We Talk About Fans and Friends Of Fans, But What About Groups Of Friends That Are Fans?

Fans-Richard_of_England-flickrWhen we talk about fans, we usually seem to speak of individuals or aggregates, the people musicians connect with directly and a difficult to define mass that has a will of its own. Sometimes reaching friends of fans is considered, for example, as an aspect of word-of-mouth marketing on Facebook. Even viral marketing is usually discussed as one-to-one and/or one-to-many. But recent news regarding ticketing and friend matching for live music events from WillCall, StubHub and Jukely is a reminder that groups of friends who are also fans are worthy of special attention from both musicians and music marketers.

WillCall Adds Ticket Gifting

WillCall began as a concert discovery and ticketing app that has been adding features and raising money. Currently available only in New York and San Francisco, plans are to enter new markets, develop the app further based on the "entire live music experience" and strengthen social features.

Yesterday WillCall announced the addition of ticket gifting to friends. Basically this allows one person to purchase the tickets and then send them to each attendee before the show allowing more flexibility for groups of friends. It sounds like the idea is to also encourage everybody in the group to sign up and thus expand WillCall's user base.

It also sounds like one could initiate an event by buying tickets and sending them to friends. This feature makes WillCall a potential dating app in the sense that any app with social elements can lead to dating without having to take on the potential baggage of being pigeonholed as a dating app.

StubHub Launches Go Together

Last week secondary ticketing site StubHub launched Go Together to make it "easier to invite friends to events, see who's in, vote on seats, and split ticket costs – all in one place." It's a more complex offering that is a strong match for how groups of friends actually work things out when going to an event together.

Go Together seems designed to encourage group ticket buying by eliminating some of the pain points of that process. It also leverages earlier findings that interactive seat maps and related tools for ticket-buying fans increase ticket revenue.

Jukely Wants To Be Your Concert Matchmaker

Sometime earlier this year Jukely, a live music "concierge" operating in New York, became a "matchmaker for concerts & friends."

I spoke with co-founder Bora Celik back in May and was impressed by Jukely's approach to both music concert discovery and app design.

We haven't discussed the new direction but my superficial understanding is that they've taken the concert discovery and social features and added friend-matching features while focusing branding on friend-matching. By using the term "matchmaker," Jukely also teases the covert dating aspect of such apps while carefully speaking only of "friends (and friends of friends)."

Shouldn't We Be Thinking More About Groups Of Friends?

All three of the above examples encourage group attendance at live shows and music events in ways that are also designed to encourage further use of the app or feature. By making one or more aspects of group attendance easier these efforts could also encourage more group activity overall which is good for all concerned.

These examples suggest that musicians and music marketers could benefit from finding ways to encourage group attendance at live shows.

Possibilities range from special group ticket packages to prizes for groups instead of individuals to groups featured on a band's media properties.

Next time you're evaluating your marketing tactics and strategy, be sure to consider groups of friends who are fans in your planning.

[Thumbnail image courtesy Richard Matthews.]


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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