Talking Tickets, 25 October 2019 (Never Miss a Newsletter! Sign Up!)

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BTW, I’m putting together a handout for my keynote in Sydney and I’d like to ask you as a subscriber for your opinion. Can you complete the following sentence for me: “The future of live entertainment is…”


I’ve got about 30 responses and I want to add a few more by the end of the day. I’m happy to include your name or keep you anonymous. But if you have a thought on where the business is going, let me know.


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1. Ticketmaster gets bad press for pricing tickets higher than touts (brokers)Color me shocked here, but people are complaining about the prices of concert tickets no matter where they buy them.

I think this story is important because it should highlight a few things to all of us:

  1. When you look at where consumers’ complaints come from, you have to take them with a bit more of a trained eye because how any question you ask a customer is framed will color the answer.
  2. Price is going to be a bigger pain point due to the trend of consumers having less purchase power over the last few decades continues.

2. The World Series opens with two of the 10 least-watched World Series games ever: Baseball has had a bad season in a lot of ways, declining attendance, tickets not selling well in a lot of the playoff rounds, and now the World Series is being met with lower ratings.


Baseball has a marketing problem. I live in DC and I know that the prices on the secondary market are high. I rushed out an episode of “The Business of Fun” with Jesse Lawrence of Ticket IQ to be able to talk about the data from the World Series, but having some of the worst ratings in World Series history highlights a continued need to rethink how baseball is marketed and sold to the American public, and, with the Blue Jays, Canada as well.


3. Cavs rebuild their arena and the discount their tickets like mad: The value of the season ticket is on most folks’ mind.


I’m all for innovation, but I’m skeptical of all of these subscription programs. They sound great in practice, but as we’ve been seeing with WeWork and Uber, people that will buy something when it is $.25 on the $1 aren’t inclined to pay full price when the time comes.


I know that the justification is that “the kids are used to buying Netflix”. That doesn’t hold water with me.


People also buy iPhones on a subscription plan as well, but Apple gets a premium.


When you discount, you are waving the white flag and saying you’ve run out of marketing ideas. That’s what seems to be going on here as these subscription models rise up around the country. They feel like a new take on the crack of comps.

4. DAZN is raising $500M!: I know that DAZN has long term ambition to acquire the rights to the NFL and other top sports.

I also know that I read subscription sites like The Athletic and I look at the pricing now and think about these levels of investment and the costs to acquire content that a significant number of people will spend money on and I ask what is the end game?


To me this feels like people have money and they don’t know where to invest it because not all of these channels and OTT platforms are going to survive.


Besides boxing, what makes DAZN stand out?


5. Manchester City wants to try influencers out as a way to sell tickets to Champions League matches: This one touches on a lot of my favorite topics like tickets, marketing, and influencers.


First, this highlights one of the challenges that the Champions League is facing with their matches happening midweek. And, it is likely going to be another bullet in the ammunition cabinet to push back against domestic leagues and move some of the Champions League matches to better dates, like weekends.


Second, haven’t we had enough of trying to use influencers to market and sell our stuff? In general, it seems that the only folks profiting off of “influence” campaigns are the influencers themselves. It seems to be a one-way street that only works for the “influencer”.


Finally, as sophisticated as Man City are at marketing, email marketing, and building a product worth seeing…does this highlight a reason to have concern about the British economy and the ability for football clubs to fill their stadiums?

What do you think? See y’all next week.


What I’m up to?

Two podcasts this week with Garrett Nolan and Jesse Lawrence. Check it out!


Are you coming to my workshop in Melbourne, Australia on 18 November? Only about 15 tickets left! How awesome is that! Buy one of them!


I will be in conversation with Oli Shawyer at the AFL’s Fan Day on 19 November at Marvel Stadium. We will talk marketing, revenue, and fan experience.


Keep up with me at


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