SBJ/March 28-April 3, 2011/Facilities

New research division a key part of Ticketmaster’s drive to transform business

Ticketmaster’s recent launch of its new research division, LiveAnalytics, is being positioned by the ticketing giant as a key step in its evolution from a more limited software solutions company to a full-service sales, marketing and distribution entity.

LiveAnalytics will seek to provide a wide array of data and analytics, leveraging its global database of more than 180 million fans, and pooling purchase histories, browsing behaviors, fan surveys and many other inputs.

The company has partnered with Ohio-based data technology firm Teradata Corp. to develop LiveAnalytics, and the Los Angeles Dodgers have signed on as an initial beta client.

The output from LiveAnalytics will include demand forecasting, investigation into customer preferences and industry benchmarking. That data will be incorporated by some clients into dynamic pricing strategies, though company executives said the intent of LiveAnalytics is far broader than just price modeling. LiveAnalytics will be led by John Forese, recently hired from Nokia-owned mobile analytics company Motally Inc.

“Historically, Ticketmaster didn’t do a good enough job taking advantage of its bigness, its scale,” said Nathan Hubbard, chief executive for Ticketmaster. “Looking at the business, we’re a top-five e-commerce company, but have not really done enough with that at all. We’re trying to transform what this business is about.”

The Dodgers, for some time looking to better understand the interplay between the primary and secondary ticket markets, cheered the arrival of LiveAnalytics.

“Considering that Ticketmaster is our ticketing platform, ideally, our best information will come from that partnership,” said Peter Wilhelm, Dodgers chief financial officer. “Yes, we can learn a lot from the secondary and tertiary markets, but our primary partner should produce the biggest inroads in terms of analytics and market intelligence.”

Hubbard acknowledged that the company has an uphill climb in changing the long-battered brand image of Ticketmaster. Additionally, the live event industry is seeking to recover from a tough 2010 that showed double-digit percentage revenue declines in many segments.

“We needed a year like last year to prompt some of these important changes. And we need to start really obsessing about the fan experience,” he said.

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