More Volume! Analysis of TourVolume.com

Check out TourVolume.com today for up-to-date concert listings with volume!
James Taylor

Com 597, Media, Money, Metrics Final Paper

Spring 2010

More Volume More Places: Tour Volume (TOVO) is an online and mobile concert promotions portal for both independent and major label artists where users can choose an upcoming live music concert to attend by hearing the band, seeing where it is playing, and purchasing tickets.  The goal of TOVO is to be a preferred provider of syndicated concert calendar information to other media properties in need of real-time regularly updated content.

Tour Volume has a huge concert database with:

• 39,601 Artists (bio, 10 related artists)

– 42,345 images

– 62,438 mp3’s

• 116,232 concerts (as of May 2010)

• 31,701 venues

• 112,149 cities.

In my research I used various web and social media analytics tools including Google Analytics, Radian 6, Google Adwords, Compete, and Quantcast to measure the current activity and buzz surrounding TOVO and its competitors to best recommend courses of action that will fulfill its goals.

Recommendation Overview: In the parlance of volume…it’s 4 chords.

*Removed*

2)       Bass -and- Treble: Focus selling white-labeled -and- branded API to two verticals only, radio and existing highly ranked websites.  1) radio because of the synergy between music station calendars and the audio only available through TOVO, and potential to cross-promote, and 2) existing highly ranked Websites that optimize well for concert-related Google searches but lack up-to-date and dynamic content to increase visibility of content “powered by TOVO.”

3)       Rhythm Section: Affiliate and marketing outreach to key influencers, promoting the content more and incentivize them to promote TOVO content through link building, and revenue-sharing.

4)       Whatever makes you Louder: Continue to differentiate itself from competitors by expanding promoter/band-generated content –with- the ever growing database of venues, concerts, and tickets.  And promote the site and API through SEO and SEM catered to long-tailed keywords.

*Removed*

“I have not made the api public yet, because I have not figured out how to make the developer on the other side pay me or figure out how to force them to use my ticket link so that I get paid.” – Dave Bonillas, Tour Volume

White-labeling –and- Branding TOVO:

TOVO has expressed interest in white-labeling its concert info to other media, and there are numerous outlets that may be willing to pay licensing fees between $5,000 and $10,000 monthly (this is what its competitor TIB Concerts generally charges) for the ability to syndicate TOVO content.  But it should also consider other partnerships with influencers in the blogosphere and micro media communities that brand TOVO as a content provider.  This may not garner as much (if any) in terms of licensing fees, but could generate more ticketing revenue with added traffic running through its network and better position the brand to expand to other markets, and verticals within the music industry (such as branded apps for venues – another TOVO idea).

I used Radian 6 to measure what was being discussed on blogs and micromedia sites related to TOVO’s audience and content, and determined who the key influencers were within these groups.  With Radian 6 I found that some strategic outreach to key influencers with the proposition of syndicating TOVO content in exchange for revenue sharing on tickets and linkbacks would be a very cost-effective way to gain momentum for the brand.

My parameters for Radian 6 measurement were:  The last 30 days (May 6 – June 5), and the following brands Tour Volume, Live Nation, with the main keywords being “concert”, and “live music” (and their derivatives).  TOVO doesn’t have much in terms of online chatter currently, so I measured Live Nation because it’s the industry standard for concert promotion as well as a ticketing partner of TOVO’s.

There were 554,621 related “hits” in the last 30 days using our search terms on blogs, micromedia, forums, and mainstream media.  “Concert” and “band” were the most vague and garnered the most inclusions, but “live nation” also was mentioned frequently.

This pie graph illustrates the breakdown of sources for the 554,621 blogs, mainstream, and social media.  As you can see, the lion’s share of related discussions and influence is happening on micromedia (twitter) and blogs – only 7.2% of the discussion happened on forums, mainstream media, and aggregators.

This data illustrates to me that TOVO should actively seek out participation in these related discussions on blogs and twitter, and I dug deeper into the influencer reports to determine who would make the best candidates.

I compiled detailed reports for these two major groups, blogs and micromedia, as well as a comprehensive that ranks all sources based on inbound links and comment counts.  Below you’ll find a snapshot I created, with the full reports going to TOVO to be used as lead generation for strategic outreach.  Not all of these entities will be open to a partnership, but it will allow TOVO a jumping off point with sound strategy in place.

Besides outreach to the key influencers in social media, TOVO should brand its content through partnerships with sites that may help further promote TOVO.  Partnerships with music blog aggregators such as The Hype Machine, which has significantly more traffic than TOVO (see compete.com graphic below) and no concert listings, could be a great first step in building the brand.  The 2 companies could work out a profit sharing agreement for tickets sold through The Hype Machine site and TOVO’s feed.

Also, in terms of strategic partnerships, TOVO should consider outreach to radio station websites in key markets.  These stations drive listeners back to their sites to see what concerts are upcoming; yet many lack enough or up-to-date concert information.  TOVO could provide this content in exchange for branding opportunities and could reasonably expect to reap a larger percentage of the ticket sale.  The radio station could sell advertising on the space as well.   Both instances involve the entity (aggregator, influencer blog, or radio station website) using the TOVO syndication feed, which mandates tickets being sold through TOVO.

Top 50 Radio Markets Ranked By Metro 12+ Population, Spring 2005* * Source : Arbitron 2005
1 New York, NY 15,283,100 5 Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX 4,672,400
2 Los Angeles, CA 10,724,900 6 Philadelphia, PA 4,334,000
3 Chicago, IL 7,648,900 7 Houston-Galveston, TX 4,296,900
4 San Francisco, CA 5,850,900 8 Washington, DC 4,114,900

However, this is not to say that TOVO is not ready to white-label its content to specific partners that do not provide branding value.  There are numerous web properties that are optimized very highly for concert-related searches that lack adequate concert data.  I took the Top 50 radio markets and googled “concerts” in each one, and found at least multiple entries on page 1 that would fit this bill.  From the website purchasing the white-labeled feed, the data appears on that site (see mockup below the Google screenshot below).  This content is much more likely to be clicked on than the sponsored ads currently dominating the space, and will give these highly-ranked sites more relevant content that they won’t have to create themselves.  Many of these sites have diminishing traffic that is trending down (see compete for ny.com above) and very high bounce rates, as users click on them from search engines because they optimize so well, but immediately click off because the content is not up to par.  TOVO’s white-labeled content could remedy this for the website, and provide significant licensing revenue to TOVO.

Boulevards Media is company that owns city.com domain names for over 50 major metropolitan markets and would be a great place to start.

Focus on increasing Visitors –and- Visibility using linkbacks, SEM, and SEO:

TOVO’s focus is not to drive traffic to its website, because they want to be a content provider for other entities.  However, in order to be seen as trusted content for these entities it should better optimize itself for related search. It would make sense to trade links with the blog influencers and partners for branded content referenced above to help accomplish this.  If you look at the above data from TOVO’s Google Analytics you see that a fair amount of its traffic comes from Search Engines, but not much comes from referring sites.

One stated advantage of using TOVO to promote your band is the band profile and audience.  Two things that could be done to incentivize bands to promote their identities more on TOVO would be 1) make a designation and reward those that contribute the most (like a yelp elite), and 2) build the above referenced branded partnerships.  The branded partnerships and added exposure and traffic through the partner sites will incentivize bands further to promote themselves and their shows on TOVO.  ­­­­­

SEM: TOVO could also run a small Google Adwords campaign focusing on long-tail keywords that are less expensive to build traffic and industry awareness.  I pulled from Google Adwords Keyword Tool estimator detailed reports indicating search volumes for TOVO’s related terms, which could help not only in keyword bidding, but in structuring the content of TOVO for SEO.  See a snapshot of some long-tail keywords all estimated at under $1 per click and almost 10,000 monthly searches or more.

Keywords Estimated Avg. CPC Global Monthly Search Volume
live blues $0.60 165000
live scene $0.62 60500
live fest $0.05 33100
concert venue $0.89 27100
live folk $0.05 18100
rock calendar $0.91 18100
concert celebration $0.05 14800

Recommended Milestones –and- Key Performance Indicators (KPI):

By Month 1:

Revamp signup process for TOVO email list. Include more relevant geo-targeted information as well as music preferences.  Send emails out on Wednesday (historically the highest open-rate for email marketing), track open rates and click-throughs from the email, as well as bounce rate for those that click-through.  KPI = marked uptick in user volume the day email is sent.

Boulevards Media. Start dialogue regarding white-labeled data feed.  KPI = closed licensing deal.

The Hype Machine. Start dialogue regarding branded feed.  KPI = closed ticket revenue sharing and feed agreement.

By Month 3:

Influencer outreach. Take Radian 6 reports and make contact with top 100 influencers from both blogosphere and twitter to build partnerships, link-building, and branded syndication.  KPI = 20 targeted/branded feeds on influential blogs, 100 retweets of TOVO content, and marked increase in referral traffic to TOVO website.

By Month 6:

Radio Station Partnerships. Actively forge partnerships with radio station websites in the top 50 radio markets to further brand TOVO, and generate ticket revenue.  KPI = 1 branded partnership in each of the 50 markets.

More promoter and band-generated content. Actively promote the band-generated control to influencers, blogs, and the bands themselves through SEM, and the above-mentioned partnerships.  KPI = Currently TOVO has 39,601 artists listed and 62,438 mp3’s, that number should be doubled.

If TOVO takes my recommendations and timeline using the Radian 6, Google Analytics and other competitive data I’ve compiled to form an expansion strategy it will be well-positioned in a relatively sparsely populated market.  There are currently only a couple of other data feeds that offer concert listings (Pollstar and TIBconcerts to name a few) to other media companies, and none that incorporate everything TOVO has to offer.

 

TourVolume.com (c) 2010

 

Check out TourVolume.com today for up-to-date concert listings with volume!
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