Ticketing Technology Forum 2016, Dublin

Can streaming get dynamic?

In a conference room near Dublin airport, a large number of people sporting shirt/tie combos are discussing ticketing technology. Eric Valley, director of ticket sales for Cirque Du Soleil in Canada has just shown us the 16 different scalings in their pricing system, telling us:

“One size does not fit all.”

Since the days of £13 CDs, this point has become clearer and clearer in the music industry. With more ways to consume music (many borne in the high seas of piracy) than ever before, there is supposedly an option for everyone: subs for the discoverers, ads for the freeloaders, vinyl for the collectors (and hipsters). While there is something that just about fits everyone, perhaps the recorded music industry could be offering more to fit each individual perfectly.

This is all part of a discussion on dynamic pricing, started earlier by Ana Morillo Arroyo, global strategic pricing director for NH Hotel Group in Spain, who spoke about how the entertainment industry could learn from hoteliers. Boasting a 90% increase in revenue last year she explains that dynamic pricing proves that selling everything ahead of time might fill up rooms, but undersells them. By keeping rooms for the last minute buyers at “ceiling price”, instead of selling them all ahead at a reduced rate, their revenues shoots up and customer satisfaction increases.

So far Amazon are offering the ultimate package deal to whoever wants it all (delivery, music & video streaming, ebooks, audiobooks) – what if Spotify began to offer the opposite to the music-centric consumer?

So many people are only listening to hits from the past year, or new releases, or personalised playlists, or curated playlists, or back catalogues. Couldn’t Spotify track their listening habits and offer them something more specific to them? Perhaps there are listeners who would pay more for access to artist commentaries, or exclusive video content, or for first listen of new releases.

YouTube, Amazon and Pandora aside, the average streaming services are offering all or nothing while the live industry are mapping out ticket prices on heat maps. Perhaps there’s room for Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer to get a little more dynamic.