Ticketfly CEO: New Business Opportunities Emerged From Ticketmaster, Live Nation Merger
Recently, I spoke with Andrew Dreskin, who is CEO of Ticketfly, an independent ticketing and social marketing platform. In this interview, Dreskin talks about the talent bubble in the live music sector and how social media has changed the way that concerts are marketed.
Hypebot: What new opportunities emerged from the Ticketmaster and Live Nation merger?
Andrew Dreskin: Historically, Ticketmaster was like Switzerland: a neutral third party. Live Nation, however, competes with many venues and event promoters around the world, which means that a combined Ticketmaster/Live Nation is a ticketing company that competes with many of their customers. We have heard from many Ticketmaster clients and former Ticketmaster clients that they are not interested in having their competitor profit from the sale of their tickets and have access to sensitive sales data. This has created opportunities for us as many Ticketmaster clients are seeking a neutral provider.
Hypebot: How has Ticketfly been able to help concert promoters operate more efficiently?
Andrew Dreskin: The core of Ticketfly's offering is an integrated content management system that allows a promoter to enter show data once and have it populate its website, ticketing pages, email newsletter, iPhone app and social networks. Without these tools, concert promoters operate inefficiently with fragmented technologies and disparate software systems that don’t communicate with each other. Each time they confirm an act, they have to create that event in their ticketing software, website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, their email newsletter…well, you get the picture. It is hugely inefficient, expensive and time consuming. We fix that for them.
Hypebot: Once older acts retire, will the existing artists be able to fill up the larger venues?
Andrew Dreskin: I think so. Music will always present a rite of passage for youth and as long as that's the case, great acts will sell concert tickets. Unlike recorded music, you can't pirate the live experience. There are a lot of great bands out there that are moving up the food chain into larger facilities, acts like Radiohead and Arcade Fire. That said, today there are so many competing options for people's time and entertainment dollars that it’s not clear to me if we will ever again see the number of stadium acts that we saw in the past. We are definitely seeing a shift into mid-sized venues, venues in the 5,000-capacity range, which bodes well for us. This is our sweet spot.
Hypebot: In what ways has social media and analytics changed show marketing strategies?
Andrew Dreskin: The exponential sales and marketing opportunity presented by the social networks may be the most exciting development in the live event and ticketing industries…ever. Live events are inherently social. People don't go to concerts alone. There are no more qualified prospective buyers than a ticket buyer's friends and followers. Think about it: someone buys a ticket. They "share" that event with their 500 Facebook friends. Four people click the link, buy tickets, and share it with their 500 Facebook friends. Well that's 2,500 or so incredibly qualified potential ticket buyers. Moreover, the beauty of it all is that there was no additional work for the promoter and we weren't asking the public to engage in behavior in which they weren't already engaging. The net effect this is that effective use of social marketing allows venues and promoters to spend less money buying traditional media such as print ads.