Brave new world - Page 4

Mobile concerts apps vie for your credit card love and attention — what's next? And why should we care?


Thrillcall also might have a deal on a show, a cheaper price from the day before, although that kind of dynamic pricing happens rarely, Tomaszewicz says. "We did stuff for Live Nation and their Mayhem festival and we interested different fans because each day in the five days leading up to the festival we had a different kind of offer: VIP, or discount, or free parking. It's another way to market the same show to a different group of people."

Though as mentioned earlier, Thrillcall will soon be tailor-making your show options, based on the personal preferences you offer to them.

And there's something that's specific to these types of apps, regardless of preference: they offer a this-week or right-now idea of what to do at night. As WillCall's K. Tighe points out, if you buy tickets months in advance — which is the current system for most concert-goers — you have no idea if you'll feel like going out the night of that show. With these apps, it's instant pleasure on the night you want.

"I think if you were forced to buy your ticket three months ahead of time with your finger on the trigger of your mouse, hoping the secondary market doesn't get it before you, your expectations are through the fucking roof. You don't even know if you want to see a show that day," Tighe says excitedly. "So the idea that you decided, 'hey I want to see a show tonight,' you're in the mood to have a good time. That's a more natural approach to going to see live music than planning for months."

And for venues, it solves the question of what to do with those last 50 or 100 tickets the night before the show, so it can be a win-win situation, if it's played out right.



"One of the interesting things, being forced to learn about marketing in the Internet age, is that your customers will tell you where they want to be and how they want to purchase and where they want to go to find out about things," says Robbie Kowal, co-founder of Sunset Promotions (which runs Bay Area parties throughout the year like the annual Sea of Dreams NYE bash, and more frequent Silent Frisco events), and previously did PR for Optivo, a company that was developing technology for dynamic pricing. "As much as I would like people to just open our emails, they insist on making me talk to them on Facebook. So if our customer base, for instance, showed a lot of interest in one of these services, well then we would pursue it further, So far I think they are start-ups."

"Start-ups" might just be another way of saying they don't currently make any money, and would rather throw cash — including WillCall's recent $1.2 mil of VC funding — at building up a user base. In fact, when asked how WillCall plans to make money at all, Dinch responded with this obfuscation, "Whenever you provide these tools that make it easier for people to go to shows, get merch, get drinks at the bar, I think you'll see that the overall money spent on these things will be higher, you'll see more revenue through the venue, through the door, that's the bigger vision. So I think it's fair for us to take a small percentage of those transactions."

Adding, "We aren't currently doing that, eventually we'll do that. We wanted to figure out something that worked before we took money. But hopefully we've managed expectations with everyone that it's not going to be forever free."

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