Do You Stare at Your Smartphone During Concerts? You’re Not Alone.

We are all so terribly, terrible afraid of being bored, even for an instant. This Dilbert cartoon from earlier this week sums everything up nicely.

Now comes this op-ed from the GM of Consumer [sic] for Ticketfly. Apparently, 30 percent of Millennials stare at their smartphones during concerts.

We asked our friends over at Harris Poll to find out how — and how much — fans are using their phones at events, and the results were pretty staggering. Close to a third (31 percent) of 18-34 year olds who own a smartphone and go to live events say they are on their phone during half of the event or longer. Less than 15 percent of that group said they “never” use their phones during a live event.

While I’m not interested in watching FKA Twigs through the tablet someone in front of me insists on holding up for the entire show, there are awesome experiences mobile phones can facilitate during live events that are both great for fans and money-makers for venues. They’re virtually untapped right now, but we can change that. By pairing mobile with technologies like beacons and proximity-aware notifications, venues can create a night out for fans where the only thing they have to do is enjoy the show, while everything they want — like drink discounts and VIP access — is delivered directly to their pocket. There’s significant money to be made in the process:  A 2013 Nielsen study said fans would be willing to spend up to $2.6 billion more annually for opportunities like behind-the-scenes meet-and-greets with artists and exclusive content.

According to our Harris Poll, right now all those phones inside venues are mostly being used as recording devices and vehicles to spread FOMO. This trend is most salient among millennial women: 40 percent of females 18-34 use their phones to snap pictures and videos (compared to 24 percent of males their age), and they are 59 percent more likely than their male counterparts to share their experiences via social during an event. But what’s happening on cameras and social media apps is old hat at this point — it’s what’s just over the horizon that has serious revenue potential.

Read the entire article here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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