Ticketmaster Argues with its Largest Client, Live Nation

There was an article in the Los Angeles Times a couple of days ago about Ticketmaster and their negotiations with their largest client, Live Nation.

While it is an interesting article, and it does touch on the salient points: this could be a negotiating tactic, it has been in the past; high prices are hurting the industry, lower prices will grow the revenue base; information about the customer is valuable.

What I wish it delved into more, but at least it did gloss over it, is that Live Nation owns it’s own ticketing system (albeit an older one that it inherited from the acquisition of a promoter that ran a regional system). They also want to start pushing their brand as “Live Nation”. A smart thing… you’ve heard me say it before, “You spent millions on naming rights, why are you telling people ‘Get your tickets at Ticketmaster’?”

In the end, I think that little will change. Live Nation will get a much sweeter deal and Ticketmaster will retain the client. Not until there is a significant player in the industry (software/money/resources wise) will there be a threat to Ticketmaster….

Phone Call Hell!

I have a strong dislike for the phone. Anyone that knows me will tell you that. I only like to talk on the phone when I want to talk on the phone… :o)!

So one of those websites where you submit a request for a proposal from hundreds of businesses got a hold of my number. It appears that some guy named Elan Darvish submitted an RFP for email marketing services, with my phone number! Now, I don’t know if it was malicious or just the transposing of numbers, but I don’t know any Elan Darvish and I definitely have NO NEED for email marketing services!

So obviously, my phone is ringing off the hook with folks wanting to offer me email marketing services. For someone that dislikes the phone (often times I don’t even answer it… so if you are trying to get me, email or sms/text me. You’ll have a much greater chance of a response ), this is a huge problem. But I’m trying to be polite and I’m answering the phone, asking the folks to take me out of their Db’s/mailing lists, etc. I explain what has happened and most are very sorry and apologize. They actually sympathize and say “Wow, you must be getting a lot of calls….”, and are helpful and remove me from their call sheet.

Then there are those that are complete asses! Well, I had had enough of this, and form all the phone calls i’d gleaned enough information to be able to find out where the listing was with my number, etc. I contacted that company and a gentleman there was very helpful. Not only did he remove the offending post, but also knew who I was talking about when I mentioned the guy that called that was so unbelievably rude. He said he’s a problem and will take care of it.

Now that was great customer service and I wish all folks were that easy to deal with!

So Much Crap Written, So Little Time Read, But the Shirts…!

I often talk/type about wanting, or that I should, write more. Lately I have been reading a lot about folks and their blogs and that people really don’t care what you had for breakfast :o)! For the most part, I agree. There are very few blogs/writers that I regularly read, and even then, I think some of what they have to say is just a waste of time…. But of course, I’m different ! I have an opinion. I have smart things to say (yeah, right, let’s face it… I’m a moron)! Really, this is what makes the digital world so “democratic” if you will, it’s not about the medium, it’s about what you say. So with that, let me bore you with a couple of insights….

I have a shirt fetish…. Some women have a lot of shoes. Some men have a lot of ties. I have a lot of shirts. And not just any shirt, but nice tailored shirts, great fabrics, some of them totally obnoxious (wither pattern or color). But don’t think Versace, think more along the lines of British (how they always wear wild socks or the really bold tie). Well, with such a shirt collection, sometimes it’s hard to tell if something is missing, and I just realized the other day that something is. It’s really bumming me out too, ’cause these were great shirts. Yeah, I know, you’re probably saying, “What’s so great about these?” These were a couple of really cool colors, and those are the ones that are hard to find. An orange that is bright, like a prison jumpsuit but not…? Loud but not obnoxious! Now I have to track these down and try to find ’em. See if they are at the cleaners, etc.

What made me notice that these shirts were missing is because my tailor was in town. OK, go ahead and give me a hard time, but yes, I have a tailor. you hear stories of folks that have a tailor in London, or that have their Hong Kong/Singapore tailor and they fly in. I’ve always wanted one but there have been problems. In Europe, the tailors are far too expensive, and even in Hong Kong and Singapore they are getting that way. While I was traveling at the beginning of the year, I found one in Bangkok. Totally reputable, fabulous fabrics and really cheap. I did my homework, which wasn’t easy, and I got one of the best around. I had some stuff made while I was there, and they emailed and said they were coming to town. So I met them and ordered some stuff (shirts, of course).

While they may not have all the garish colors and patterns, they did have the most fabulous Italian cotton fabrics…. They are also going to do a bunch of white shirts for me in an Egyptian cotton (what can I say, my uniform is a pair of jeans, shoes and a crisp white shirt). And the cost for the shirts, even in such great fabrics (the same here in the states would be hundreds of dollars per shirt), a mere $40. It makes custom made/tailored shirts in the finest fabrics less expensive than a cheap machine made shirt at Macy’s :o)!

So, now onto my last rant of the day… people sending you crap via email. My father does this every so often and it can be annoying. Especially when he send political crap as he did recently. He is a republican and voted for the idiot that is currently in office. But he sent out a blast email to a bunch of folks that is political, with one of the topics being that a bunch of Senators voted against english as the national language, and you should call/email their offices and tell them they voted wrong.

What chaps my ass isn’t the fact that he sent the blast email. It isn’t that it’s about a topic that I do not support. What chaps my ass is that it’s about a topic that no one should care about.

The law states that in order to become an American citizen, you must have command of the english language, pass a history test (in english) that I don’t think most American born adults could pass (have you read the statistics or watched Jay Leno lately?), and actually want to be part of the system…. Citizenship is required to vote…. Then why is it a law that ballots are printed in multiple languages?

So let’s stop wasting the time of our congressional members and make them work for their money. Our congressmen and women will spend less than one third of their time actually doing their jobs. Salary and benefits for Congressmen/women are something that most Americans would drool over!

So stop wasting my time and that of our government and do something useful, like improve our schools or provide healthcare to children!

Ticketmaster and Their Change of Heart Regarding the Secondary Market

There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (article and video, $ site) about Ticketmaster and what they are doing about their rivals selling tickets in the secondary/brokerage market.

The crux is that Ticketmaster is finally getting competition for services, but I don’t think that the article hit the nail on the head. I have some experience in this area, and I don’ think that this is the real issue…. Ticketmaster isn’t going to lose a whole lot of business to folks reselling tickets. This has been an issue for many years and the only difference between today’s digital age and the past is that the digital age has done a lot to legitimize the business. So the secondary market isn’t as shady as it was…

Who cares?!? Re-sales of season tickets and the secondary is small compared to the number of tickets available. Ticketmaster is even rolling out these services (the article even comments on this). Clients don’t want to have to deal with multiple inventories, so if you are a Ticketmaster client, there is very little need for StubHub (and their use would be a violation of the Ticketmaster contract, from what I know), and you’ll most likely use the same services offered by Ticketmaster.

So what is Ticketmaster’s greatest threat? In my opinion it’s the internet itself. In years past, what made the ticketing industry is that they aggregated a fractured market and provided distribution…. Customers (the public) could go and get tickets at outlets/phones/internet (i.e. tons of “touch points”) and clients got a service and a potential revenue center (money sharing of service charges, etc.). But that aggregation and access is now done by the internet itself. And with today’s branding and marketing push, why would a company let another take that away from them?

Staples paid millions of dollars for the naming rights of The Staples Center in Los Angeles, and yet all the ads for shows say, “Get your tickets at Ticketmaster”. With the advent of the internet, where even Ticketmaster is selling 60-70% of their tickets online, why isn’t the tag line, “Get your tickets at StaplesCenter.com“?

So what is Ticketmaster’s biggest threat… branding!

And I Saw Ann Richards Recently….

I grew up in Texas and my family was involved in politics (kind of…), having an opportunity to meet/talk with Ann Richards on more than one occasion. She was an amazing woman….

But I just saw her at the beginning of the year while I was traveling in India. We were both in Delhi for the “Beat the Retreat” parade/celebration (sorry, no pictures, cameras weren’t allowed due to the dignitaries and their security). She looked healthy enough, not that white paste look that you get when you are really ill…. Sorry to hear of her passing.

What to Keep…?

So I haven’t written in a while, even though I always comment/say that I am going to do so… it never happens :o(.

Therefore, I thought I would write about a topic that I think all of us can identify with, but don’t talk about… what email to keep. You see, I have been organizing my life, I am a known pack-rat, and I have gotten to my network…. So the question comes up, “What email to keep/archive, what to throw away?”

I have virtually every email I have ever sent/recieved. That’s a ton of email, literally (I get a lot of email, and always have… and people that say, “I get a lot too” don’t understand. While not all valid emails and most are spam (handled at the server thankfully), my server has handled over 55,000 emails in the past 24 hours!

So I started doing something new recently, that’s using folders to put all my read email in and keeping my inbox clean and as a list of items to deal with. When an email/item has been dealt with it gets filed. My current mailbox file that I drag around of “useful” emails, not including my archives, is several gig’s…. Should I keep all of these emails…?