Friends on Ticketmaster and Live Nation

These two truths we hold self-evident: 1) too many fans miss shows/games/events because they didn’t know about them in advance and, 2) passionate, trend-setting fans make the best marketers. So as of this week we’ve taken a significant step forward in empowering fans to help solve the live event industry’s awareness challenges. We’ve begun the rollout of some great new functionality on Ticketmaster.com and Livenation.com that fundamentally changes the way people share information about the live events they love with their friends.

Our new functionality is live on many of our artist pages, venue pages, event pages, and the confirmation page after you’ve completed a purchase. The concept is simple: instead of letting your friends know you’ve purchased tickets by calling or emailing them, start sharing simply by clicking the ‘Attending’ button right after you’ve purchased. If someone else purchased tickets for you, go to the show’s page on our site and RSVP from there. Even cooler – you can go to the Dave Matthews or Boston Celtics page and see who’s going, or shortly (http://bit.ly/bQNQ1O) to our homepage and see all the shows that your Facebook friends are talking about and attending. We’ve also added Facebook ‘Like’ buttons on our artist and venue pages and ‘Recommend’ buttons on our event pages. As you interact with the site and express your live event preferences and purchases, you’ll see activity start to fill your news feeds. We’ll also synthesize and post it on the relevant pages throughout our site.

So check back in and interact with the emerging community around events that is taking shape on our site – stuff like reviews, fan photos, and now the profiles and interests of fans like you. We intend to dazzle you with how we make social part of the fabric of our site. With millions of incredibly passionate buyers engaging with us, we’re working to evolve into one of the most social commerce sites on the web. So we’re excited to introduce everyone to these great new features! It’s just the beginning…

Check out these links and let us know what you think:

Disney on Ice

Kenny Chesney

Dallas Mavericks

Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

My Chemical Romance

Thanks Garth Brooks!

http://bit.ly/asY89G

We’re grateful for the shout out (and the pizzas) from one of the greatest entertainers alive. We’re incredibly proud to have been able to deliver for our client, Garth, and the great cause he’s supporting. For all those going, make sure to review the shows at Ticketmaster.com!

Best,

Nathan

CEO – Ticketmaster

1,000,000 Fan Reviews and Counting


We want to hear from you and so do other fans! Since we launched fan reviews on Ticketmaster in July 2009, armies of enthusiastic fans of all kinds of events have been busy writing, rating, and reading. As of this post, we’ve counted more than 1 million reviews in the US and Canada for 4,500 artists, teams, and shows!

How did we surpass 1 million? Every day we email thousands of post-event review invitations to ticket buyers. In return, we’ve received an amazing response from fans eager to report on their live show experiences for fellow fans. As we work to develop what’s next in social commerce and community building for our site, we’re thrilled that reviews are becoming a useful decision tool for fans, with go-to content that captures the unequaled experience of a live show or game.

One of our favorite examples is a Disney On Ice recap from one young fan, whose father included this fun video to help share the moment:

As music discovery evolves, and thousands of new bands appear every year, our reviews will hopefully help you identify the standout shows.

Take the French band Phoenix – their current hit album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix helped make them a commercial success. So how are they live? Well, their recent sold-out Hollywood Bowl show helped earn them an amazing 4.7 stars out of 5.

Check out what fans are saying about Phoenix on Ticketmaster.com:

“Impressive. Their energy is infectious- everyone was up and into the show. I mean everyone –18,000 people having a great time. They were gracious, happy to be playing at the bowl and really wowed. If you have a chance to go see them live, do it! You will not be disappointed.” Posted 09/20/2010 by Boots110 “I honestly didn’t know what to expect, having only heard Phoenix a few times on the radio. I was completely blown away, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! They have such a good stage presence, their sound and lighting was exceptional and the band is sooo personable and was totally playing for the crowd before walking out to sing with them and inviting them onstage during the finale : )) I absolutely loved them and I can’t wait to see them when they tour LA again!!” – Posted 09/20/2010 by SunshineAK

See all reviews for Phoenix on Ticketmaster.com and let us hear your voice – share the experience after your next event! – Kip

Hear What Fans are Saying about our 3-Day Refund Policy

Here’s some preliminary fan data to share on the refund policy we’ve launched for some events on Ticketmaster.com (check it out here). ]None of this data is meant to be a predictor of future behavior, but it looks like the message is pretty clear – fans like it and it makes them more comfortable buying tickets. We continue to monitor the policy to ensure it isn’t exploited to the detriment of fans. Thanks for the ongoing feedback:

Best,

Nathan

CEO – Ticketmaster

Learn more about the Ticketmaster 3-day Refund Policy and Fan Guarantee

Ticketology

Today we’re excited to announce three important changes to the way we interact with you.

How We Present Pricing and Fees

We get it – you don’t like service fees. You don’t like them mostly because you don’t understand what the heck they are for. We’ll try to do a better job in this space over the coming months of helping you understand our business, and how our fees compare to others in the industry (both in ticketing and ecommerce in general). But the reality of the live entertainment business is that service fees have become an extension of the ticket price. Most of the parties in the live event value chain participate in these service fees either directly or indirectly – promoters, venues, teams, artists, and yes, ticketing companies – and service fee rebates are our largest annual expense at Ticketmaster.

All of the research we’ve done, and all of our conversations with fans like you tell us that the way we present these fees in the check out process is a huge frustration for you and hurts ticket sales. You just want to know UP FRONT in the buying process how much of your hard earned money you are being asked to pay for a given seat. If we are as transparent as possible with you sooner in the purchase process, you can make the decision about how much you want to pay to go to an event. The problem is that historically we haven’t told you how much you have to pay for a given seat until very late in the buying process. And our data tells us this angers many of you to the point that you abandon your purchase once you see the total cost, and that you don’t come back. The data also says (and this is the important piece) that if we had told you up front what the total cost was, you would have bought the ticket! So by perpetuating this antiquated fee presentation, fans are getting upset, while we and our clients are losing ticket sales.

This practice changes today. Over the next few days we are rolling out a new way of presenting pricing and fees on Ticketmaster.com. Going forward, just like almost every other business in the world, we’ll tell you up front how much you can expect to pay for a certain ticket. We’ll still break out the “face value” from the other fees where required, and we haven’t broken down per-order fees yet (although you will begin to see many of our clients move to truly all-in pricing, because they know it sells more tickets and makes you happier). This user experience mirrors what you see across the web from leaders in their field – Amazon, Apple, Expedia, Zappos and more. It’s not complicated, it’s just the right thing to do.

We are the leader in the industry, and so we are accountable for taking the initiative to drive industry change. We take that responsibility very seriously, and at the new Ticketmaster we wake up every day obsessing over the fan experience. We think this change is a big step toward creating pricing transparency that is good for fans, and thus good for business. We hope it arms you up front with the info you need to decide how you want to experience the incredible live events we sell on Ticketmaster.com. You can see the new layout here (http://bit.ly/a1IZHU). We’re looking forward to your feedback!

Ps – after this week you may see a few events on Ticketmaster.com that have the old pricing presentation…this is most likely because in a select few cases our contracts with venues prevent us from making this change. We’re working with these clients to help them see the benefits, and are confident they’ll want to join in! Almost all of our clients are enthusiastically supportive of this change. Stay tuned…

The 3 Day Return Policy in Live Nation Venues

If we could, we and our clients would happily offer a no-hassle refund policy. We’d like you to be able to buy tickets and have the flexibility to return them at any time in case your plans change. But as you know, our product is a little different than most others that are sold online – it is perishable, and often exists only in very limited supply. One of the additional challenges in the live event business is that we as an industry often don’t price our inventory properly relative to what consumers are willing to pay. Sometimes we price it too high, sometimes we price it too low. We’ll talk a lot more about pricing and our initiatives in this space in the coming months, but this pricing issue has historically made it very difficult for us to offer a no-hassle refund policy. If we offered full refunds at any time, we’d be encouraging ticket brokers to snatch up all the inventory and try to sell it to you for as much as possible, knowing they could refund it with no risk. You would come to Ticketmaster.com, see that an event was sold out, and never come back. Tickets would likely go unsold, and you would probably miss an event you’d love to attend. That’s not good for anyone.

But we’ve got to try something, because we want to give you every reason in the world to buy a ticket. So Live Nation is putting its money where its mouth is, and introducing a new return policy in case you get cold feet. If you buy a ticket in a venue operated by Live Nation (http://bit.ly/97JJkV ), you now have three days to return it, up until one week before the show. We cut this off a week before the show because we need some time to be able to sell that ticket to someone else in case you choose to return it. We’re not pretending we have this perfect, and the policy will probably be subject to some iterations and improvements. But we hope that at a minimum it encourages you to go ahead and buy those tickets, knowing that if your plans suddenly change, or one of your friends bails out the next day, you can return what you need to within three days worry-free. We’ll be watching very carefully to see if the policy is exploited by brokers to your detriment, but we think as a starting point this is a pretty good balance for fans. At Ticketmaster, we’re inviting ALL of our venue clients to join into this policy if it works for them – we’ll handle the customer care at no additional cost. We’ll keep you posted, and welcome your feedback on how we can make it better.

Ticketology

As you can now hopefully tell, our plan is to use this space going forward as a place to write about the industry, our business, and our fans. Please check back often or sign up for our Twitter feed or Facebook page to get notified when we post new updates.

Thanks for reading!

Best,

Nathan

CEO – Ticketmaster