November 22, gets revamped as a social destination

In the chequered history of music industry acquisitions, Live Nation’s deal to buy BigChampagne is looking more and more like one of the smarter ones.

With that company’s CEO Eric Garland now in charge of the Live Nation Labs subsidiary, as well as the website, the latter has been relaunched this week as much more of a music destination, rather than simply somewhere to buy tickets.

“It started in conversations between [Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino] and me about a more engaged fanbase and how to provide fans with a place to celebrate their passion for live music,” Garland tells Billboard.

“The goal is now to get them to stay and come more often. My first concern is not whether they buy a ticket. It’s a huge win for us with fans and for the business if they nearly get in the habit of sharing their passion and experiences with our community.”

The features – a concert countdown to get fans buzzing about gigs they’re attending beforehand, a ShowBook to upload the photos they take at the concert, and a One Nation channel of performances, interviews and other artist content – look like sensible additions, even though the core ticket-browsing and purchasing functionality hasn’t been ignored.

“The old took nearly five seconds to return a search result if you used the search bar. We’re down in the tenths of one second, in terms of search performance on the new site,” explains Garland.

The important thing here, though, is that the live music industry is ripe for even more digital disruption in 2013, with Live Nation Labs continuing to iterate like a startup rather than like a 900lb promotions gorilla; with established live services like Songkick continuing to innovate (and in turn inspiring the likes of Live Nation); and with numerous startups buzzing with ideas to shake up ticketing and other elements of the live experience.


Stuart Dredge
READ MORE: Analysis News
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