Ticketmaster wants to be more than a destination for tickets to a concert, sporting event or theater production. Echoing a move many other brands have made, the retailer is moving into the publishing realm, giving fans behind-the-scenes access to their favorite venues, events and artists.
"Throughout the course of our history, we've been seen as a utility," Ticketmaster svp of brand marketing Mitch Rotter said. "I want to know how I can get people to think about Ticketmaster not only when they have to buy something but when they don't. It's about building that authority, moving away from utility to much broader resonance."
Currently, Ticketmaster.com has 500 million page views per month, and with its merger with Live Nation in 2010, it became a powerhouse in live events. Rotter wants to take advantage of the fact that Ticketmaster is the official ticket seller of many in-demand performances, shows and games to create a further engaged audience.
While other ticket sellers like Stubhub have been making the move to provide more editorial content and curated experiences outside of simply selling tickets, Ticketmaster has access because it often promotes the event through its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment.
"There is no other platform that can do this with the value proposition we have around the brand," he said. "We have a booming official resale business, and we're the official content providers of the live experience."
Beginning with its blog, Ticketmaster will start publishing editorial around live entertainment including interviews and behind-the-scenes access at concerts and games. Recently, it created a festival guide (hosted on its promo site) as a hub for content including photos, overviews and playlists around tent-pole events. It also opens up its content for sponsorship opportunities.
Ticketmaster is also investing in video series like Access Granted, which tours four legendary NYC theaters: the Apollo, New Amsterdam, Kings Theater and Irving Plaza.
Other clips include its Scalper prank video series, which serves both as an ad to showcase Ticketmaster's official status as ticket retailer for most events and to steer consumers away from unauthorized sales. Branded versions have been featured in the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento King's arenas and on their Comcast sports network home game broadcasts. Two more were created to be used in affiliation with NFL teams later this year.
"Typically when an e-commerce company thinks about content marketing, they think about why their product is great," Rotter said. "We have artists and athletes and performers. We put on shows. That's inherently social, and there's a great opportunity to get a peek behind that curtain."