A Ticket Scalping Benefit for Bands

 

Country-singer Kacey Musgraves was preparing for a sold-out show at the 1,800 seat Van Buren in Phoenix on February 13th, 2019 when she took home four trophies including Album of the Year at the 61st Grammy Awards on February 10th. Phoenix fans were lucky to find out that her management had already placed a second show on sale at the 5,000 capacity Comerica Theater in August.

 

I was certain that Musgraves new mass-market status was going to push demand, and consequently the price of tickets up. It appeared that I was not the only one.  The show sold great out of the gate and within weeks very few primary tickets were left. Fans were forced to purchase from the resale market. As usual, these prices were higher than the ticket’s face value – at least up until showtime.

 

Between 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm on show day a flood of tickets went on sale. Many at half the face value. Tickets are sometimes released closer to show time, but usually, these are from the act’s camp and sold on the primary market. Instead, these below-face value tickets were found on the resale markets. This got me thinking about the ticket brokering game, how it impacts the concert ecosystem, and if there is an added benefit to the practice.

 

Most of the press surrounding ticket scalpers or brokers is negative and rightfully so. They buy blocks of tickets at face value then jack up the prices. This results in less opportunity for true fans to enjoy their favorite artist. However, at its core, ticket brokering is pretty much the same as trading stocks. You buy a piece of a company at a reasonable price in hopes that their valuation will rise so you can sell the stock and earn money for your prediction. The same is true in ticket scalping. Individuals or companies buy up blocks of tickets based on the assumption that demand for a particular artist will increase. These entities then raise the price and make a profit on their analysis.

 

But what happens when these predictions are off and the broker is stuck with a block of tickets they can’t sell at face value? In the stock market, that individual can just hold onto the stock in hopes of a better-priced future. However, in the world of rock-and-roll concerts are time-sensitive. The ticket scalper’s opportunity to recoup his or her investment is gone forever once the lights hit. The only course of action is to sell at a loss and hope they make some of their money back.

 

This can be a HUGE benefit for the artist. In most scalping instances tickets are purchased at the agreed-upon ticket scaling rate between the venue, promoter, and artist’s management team. Yes, brokers buy up blocks of tickets, but they are typically doing so at face value, so the artist receives some benefit.  For one, they are more likely to have a sold-out show and for a band building their brand on the road. Sold-out shows help them appeal to promoters and talent buyers that represent larger spaces and better opportunities. As I mentioned in a previous post, buyers and promoters are constantly assessing the risk involved in booking an act and sold-out sales metrics help alleviate that concern. Second, and perhaps more important. The band and their team earn a larger paycheck. This helps them stay on the road.  Pay the crew, put on better concerts, market new events, and release new music.

 

I am not condoning ticket scalping. Especially in a day and age where bots can exasperate the process and cut off true fans within seconds. Just remember, scalping has been a part of the concert industry for decades. We all hate paying more than the face value of the ticket we receive. However, there are plenty of times where savvy fans get into shows at exceptional rates without impacting the Artist’s bottom line. There is some benefit to that.

 

 

 

Promoter and Buyers Explained

 

I am a talent buyer in the casino industry.  Yet, some people tend to call me a promoter and while both share similar responsibilities. There are some differences between the two as well as one very important concept both share.  Watch the video to learn more about talent buyers and promoters from entertainment consultant Jeremy Larochelle.

 

 

 

The Email Operations Killer

The Email Cc’ combines a benign appearance and exponential results that can swallow-up the average office worker’s day. Let’s take a look at why the email Cc’ should come with a warning label much like a pack of cigarettes.

 

If I were to email an employee, they would likely reply. That is (at a minimum) two emails.

 

Not too shabby.

 

Consider instead, I “Cc” two people on that email. This increases the likelihood that a number of different exchanges could result. Cc’d party one (1) could email the employee directly. The employee could email Cc2. Cc2 could email the whole group… the list goes on and on. To calculate the number of potential exchanges we need to utilize the permutation formula from the mathematical study of Combinatorics.

 

To calculate the permutations of potential interactions between the sender, receiver, and the two “Cc’d” parties we will apply the permutation formula Four choose Two (4!c2!), which is 4×3 or 12. We then need to add four since each entity can also email the entire group. This results in 16 possible permutations.

 

Whoaa… those two Cc’s just increased the email chain potential interaction by 700%.

 

Imagine, a few days ago, I received an email with thirty plus Cc’s and I know I am not the only one swamped in electronic correspondence. Just look at what Harvard Business Review reported:

 

“The average professional spends 28% of the work day reading and answering email, according to a McKinsey analysis. For the average full-time worker in America, that amounts to a staggering 2.6 hours spent and 120 messages received per day.”

 

For many, the Cc’ seems so innocent and that is where the problem starts. We add our bosses to that quick response to a client to show them we are on it. We Cc’ Sharon in accounting, because it seems like the right thing to do. We may even Cc’ other members of the client’s team since they always include those people in their emails anyway. And why wouldn’t we? It takes barely any time to include them in the chain and it doesn’t cost us anything.

 

Or does it?

 

Harvard Business Review’s article demonstrates that this afterthought can be detrimental to your entire operation. I contend that much of those 2.6 hours per day spent working on one’s inbox can be attributed to the overzealous use of Cc’s in many organizations. We already demonstrated that four people on a chain can result in the potential for 14 additional email interactions. Add two more on the Cc’ line and the total potential interactions jump to 36. Now consider that HBR’s research tells us that it takes, on average, either 15-30 seconds for someone to read an email or three-seconds to delete it. Then, it takes that individual another 64 seconds on average to return to their normal state of work. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out this is an unsustainable practice.

 

Sure, we are not reading every single email we are Cc’d on and it doesn’t take many of us 64 seconds to return to work after reading every email. These are just averages. The point of this article is to demonstrate through sheer math just how dangerous those Cc’s can be.

 

Use them wisely my friends.

Mapping Your Electronic Drums Easily for Midi

 

One of the keys to getting a quality electronic drum take is for the musician to have a good feel on the kit. Is she hearing the snare nuisances envisioned?  Does her hi-hat foot create just the right wash?  While Steven Slate Drums does an exceptional job out of the box when mapping your Roland kit. Sometimes, things can be “out-of-whack.” You will likely need to re-map your MIDI notes To fix that snare sound that isn’t triggering… the ride that sounds like a splash… etc.

 

Here is a “down and dirty” way to achieve these results right from the Roland Drum head.

 

Using Venue Math to Find Your Baseline

I wanted to demonstrate how data, research, and math can help venue managers and marketers book concerts.

 

 

To do that, I took research on music adoption from The Verge and consumer behavior experts. Then, applied some rudimentary math skills to demonstrate how one could likely pinpoint eras of music that would better align with a concert venue’s marketing strategy.

 

Works Cited:

Ong, T. (2018, February 12). Our musical tastes peak as teens, says study. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/12/17003076/spotify-data-shows-songs-teens-adult-taste-music

Solomon, M. R. (2019). Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being (12th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson.