Social networks are great places to learn about concerts ... after they happen.
The tweets, FourSquare check-ins and real-time Facebook wall posts of live concerts only provoke jealousy and torture people who are sitting at home reading those updates, wishing they had known the band was in town.
For Live Nation, that represents a missed opportunity to sell tickets. To remedy this sad situation, the nation's largest concert promoter has created (what else?) an app.
The company's Concert Calendar on Facebook is an effort to proactively reach out to fans and let them know about upcoming concerts in their area.
With tens of thousands of events in Live Nation's database every year, the app doesn't just serve up all the concerts within a geographic area. Instead, it focuses on a few recommendations that are based on the type of music that the user has indicated they listen to in their profile or the bands that they've "liked" on Facebook.
To further personalize the concerts it recommends, the app taps into data from Last.fm, an online music service that tracks listeners' tastes. For example, The Dead Weather fans tend to like the White Stripes, while Kenney Chesney listeners prefer the Zac Brown Band.
The app adds a viral, social layer by alerting users which of their Facebook friends have clicked the app's RSVP button to indicate they'll be going to a concert. The idea is that people are more likely to go to a concert if someone they know is also going.
Topping off the app is a game-ification mechanism similar to that of FourSquare. Check out the badges section on the lower left of the screen shot above. Users can also accumulate points for recruiting friends, RSVPing for concerts, posting on their walls and so on. The points can be redeemed for credit toward buying a ticket, MP3s or other Live Nation merchandise.
The app, which is currently only available by invitation, is neither the first nor only one to help music fans find concerts. Songkick, StubHub and others also have local concert-finders for both the Web and on mobile devices.
But for Live Nation, it's already proven to be effective. In testing the RSVP feature on Facebook, the company found that every RSVP click correlates with about $5.30 in increased ticket sales, according to Gretchen Fox, Live Nation's vice president of social media.
-- Alex Pham