which are inaudible to the human ear to transmit signals to mobile apps that have its technology embedded. Once those soundwaves are picked up, however, apps with the technology enabled can send push notifications and transmit other multimedia content to users. Sonic Notify isn’t the only tech company aiming let users to unlock new features and interactivity using sound — but unlike Shazam and others, users don’t actually have to explicitly open up an app or really do anything for the signal to work.
Sonic Notify did its initial beta test during the CMJ Music Festival in New York last year, and was the technology behind Twitter’s interactive #Feed house at SXSW this year. More recently, its tech was used at New York’s Fashion Week to sync up photos of different outfits on the event’s mobile app as models walked down the runway. It’s also partnered with Spotify and Turntable.fm to let DJs share setlists and mixes with users who attend their shows.
For obvious reasons, Sonic Notify sees musicians and promoters as a huge market, as its technology will help them to connect with fans through their mobile apps. To that end, it’s announcing a launch partnership with Interscope Records, whose artists will be free to use the technology in their apps during concerts. Sonic Notify has also teamed up with the Mobile Roadie platform, which is used by 3,000 apps which have been downloaded by more than 20 million end users. That partnership will enable developers and brands to easily add interactive features powered by Sonic Notify.
And it’s already being used by some: Over the weekend, boy band Mindless Behavior took advantage of Sonic Notify’s features during a concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. According to Sonic Notify CEO Jonathan Glanz, the group was planning multiple interactive notifications before, during, and after the concert, including using the technology to pick a member of the audience to come up onstage and also providing exclusive content to concert goers.
Glanz was one of the folks behind the SitOrSquat app, which was acquired by Proctor & Gamble. He also founded Densebrain, a digital agency in New York. He began work on Sonic Notify late last year, and started assembling the team after a successful test at CMJ. Sonic Notify now has a dozen employees, with its headquarters in New York City and a remote business development office in Los Angeles.
Apple is sending notices to retailers to stop selling Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1, a filing by Samsung revealed today.
Foss Patents reports that a filing by Samsung included a note about Apple sending out notes to third parties about the injunction. Samsung is saying that Apple had no right to send these out to its third-party retailers, but the injunction includes “officers, directors, partners, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, subsidiaries, and those acting in concert with any of them are enjoined from making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States.” Third party retailers undoubtedly fit into the “those acting in concert” section.
Apple sued Samsung earlier this year, winning injunctions against the Galaxy Nexus smartphone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. The two, Apple says, infringe upon its iPhone and iPad equivalents. Apple at the time said that the devices were “blatant copying” and mentioned packaging, the user interface, and form factor as points of contention.
Apple began sending those notices associated with the Galaxy Nexus on June 3, the same day U.S. Judge Lucy Koh turned down Samsung’s appeal on the injunction. Three days later, however, Judge Koh suspended the injunction.
Less than two weeks after Apple began sending out letters pertaining to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 a U.K. judge said the tablet is “not as cool,” and thereby didn’t infringe on the iPad.
Check out the letter below:
VIA FACSIMILE, REGISTERED MAIL, FEDERAL EXPRESS AND REGISTERED AGENT
Re: Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al., United States District Court, Northern District of California, Case No. C-11-01846 (LHK)
We represent Apple Inc. in the above-referenced action.
We enclose a copy of the June 26 preliminary injunction ordered entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in this case together with a copy of Apple’s U.S. Design Patent No. D504,889 (the ’889 patent’). With the posting of the requisite bond, the order is now in effect.
The order provides as follows:
[T]he Court issues the following order enjoining the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in the United States: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, Inc., its officers, directors, partners, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, subsidiaries, and those acting in concert with any of them, are enjoined from making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United States, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer, and any product that is no more than colorably different from this specified product and embodies any design contained in U.S. Design Patent No. D504,889.
As the italicized language provides, the order applies not only to the named Samsung entities, but also to anyone “acting in concert” with them. Apple thus believes that the order extends to you because you may be selling, offering to sell, or importing the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer.
Please comply with the order by ceasing immediately to engage in any of the specified acts (e.g., importing, offering to sell, or selling within the United States) in connection with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer and any product that is no more than colorably different from it and embodies the ’889 patent’s design. At a minimum, Apple believes compliance with the Court’s order requires immediately removing for sale the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from all physical and online venues under your direction or control.
Please contact the undersigned if you have questions.
Filed under: mobile
Soundrop, a social app for streaming service Spotify’s music platform, has raised $3 million in its first round of funding, the company announced today.
Soundrop was among the first batch of apps that launched with Spotify’s new open-platform, which invites other developers to create apps that work with the streaming music service’s core functionality. The app allows users to set up virtual listening rooms based on a specific music type, which is similar to what Turntable.fm is doing. It has about 7,000 rooms that have played over 60 million songs, according to the company. Some music labels have started partnering with Soundrop to create artist-specific music rooms to help promote a new album or concert tour.
The funding is significant because it shows (on some level) that investors have faith in Spotify’s app platform. At the same time, the new funding round did come from one of Spotify’s original investors, Northzone. Soundrop plans to use the new capital to hire more employees, set up a new offices in Europe, and increase its mobile profile.
Founded in January 2012, the Oslo, Norway-based startup was previously bootstrapped prior to its recent funding round. As part of the investment deal, Northzone’s Torleif Ahlsand will become chairman of Soundrop’s board of directors.
Music startup Songkick, which tracks your favourite bands and tells you when they are gigging, has gotten plenty of traction on the Web and on iOS. But a missing link in the platform play has been Android. That changes today with the launch of their Android app.
By scanning a user’s music library, Google Music account, or Last.fm app, the Songkick for Android app lets users create a concert calendar based on the artists they like and their location.
On Android, all the usual features are present such as importing your favorite artists from Facebook, Pandora or your Last.fm accounts; receive alerts on new concerts; comparing the best ticket offers and a host of social features.
Songkick is now claiming to be the second largest concert destination after Ticketmaster, research shows that fans attend nearly twice the number of concerts the year after they start using Songkick. Ticketmaster for its part is the one to beat in this space of course, but their play contains far less social features and integration at present, something which is probably helping Songkick’s growth.
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I’m not a professional musician, but apparently it’s a headache for artists to publicize their tourdates on the myriad number of websites and apps that cater to music lovers. Not only is there Facebook and Twitter, but there’s YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud and Hype Machine.
Enter Songkick, a concert promotion startup that’s backed by Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures. They have tons of those little widgets across the web that show when your favorite band is in town. Now they’re trying to make it easier for musicians to manage promotions themselves.
They’ve built a product called Tourbox, which connects to a musician’s Facebook fan page and automates the publishing for concert dates across the web and in sites like YouTube, Tumblr, Vevo and Spotify. The company counts M83 and Of Montreal among Tourbox’s users so far.
Songkick’s CEO Ian Hogarth said this was an oft-requested feature. “We want to make it incredibly easy for artists to take ownership of their data through Songkick,” he said. If the company can attract enough high-profile musicians to Tourbox, that should make the job of being a comprehensive concert guide that much easier.
As for Songkick itself, the company gets about 6 million unique visitors per month and earns revenue off of ticket and merchandise sales. It partners with everyone from the very biggest ticket vendors to tiny independent companies to sell tickets. There are more than 100 different ticketing partners in all.
“We’re not break-even yet but we do believe that our ultimate revenue model will be about the transactions we generate around ticketing and merchandising,” he said.
Songkick scored Sequoia Capital’s first ever U.K. investment back in March, bringing the company’s total funding to about $17 million. They also had previous funding from include Y Combinator, SoftTech, The Accelerator Group and Index Ventures.