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Music Festivals: Audience Habits

Between the flower crown social feeds and seemingly constant colorful line-up releases, it’s no secret that music festivals have slowly shown themselves as a powerful niche market for agencies looking to beef up their resumes.

Between the flower crown social feeds and seemingly constant colorful line-up releases, it’s no secret that music festivals have gained massive popularity and require a nuanced audience approach.  

With 2017 planning to host 42+ music festivals on the West Coast alone, being able to find relevant, non-polluted ticket ready audiences will be of chief importance for music festivals looking to sell more tickets at a higher ROAS.
Here at Awlogy we’ve had the pleasure of working with several festival and entertainment based brands handling the media planning, buying, audience segmentation and more.
Being that we are hitting festival season, we sat down with Senior Campaign Analyst, James Williams, to gain insight on behavioral trends he oversaw across several festival and entertainment based clients.
Based on your experience, what are consumers most likely to search before taking a ticket-purchasing action?
From the data we’ve gathered we’ve seen that consumers behave in relatively linear purchase cycles—first they’ll research particular artists and then they’ll typically move to browsing festivals hosting the artists before utilizing search terms specific to the festival (i.e. Life is Beautiful).
Were there any particular sites you observed to perform favorably for ad placements?
The top sites users converted from varied greatly—depending on the festival type, the target demographic will range with their site and browsing preferences.
For the Life is Beautiful festival we received higher CTR’s for placements on YouTube, music blogs and news oriented sharing sites such as Facebook and CNN.

Were there any specific sites consumers sought out to gather festival related information?
In light of our recent campaigns, we’ve observed the festival-goer audience to visit over 70k websites when seeking out information such as artist line-ups, food vendors and location—aka site loyalty is no longer on the table. The top sites used to gather festival information ranged from social networks, music blogs, news channels, pop culture, etc.
Without any real site loyalty, simple network buys or site direct purchases won’t push the envelope for these sorts of events—audience pools need to be highly relevant and scrubbed against polluted off-the-shelf 3rd party segments.
What time of the month sparks the most ticket purchasing?
Over the course of our recent campaign we noted that the 15th of the month garnered 3x as many ticket sales as the daily average—of which we believe is largely attributed to payday scheduling.  Also, big announcements such as line ups, food vendors or map announcements greatly generate search buzz and ticket sales—essentially, the bigger the announcement the more we saw in sale spikes.
Are festival-goers loyal to certain ticketing sites / What have been the observed trends when it came to ticket purchasing?
Based on our experience, buyers want the easiest, smoothest and most trustworthy purchase process— which is typically going to be in a controlled environment stimulated by the festival provider directly.

That said, we observed that most music festivals manage the ticketing process directly or through providers like Eventbrite or Ticketfly. As a result, we found this to be intelligent due to it giving the festival better control over user purchasing experiences —as opposed to consumers purchasing via third-party resellers like StubHub where error can apply more frequently and negatively impact the consumers overall experience and influence future purchasing decisions.
With 192+ music festivals spanning the US racking in an estimated 3.4 billion annually, understanding how, when and where to find a ticket purchase-ready audience will prove vital when planning to expand your festival ticket sales at a profitable ROAS.

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