By Liz McTaggart, Digital Marketing Services Manager for Ticketfly, a subsidiary of Pandora that is reimagining the live event experience for promoters and fans.
It used to be de rigueur to hold up your lighter during a ballad at a concert. These days, you look across the audience at a live music event—large or small—and instead you see the brightly lit screens of smartphones, and not just during the slow songs either.
Concert-goers—like almost everyone, everywhere—are finding that their mobile devices are essential companions at live music events, not only for capturing and sharing their experiences with friends, but for researching events to attend, purchasing tickets, connecting with other attendees, and even navigating massive music festivals (“where are the bathrooms?”). With new apps and deeper integrations with existing applications, mobile phones have become increasingly necessary for a positive live music experience.
Let’s dive deeper into the many ways mobile devices make the best music events possible:
Already, more than 60 million listeners have received a notification about a show we think they’d love, and those notifications have proven to drive discovery: 70% of Pandora listeners who received push notifications said they weren’t previously aware that the show was happening.1
Of course, fans aren’t just on Pandora. They’re using their mobile devices all over the web, including on sites like Facebook. Facebook also realizes the significant opportunity in connecting fans with events, and launched a standalone Events app for iOS in October 2016. The Events app allows users to see what events their friends are interested in, discover new events based on time, location and interests, and see updates from events they’re already connected to.
We recognized the need for easy mobile purchasing, and launched Ticketfly’s dedicated iOS app in early 2016, which allows fans to find, share and purchase tickets to events in as little as two taps. In 2016, mobile devices accounted for 52% of Ticketfly’s traffic and 44% of all tickets sold.
Many venues and events also allow mobile tickets to be used in place of paper tickets. A study commissioned by Ticketfly in May 2015 found that 70% of smartphone owners age 18-34 who attend live events want to use their phone as their ticket for entry. A whopping two-thirds of the same age group expressed interest in using their phone to pay for food, beverages and merchandise once inside the venue.4
Festival and In-Venue Navigation
As a concert-goer, the sea of glowing phone screens in front of you is a familiar image. Whether you find it distracting or something you love to participate in, it’s clear that the majority of live music fans use mobile devices to commemorate their event experience.
In 2015, Ticketfly explored the question of how often music fans use their devices at live events, finding that 31% of Millennial concert-goers (age 18-34) use a mobile device during half of the event or longer. Additionally, more than 22% reported that they’re likely to share images they captured at a concert on social media.5
With the number of global smartphone users expected to top 2.3 billion in 2017, we expect mobile usage at live music events to only increase in the coming years. Even though Apple has reportedly been working on software to potentially disable shooting photos and videos during concerts, we don’t imagine it’s going away anytime soon. Concert and festival attendees demand a more personalized, interactive experience, and smartphones are the multifaceted tool that’s going to get them there.
At Pandora, our research has shown that these kinds of mobile, music experiences are especially important when trying to reach Millennials. Get into the Millennial mindset. Download our white paper, “Micro-Moments Are Nice. Experiences Are Unforgettable.”
1 Ticketfly internal metrics, Jan 2017
2 ComScore, “2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus” whitepaper, March 2016
3 Juniper Research, “Mobile - the Big Ticket” whitepaper, April 2016
4 Ticketfly/Harris Poll survey, May 2015
5 Ticketfly/Harris Poll survey, May 2015