Ticketmaster Debuts iPhone App
-- Ticketmaster released on app for iPhone Tuesday that allows consumers to quickly and easily buy tickets on their Apple mobile device. While the new app is fairly similar to the Live Nation app that debuted in November 2010, Ticketmaster's app seems to have the edge because it's focused on expanding the ticket-buying experience to a popular mobile platform.
Using the Ticketmaster app will be second nature to anybody who has purchased tickets at Ticketmaster.com. It allows users to search for local events, view seating chart, peruse set lists from an artists' previous shows, select the delivery method and choose from credit cards on file to make a payment. The price of the ticket is broken down -- ticket price, convenience charge and additional fees -- before the transaction is complete, just as it is at Ticketmaster.com. The app will scan the device for songs and list the local concerts of artists in the user's music collection. Users can opt to include similar artists in the listings, too.
The goal for Ticketmaster is clearly to allow people to buy tickets wherever they are and on their platform of choice. "Our team is focused on delivering a cool, fan-friendly experience for buying tickets on all kinds of devices. Our new Ticketmaster app is the definitive way for fans to find and purchase tickets for events using their iPhone," Ticketmaster executive VP of eCommerce Kip Levin said in a statement.
Early customers reviews at iTunes have been mixed (the average rating as of Wednesday afternoon was 3 out of 5 stars). Some users complained that the use of a catchpa, a security measures that requires the user to enter a short word of series of letters and numbers, was difficult on the small device ("you better have great eyes and tiny fingers," one person wrote). Others criticized the app for showing only local events ("Suppose I am willing to travel," wrote another commenter).
Billboard didn't run across any major hurdles in its brief tests. The catchpa requirement is a bit annoying -- when isn't it? -- but hardly an obstacle for the Internet literate. The lack of shows outside the user's local area is a bit of a drawback, however, and would be a welcome addition in the future.
( Press release)
Why You Should Care About Pintinterest
-- Pinterest is the next in a long line of social media sites that merits your attention. Just why it matters has been well documented in an infographic by Modea that incorporates data from comScore, TechCrunch and Shareaholic.
Here's the quick profile a typical Pinterest user: young to middle-aged, financially well-off females with children who like to shop. In other words, it's the rare social network that's not getting its growth from the tech appetites of young singles. In fact, nearly 7 in 10 users are women and half have children. The site has devotion: Average time spent on Pinterest is 15.8 minutes daily, just behind YouTube (16.4) but ahead of Facebook (12.1) and Twitter (3.3). The real kicker is the influence the site wields: apparel retail referral traffic has increased 289%.
( Business Insider)
Moontoast's Whitney Gives Reason to be Optimistic the About Music Biz
-- Need a reason to be optimistic about the music business? Moontoast co-founder and CTO Marcus Whitney can offer one. In an interview with TechCrunch TV, Whitney says the problem with the early days of digital music -- roughly Napster to MySpace -- is that the industry lacked good tools for marketing and selling to fans. Whitney explains:
"There were no tools in the hands of the music (or) the music industry at large to really do anything about it, frankly. The tools were not business-grade tools… What we've seen over time -- MySpace was probably the first real at how digital and the Internet could really serve the music industry. There's this amazing ability to disrupt the broadcast mediums and the communication platforms between the fans and the artists. And that is revolutionary. You see so many companies that have come out to innovate around that."
This is the point of view of a technologist who builds products and can tell good products from bad products. Technologists started with general applications -- instant messaging, email, general ecommerce -- before moving onto niches like music. Whitney himself worked for email marketing company Emma before leaving to focus on Moontoast. Now, Whitney and others like him have given artists and labels better, more powerful tools. That influx of innovation has created a new age of marketing and commerce for musicians.
Whitney went on to say Moontoast is "as easy to use as posting a YouTube video" and putting together a Moontoast app "is like putting together an email." Tools that easy are what that market needs for digital music to take a big leap forward. If you believe companies like Moontoast are giving the market what it needs, you believe music's better days are ahead.
( Moontoast blog)