Taylor Swift The Eras Tour Concert

The Best Concert Experience – Taylor Swift Edition

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Concert experiences have not changed in many decades. This insight discusses the current experience featuring Taylor Swift and how she and other artists can evolve it into a journey featuring multiple engagements, retail-driven experiences, and immersive fun.

Introduction – Taylor Swift Concert

Taylor Swift recently has a run-in with Ticketmaster over the latter’s execution on ticket sales for the United States leg of her new The Eras Tour. While 2.4 million tickets were sold in pre-sale alone, the public was left empty-handed without any opportunity to buy tickets for their beloved Anti-Hero singer afterward. It is extremely rare for public sales to be canceled. This unprecedented event causes the government to further investigate the ticket retailing industry.

Taylor Swift announced the Eras Tour on Good Morning America

Perhaps it is time for Taylor Swift and other artists to rethink the concert experience strategy.

Current Experience

The current experience accelerated from physical to digital in the 1990s. Venues worked with vendors like Ticketmaster/Live Nation to build the infrastructure enabling fans to buy tickets in the comfort of their living rooms over waiting in line at a store/venue. This convenience powered Ticketmaster to an 80% or more market share for different-sized venues.

Current Concert Experience
Current Concert Experience Source: Trinity Kubassek at Pexels

However, this is where innovation stopped. Attendees get tickets months in advance, head to the venue, get merchandise, purchase food/drinks, and watch the concert before heading home.

The experience requires waiting in line at multiple checkpoints from security checks to concessions and from vendors to washrooms. The long wait time and queuing is a common complaint of concertgoers. The increased frustration has a negative impact on earning potential for the artist and vendor.

Enhancing The Experience

This is the time to solve the bottlenecks highlighted above by enhancing the customer experience journey with new engagements and activities starting with the ticket purchase process.

Ticket Purchase Process

While Ticketmaster introduced a verified fan program for fans to get in line for tickets in advance, it may not have the desired outcome in the public eyes. Many long-time Taylor Swift fans were not able to purchase tickets through this method.

[IDEA] Based on different membership tiers, eligible fan club members and credit card holders should be issued individual unique codes that could only be used once at a specific time. This improves purchase personalization and reduces abuse through code sharing. It would also stop bots from gaining access to tickets during pre-sale.

After Ticket Purchase But Before Event

If you are a lucky fan who got tickets in advance, it could still be months before the actual event. This is the perfect time for artists to start the concert preparation process with unique activities.

Concert Tickets
Getting tickets is just the first step in the customer experience journey of a concertgoer.

[IDEA] Instead of asking concertgoers to buy related merchandise at the event, why not let them buy in advance for pick up at the venue or deliver at home? This will reduce the line of people waiting to buy items on-site. Additionally, venues can presell some food/drink bundles earlier for pickup at different spots. This could reduce lines at food/drink concessions.

Out-Of-The Box Experience

The first two ideas alleviate some of the frustration of purchasing tickets to and attending an event. However, this would not be an insight without some out-of-the-box ideas for artists to generate more interest, maximize interactions, improve revenue potential, and build better relationships.

Beyond The Venue

While Taylor Swift was able to sell out the initial 50 stadium dates of the tour in record time, there are still many fans who would like to attend the concert in some fashion. Why not give them that opportunity by working with movie theater owners to live stream at different locations similar to how New York City’s Metropolitan Opera broadcast its programming around the world? This idea could open a new avenue to manage the overflow of fans wanting to attend the event in the same city. In addition to live-streaming, Taylor Swift can sell merchandise at these selected locations to improve the revenue mix.

Personalization

Fan participation is becoming more important as technology enables better communication between fans and artists. Kacey Musgraves allowed fans to pick a unique song for her to play at every stop of her Star Crossed: Unveiled Tour.

What if Taylor Swift expands that experience by asking concertgoers to log in to a specific mobile application or website and pick a song digitally? This will provide Taylor with some insights into what fans like at different locations and allow them to be part of the song selection experience.

Additionally, the time between ticket purchase and event can be used to engage goers on the next steps, add participation points with contests and easter egg hunts (something Taylor Swift loves to curate), and generate excitement with behind-the-scenes designs/music selections.

Pop-Up Retail Experience

It is great to attend an event in person. However, for those that do not have access, why not treat them with a pop-up retail experience? This shows fans a trinket of what will happen on-site. In our first podcast episode, we discussed the successes of BTS and Harry Styles’ unique pop-up experiences that created fans.

Taylor Swift can partner with select malls to showcase tour items at each city location and introduce opportunities for those who cannot attend the event to grab tour merchandise. This partnership could improve mall traffic, promote the event through the pop-up experience and the mall’s digital assets, and bring fans closer to the action.

After the tour is completed, pieces showcased across the country could be stored at a physical or virtual museum for fans to relive the memories.

Final Word

Taylor Swift’s new concert tour could be the starting point of an experience revolution that goes beyond attending an event at a venue. She has a unique opportunity to build an eco-system around the tour to improve interaction, create new revenue streams, and build a closer relationship with fans even if they can’t go to the show.

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Larry Leung
Larry Leung

Larry Leung is a customer experience strategist based in Toronto, Canada. He is a Principal and Chief Experience Officer at Transformidy, a consulting agency focusing on helping brands with their customer experience strategy. He has over 20 years experience working with brands like IBM, TD Bank Group, Manulife, CIBC, Cineplex, McCain, GTAA and more.

He also has a Canadian Leadership role at the Customer Experience Professional Association (CXPA). He is a frequent contributor to local and international publications and a speaker at various conferences.

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