Business Matters is a daily column that offers insight, analysis and opinion on the day's news.
-- Ticketmaster will reports its Q2 earnings after the bell Thursday. One analyst expects sales of $396 million and is worried that more venues will internalize ticketing operations as the price of technology drops. That's a fear founded in reality. Denver's Pepsi Center and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center have taken the DIY route, and there will be more. Ticketmaster will eventually need to offer more valuable services in order to keep some clients. (AP)
-- More than half - 63.28% to be exact - of YouTube's daily top 100 videos do not carry advertisements, according to TubeMogul. All of the site's partner/professional videos carry ads. The statistic does not include a range of dates, but it is clear the top 100 videos figures cover more than one day (since they are not whole numbers). (MediaMemo)
-- On-demand radio firm Grooveshark has launched a VIP level of service that allows members to get early access to new features and products. VIP access, set to launch on August 24, will be free of advertisements and costs $30 a year or $3 per month. Spotify has a VIP tier. Others are sure to follow. The economics of ad-based streaming will force companies to explore alternative revenue sources. Thus far, VIP perks are nothing spectacular. Spotify's conversion rate, reported to be miserably low, is evidence the VIP pot will require serious sweetening before consumers part with the equivalent of a large cup of premium coffee every month. But what if VIP tiers eventually lured in consumers by the millions? Good thing labels have a two-tiered licensing structure that would capture this upside by taking a percent of revenue. (Grooveshark VIP)
-- Knitting Factory will open its new Williamsburg, Brooklyn, location next month. Its Manhattan venue closed last year. (The L Magazine)
-- Interesting times for music. Alec Ounsworth, singer for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, has a new band called Flashy Python. Coverage in blogs and other media outlets should be very good, which should provide a good case study for Flashy Python's service provider, Topspin Media. The band's home page has an embeddable widget that streams the entire album and has a buy button that takes the listener to a page with three options: digital download, CD plus download or vinyl plus download. And in a nod to indie stores, there is an email address for retailers interested in carrying the album. There's hardly anything flashy about the Web site, but visitors can listen to the entire album - and buy it.
-- RIP click-through rate. "Today's consumer is being assaulted by marketing everywhere they turn - Web sites, television, movie theaters, even grocery store shopping carts. Simply catching someone's eye enough to click your ad isn't sufficient - especially when you consider that for many consumers, clicking could be more an action of habit than an indication of real interest. (Web surfers have notoriously short attention spans.) The emergence of social media marketing has further muddied the waters. Studies by Forrester Research and Marketing Sherpa both show surprising amount of confusion about the space. The MS study points to the two factors that present the biggest barriers to entrepreneurs are a lack of knowledgeable staff (46%) and an inability to measure return on investment (43%)." (VentureBeat)
Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.