Former Songkick, Taylor Swift Digital Execs Launch Project Admission, a Data-Driven Ticketing Venture
The ticket buying world has evolved over the years, and there's a new company on the block that is hoping to be part of that continuing evolution.
Stephen Glicken and Jordan Stone have announced the launch of their new Nashville based company Project Admission this month. Project Admission creates an improved, more connected experience for the management, distribution, and exchange of digital tickets. With 28 years of combined experience between them, Glicken and Stone start this venture with a passion for tech and digital integration.
"The ticketing and live event space is one of the most exciting places for innovation right now," said Glicken of his new endeavor. "Nashville is home, and we value being part of the growth of the city. For us, that means bringing our experience to the growing tech community."
After his years as head of Business Development at Songkick, Glicken feels that he is positioned well to take his new company to the next level.
"I had an interesting perspective on the ticketing market – we were selling tickets in about seventy different countries, and dealing with the entire supply chain, particularly from the artists' perspective."
Glicken went on to say that while the major tours are the ones that gather the attention of the media and the sell-out status, that's not the case all the way around "One of the problems with ticketing is that about forty percent of tickets are left unsold. We all know about the big shows, but the majority of events are not selling out all of the tickets."
Project Admission is using an approach to the ticketing market that utilizes data -- and is highly specific to individual tours. "We're not doing a blockchain approach," said Glicken. "There's a lot of people who are, and are applying that to every single vertical regardless of its' value. There's a good narrative in there, but you can put blockchain and the private data base up against the problem, and ninety percent of the time, the things that make a block chain do not apply to these kind of solutions."
Another aim of the company is to keep control of the process to the seller, whether that be the promoter or the artist. "I personally am a big fan of distributed commerce, so rather than locking everything into a vertical and making everything primarily into one company, our thought is to try to tie all the markets together with the idea of giving the control back to the primary ticket seller. We built a very clean and straightforward platform, that in and of itself is very functional. But, it's really about the structure of the deals that we're going to be making across the different ticketing partnerships. The primary partner for us is a ticketing company like Etix, but we're also exploring how we can wrap around the primary ticket, and allow it to pass through a secondary market with control remaining with the primary."
The list of artists that Glicken has worked with in the past ranges far and wide across the A-List of superstars. "We were working with everyone from Adele to Paul McCartney, and Kenny Chesney to Eric Church. In my particular position, the ticketing company's client is the venue, not the artist. Ticketmaster has a deal with Madison Square Garden, and not with Pearl Jam. What we did at Crowdsearch and Songkick, there's a portion of tickets that the artist is allowed to sell directly to their fans, and we would keep those tickets, wrap them in the artist's voice, and help that artist control a portion of that ticket sale to super-serve their fans. We did this globally in seventy-something countries. Effectively, what we were doing is working directly with the artist to push as hard as they could to extract as much value as they could out of owning the ticket sale."
The company is already putting their plans into action. "We are using our platform as a viral campaign, and we are powering a walk-off event with a local company in Nashville called FlyteVu. We're partnering with Sir Roosevelt and Cirque de Soleil – doing a one-off show in Denver. Our platform is a viral mechanic to have the fans ticket the show. We take a handful of fans, and those fans put their identity into the ticket. They get a ticket to go to the show, and three more to share with their friends, and so on and so forth. So far, it's gone pretty viral. We've gone from one initial fan to fourteen times removed from that first person."
Stone, Glicken's partner in the endeavor, has plenty of credentials as well, with his past experience including leading digital marketing for Taylor Swift's management company, 13 Management, where he launched and managed Swift's website and fan club. He also led direct-to-fan ticket sales for Swift's Fearless, Speak Now, and Red tours. Most recently, Stone founded Huckle, a live group chat app for Twitter, which was used by celebrities and national media publications to drive engagement and growth for their accounts.