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StubHub?s new music app mediates event purchase pain points

StubHub has launched a music-centric application that enables users to explore local events and have a more end-to-end music experience, taking fans through the process from discovery to ticket purchasing during a time when standard retail search and discovery experiences are falling behind customer expectations.

Today?s shopping and decision-making process is increasingly being driven by non-retail technology advancements such as next-gen semantic search capabilities offered by Google, Apple and Walmart, or the highly engaging visual shopping and personal content curation provided by Pinterest, as well as voice search capabilities powered by technologies like Siri. StubHub has risen to the occasion as the core functionality of StubHub Music allows consumers to plan their outings in a more convenient and intuitive way, analyzing existing music tastes and preferences to make recommendations on what local music events may interest users.

?StubHub Music currently allows users to share, email or message friends to invite them to an event,? said Smita Saran, senior manager of corporate communications at StubHub.

?Over time, we will continue to build out social elements that make discovering and planning live events for fun and simple, while also making their experience more dynamic and customized.?

?We realize attending concerts is inherently a social experience, and we want to provide fans with a service that makes the discovery, purchase and sharing process more simple, so they can just focus on enjoying the event,? she said.

Tuned in
When logged in, the app will scan users' music libraries, instantly populating a list of upcoming events featuring their favorite artists and similar artists that will be performing in the greater San Francisco area. Event information, including ticketing details and purchase options can then be shared with friends and connections.

By alerting and connecting fans with artists through music preferences, StubHub Music adds personalization and social interaction/commerce to the mobile event discovery and ticket purchasing experiences ? making it faster and easier for users to address every part of the local live event experience through one app.

?The current concert experience is far too fragmented and tedious,? Ms. Saran said. ?Because StubHub has been a market leader in the live event space for so long, we were able to use that understanding of consumers to design an app that would actually solve so many problems music fans face.?

For example, there is no way for music fans to get a quick and simple snapshot of the music scene around them, especially local venues, and then quickly purchase tickets. StubHub Music allows users to adjust their radius and get a highly customized view of the events around them, and since the app is fueled by one of the most comprehensive catalogues in the industry, can show users even more events in their proximity.

?We then make it very easy to find where to purchase tickets, without any additional work for the users,? Ms. Saran said.

?In general, music fans have had to go to one place to discover an event and several other services to plan and purchase.?

Addressing antiquities
Consumers have been trained to think in short keywords, which often cause them to guess at a translation between their preferences and needs and how they think the manufacturer and merchandiser may have categorized a product. This friction is mostly due to a lack of ?humanized? merchandising data or terminology.

For example, a shopper might describe a shirt as ?coral and modern,? but the retailer might call it ?pink and slim fit.? The shopper might also seek for a shirt that is appropriate for an outdoor wedding or a day full of meetings. Very few retailers have the manpower to look too far beyond manufacturer-provided information to determine the innumerable ways that their shoppers think about a product. The result is a sub-par set of product merchandising data that cannot be used by customers to efficiently and confidently discover the products best for them.

Most merchandising involves a ?set it once and forget it? process. Retailers are strained to understand what information has the most impact on buyer decisions, as well as what types of information and criteria are completely missing from the shopping discovery experience. Early detection of changing trends, styles and shopper vocabularies must be facilitated to help the merchandising team re-calibrate and prioritize optimizations.

StubHub takes this a step further by actually ?learning? what its users prefer or are interested in, which takes the guesswork out of most of the friction associated with static search models.

?StubHub Music focuses on delivering a personalized content-rich experience to fans, so the event experience isn?t just about purchasing a ticket but actual music discovery by understanding music tastes,? Ms. Saran said.

?Long-term, our plan is to make StubHub Music a place where users can manage all their music and concert needs, and have fun along the way.?

?If you help people figure out what they want to do on a Friday night, they will continue to come back and engage with your service, while also having a great live event experience,? she said.

 Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York