Another Way to Presale

Believe it or not, I try to pay attention to a few other bands/artists out there besides Duran Duran.  While nothing compares to my love and dedication to Duran, I am a fan of other bands.  I just don’t spend anywhere near the same amount of time and money on them.  My fan status is much more casual fan as opposed to the intense fandom of Duran.  One of those other bands that I’m a fan of is Depeche Mode.  It has always ranked within my top five bands.  I own every album of theirs and do try to see them live when I can.  Right now, Depeche is preparing for a flurry of activity.

Depeche’s latest album, Spirit, is due out on March 17th but they have already released a single.  “Where’s the Revolution?” came out this winter and is definitely getting fans’ attention.  If that was not enough, the band has a tour planned for this summer in Europe and more dates coming up in the U.S.

Now, we all know how Duran typically does their pre-sales.  A show is announced on the band’s social media and official website.  That announcement includes information about how much the tickets are, what kind of VIP packages are available and a date and time for the upcoming pre-sale.  Usually, that pre-sale takes place within a couple of days.  At the time of the sale, fans usually have a code that they use to buy tickets.  From there, it is a first come, first serve system.  All fans who are part of the fan club have an equal chance of getting whatever tickets the fan club had, theoretically.

Over the history of this blog, the topic of pre-sales has come up often.  Fans, including ourselves, have, at times, complained and within reason.  Some of us didn’t and don’t like the use of Ticketmaster.  What is or is not included in VIP packages has often been discussed along with the value of the concert tickets, in general.  Many have expressed frustration over what tickets are even available to fans through these pre-sales.  I could go on but you get the drift.  To summarize, many Duranies are not certain about how Duran chooses to run their pre-sales.  Thus, I’m always looking for how other bands do it to see if there really is an alternative.

This week, I learned about how Depeche Mode is going to run their pre-sales.  According to the article on diffuser.fm, this is their plan:

In order to head off scalpers at the pass, they’ve opened what they’re referring to as a “digital waiting room” where fans can get first dibs on tickets.

“Depeche Mode are coming back to North America,” the band writes. “And this time, they’re doing something different. Before scalpers and bots, true fans would line up at the box office for days to get tickets. This is the same thing, but online. Claim your spot in line by signing up below, and the higher your spot, the better your access to tickets during the fan pre-sale. End up at the very front of the line for your city and you’ll be invited to meet the band before the show.”

When I learned about this, I followed the directions to sign up.  Interestingly enough, the site asked me to confirm the location of the show I would go to.  Their website goes on to say:  “When we announce the tour dates, we’ll send you your exact spot in line for the city closest to your preferred location. Your spot will determine when you will get access to the fan ticket presale, but it isn’t final until signups end. By purchasing the new album, sharing on social media and generating sign-ups through your link, you can improve your spot.”  Clearly then, you can move up in line based on what you do to help promote the new album and tour.  Fascinating.

Apparently then, I will receive a code, which will give me access to the fan presale but the time that the code will become valid will be decided by my virtual place in line.   From what I read, the line stops changing 48 hours before the pre-sale starts.

I find this system really interesting.  It seems to me that they are hoping that by using this method, they will get more people to buy the new album and promote the album and tour.  As someone who writes a blog each and every day about a band, I love the idea of that work being recognized and rewarded with better concert tickets.  I wonder, though, if this system would even recognize something like a fan blog.  Will the system only acknowledge certain fan actions and behaviors that can be easily “read” and calculated by technology?

Another element of this pre-sale system that I question is the idea of having to give a location.  For me, this works for Depeche Mode.  I won’t travel to see them.  Thus, if I go to a Depeche concert, it is likely to be in Chicago or Minneapolis.  If this was for Duran Duran, though, I would travel, if dates work out better, but the chosen location has to be determined immediately to get in line.  Also, what happens if fans want to go to more than one show? Do they rely on other friends put other locations down?  Does this just end up encouraging going to only one show?

All in all, I find some of this idea fascinating and potentially positive for fans.  On the other hand, it limits fans to one city without knowing any of the dates.  It will be interesting to see how this works in real time.  What do the rest of you think?

-A

3 thoughts on “Another Way to Presale”

  1. I HATE this idea. First of all, for DD – I pay to be in their fan club (and I also do this for The Killers), and that alone gets me a pre-sale password that may or may not end up being circulated to the community-at-large. (My point being that the system isn’t perfect…however…) Then I can choose from there what concerts I’m going to attend, and you said it yourself, Amanda – we travel. Even though I’m not traveling much right now, I have in the past, and likely will again. I think that having to choose your location in advance would cut down on the amount of people who travel, and maybe that’s the point – but that’s dumb. I suppose for a band like Depeche Mode it might be necessary (?) but I guess that’s yet another reason why I don’t go see them live, too.

    I like that for the most part, I’m in control of where I am in “line” for tickets. Seems to me that with this new DM method, you have no idea where you are in line until the last minute, and I especially hate that they want you to post on social media to increase your placing because you know that some fans are going to sit at their computer night and day to be sure they are closer to the front. I think that’s fine when you’re talking about a contest, but for BUYING tickets? I’m pretty sure the only thing that is going to get calculated there is buying digital copies of the album and then the likes/retweets – because those things are incredibly easy to track and can be done by the fan multiple times. Just as I cringed about getting a CD with every single concert ticket (That reminds me, anybody out there need a copy of Paper Gods?? I’ve got a few extra!!), I think the idea of buying multiple albums in order to secure a better place in line absolutely sucks for the fans. It’s taking advantage. At least DD had the good sense to include the album in their ticket price…. But overall? No thanks. I never thought I’d complain about a practice that comes from Direct to Fan marketing…but this sucks.

    Sure, I may be competing against bots when it comes to Duran Duran, but for the most part – when you and I decide that we’re willing to pay top tier VIP price to see DD, we get good seats. They’re not always front row, but you know how I feel about that – I don’t always NEED front row. (I am beginning to learn that yes, there’s a fine line between want and need. LOL) It’s only been when you and I have tried to skirt around the fact that we’re basically spoiled rotten and want fabulous seats near the front that we’ve been screwed and gotten crappy bronze level tickets for what we both felt to be gold level pricing. LOL The system isn’t perfect, but at least I pretty much know where I’m going to be – it’s not a big surprise at the end. In the past, we’ve had to pay for VIP pricing and then we didn’t even find out until we got to the show where those seats might be. I hated that.

    I can appreciate that some bands are trying to figure out a way to help fans and deter scalping, but I think that in the end, this method is going to create even more headaches for fans, and people like me – who might have considered going if it didn’t seem like a pain – will say forget it and not even bother. -R

  2. I heard Alan Hunter try to explain the DM method and it sounds exhausting! Really, I have to work for DM promoting to get in line? I’ll pass. But from a marketing perspective, its genius because if DD did this, it would make me irritated, but I would do it to get a decent position in line.

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