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The DOJ v. Live Nation, “Listening Only”, and more…a Friday Link dump.

A few things I’ve been looking at…

A second Friday email with me cleaning out my inbox and reading list a little bit. 

In case you missed the first one about Broadway

Before we get there, a few things from me:

Don’t miss out on the FREE price webinar on August 15th at 1 PM Eastern. I’ll record it and share it with the folks that signed up.

Linktree: Find everything I’m up to.

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Drake cancels Memphis show, pushes back Milwaukee date

Lots of “production issues” this year?! 

Also, “Platinum” ticketing is not dynamic pricing since the pricing only moves in one direction. 

“Listening Only” tickets to Beyonce, anyone?

Pearl Jam sells tickets at full price for seats behind the stage. They don’t have any staging and will usually play a song for “the back”. They also have screens to show the full show. 

Here’s a shot of what that looks like at a Pearl Jam show:

There doesn’t seem to be much indication of what a Beyonce show would look like from the listening section, but $157 seems steep. I’ll be curious to see how well attended the shows in the DMV are this weekend. 

What do y’all think? 

Two of my favorite brands come together: the Ninja Turtles and the Spurs

Why didn’t the Barbie marketing plan include some women’s teams? 

Also, I’m totally getting the N17 x NYC shirt or sweatshirt

Conflicting reports on whether DOJ will take antitrust action against Live Nation this year:

My connections around DC have told me the following:

  • The case for legislation/litigation against Live Nation/Ticketmaster is fluid. There are conversations coming from multiple angles and no clear, true direction. (Including, potentially, from shareholders.) 
  • Part of the information I get tells me that despite what is being reported, legislators are at different levels of knowledge and understanding about the right course of action. 
  • Lots of this is grandstanding, driven by the reality that this is an issue that allows politicians on both sides to have easy talking points and “wins” by using it. 

Do I think there will be a lawsuit by the end of the year? 

No. I’d say that 2024 is more likely. But I would expect to see some more “proposals” and ideas from Congress in the fall. 

Smells! They matter:

I’ve talked about smells as a brand code in the past specifically with regards to the Four Seasons in Miami. 

The Brickell location had a signature smell that stuck with you. 

Ownership changed hands and they went to a new smell. You notice the smell by its absence. 

I’ve heard from other partners that smells have a big impact in their buildings. 

Pay attention to these simple brand assets. They can make a huge difference. 

Be Warned: Guicci cuts ads at the start of COVID to protect their margins…and their margins went away:

The rule of thumb is you try and keep advertising at all times. But usually, your ad budget is the easiest thing to cut. 

COVID was different…no one knew what was going down. So I don’t want to draw a comparison to COVID’s closing of venues. 

For y’all in marketing roles now, there is uncertainty about ticket sales, subscriptions, and more. 

You don’t want to cut your ad budgets indiscriminately. Past experience says that the businesses that invest during downturns have great stability during the uncertainty and continue to have an advantage once the rebound happens. 


Excess share of voice.