TicketBiscuit Acquires Dais Limited
-- TicketBiscuit added more heat to an already hot ticketing market by acquiring Portland, Ore.-based Dais Limited, the company announced on Friday. Dais founder Jason Mastrine will become TicketBiscuit's Western region director of business development. A TicketBiscuit spokesperson tells Billboard Dais will be assimilated into TicketBiscuit.
The acquisition gives TicketBiscuit a presence in Oregon and Colorado. Dais's client roster includes Mississippi Studios (iPortland, Ore.), Yarmony Grass Music Festival (Rancho del Rio, Colo., about 2.5 hours from Denver), the Alberta Rose Theatre (Portland, Ore.), Mishawaka Amphitheater (Bellvue, Colo.), and STS9's Re:Generation Festival (North Plains, Ore.). Already among its clients are GFour Productions, the Georgia Theater and more recently, the Valarium (Knoxville, Tenn.). Founded in 2001, TicketBiscuit raised a round of funding last December from C&G Partners.
As we detailed in a recent Billboard magazine feature ("Ticketing is Now Most Important Issue in Touring Business," registration required), ticketing is the hottest, most compelling and most important areas of the music business right now -- even though it's often overlooked or misunderstood. While Ticketmaster's merger with Live Nation certainly changed the shape of the market, there was already a great amount of competition and innovation brewing across and country and around the world.
To be sure, Ticketmaster is a dominant ecommerce company with a long list of big clients. Yet many companies of various sizes are chipping away at its market share little by little and creating new markets for self-ticketing. Check out our multi-page feature to get a better understanding of the companies' business models, and the features and services they offer.
The Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding
-- Through services like Kickstarter and PledgeMusic, artists now have access to a different way to finance their projects: through their fans. But is this the right way to put out music?
Brian Hazard, who records and performs under the name Color Theory, offers some interesting thoughts on fan funding (also called crowdfunding), the method of raising money for projects through fans. These sites allow fans to pledge money to different tiers.
So a $10 pledge, for example, might get an album download while a $50 pledge might get a CD, album download and personalized thank you letter. If the project's goal is met, fans' credit cards are charged for the amount they pledged and the artist must deliver. If the goal is not met, nobody pays.
But Hazard argues that fan-funded projects are dishonest ("why should your fans pay to promote something they already bought?"). He thinks artists give up their freedom ("you become accountable to them … you no longer call the shots"). And he warns the artist could fail to deliver ("Your failure functions as a reverse testimonial. And then what?").
"No matter how much money you throw at your project, we're all limited by a stubborn principle called free market pricing," Hazard argues. "People are only willing to pay what a product is worth to them, not what it costs to produce. The intrinsic value of music is in free fall, and people won't pay for it if they're just not that into you."
Instead, Hazard points to one way to capture the benefits of fan funding without downside exposure: take pre-orders. So, for example, extras like phone calls and Skype concerts can kick in as milestones are met. That strategy, he explains, allows the artist to create extra tiers of participation without locking the artist into promises that could be hard to deliver.
One thing is worth noting: Quite a few Kickstarter campaigns seek to raise the final amount of money needed to mix, manufacture and release the album. In those cases, the songwriting, arranging and much of the recording are already done. The final hurdle tends to be cost of getting the recordings to market -- making CDs and LPs and promoting the release. In these cases, there is more certainty in the artist's ability to deliver on promises made to fans who pledged money.
(Know the Music Biz)
Belgian ISP Won't Be Forced To Implement Filtering Technology
-- In the case of SABAM and Belgian ISP Scarlet, an advocate general of the European Court of Justice has ruled against forcing the ISP to implement filtering technology.
According to TorrentFreak, Advocate General Cruz Villalón said, "the installation of that filtering and blocking system is a restriction on the right to respect for the privacy of communications and the right to protection of personal data, both of which are rights protected under the Charter of Fundamental Rights. By the same token, the deployment of such a system would restrict freedom of information, which is also protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights."
SABEM has attempted to get Scarlet to utilize filtering technology to help weed out piracy. The case went to the Brussels Court of Appeal and then to the European Court of Justice. But Villalón now says Scarlet could be forced to filter traffic only if a law was "adopted on a national legal basis which was accessible, clear and predictable."