Monday, November 26, 2012

The New LiveNation.com


            Early on, Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard stated in a 2011 Fast Company article that he wanted Ticketmaster.com to be a hub for music fans to shop, get tickets, and hang out. While Ticketmaster.com itself hasn’t made any changes, its parent company Live Nation Entertainment launched the redesigned LiveNation.com and it has created quite the buzz in the industry. The aim of the site is to tap into the social aspect of going to concerts.
            They’re starting this focus by introducing three new features to the site as outlined by a recent article on Billboard.biz. The first is a concert countdown clock for each event. According to Live Nation Labs’ Eric Garland, the point of the Concert Countdown is to create something you can share and own. The second feature is Showbook. Showbook is a feature that aggregates show photos from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This could be a killer feature, as people love to take pictures at concerts. I think it’ll at least bring traffic to LiveNation.com. The third feature is One Nation. One Nation is a site, which has exclusive photos and videos from artists. This is an excellent use of the company’s connection to artists and hopefully one that will blossom over time.
            So the main question is does it work? I would have to say no. The new LiveNation.com is not the great music site its creators wanted it to be. First, the site is a little hard to navigate. It goes for an iPhone app/Windows 8 look with large tiles. This however means to get to later dates; you have to scroll way down. You can change to a list view but the means to get there are not clear. You have to just look at events for this weekend. Also, there are no instructions on how to get your photo into the Showbook for the event. Reading the fine print of the help page shows that it goes by the photo’s location to mark it but what if your phone can’t find the location due to poor cell service or a remote location. This, in turn, makes it hard to share photos. The site should also have an upload function to add your own immediately. Also the update broke My Live Nation. I can’t log into my account and when I do, it leads me back to the Ticketmaster.com Live Nation skinned site. The One Nation part works well but the layout is very poor. It needs a way to search or seek out the content you would like to see not just what’s available. It also launches with a new URL and in a new tab or window. The site should keep you within the main LiveNation site. Of course, a big factor in all of this is the listings are confined to Live Nation and Ticketmaster venues. If your show is outside of this, good luck. By making the site more inclusive, it could build more loyalty to the Live Nation brand over time. Another great feature would be to link up with the TourBus app to provide show ratings and reviews. Lastly, HypeBot says that this is only the beginning and the real reason behind the site is to begin aggregating the data of Live Nation consumers. This began when the company acquired BigChampagne at the end of 2011. If so, this will mark an exciting move in music marketing and it'll be interesting to see how that influences LiveNation.com but for now Live Nation has a long way to go to make their site a hub for music fans.