New York, New York
Open Letter to U2, U2 Management, and Live Nation:
U2 fans around the world have been expressing their concerns over the ticket process and the fan site membership for years. This year, however, is a bit different. U2 fans that have a membership forced to renew membership ahead of the expiration date to gain access to Ticketmaster Verified process.
The process was designed to curb ticket sales to ticket brokers. However, this was a failure. Fans expressed their concerns; social media sites saw an increase in feedback and comments. U2 fan sites all jumped on board in a collective message to voice concerns. I have always looked at issues as an opportunity to provide insight and a suggested solution. Having been around the block a couple of times, I do have some suggestions and comments.
1st Ticket brokers: It's a love-hate relationship. Yes, I said love-hate. Fans hate the idea that their favorite band is solid out technically ( brokers have the tickets) However the first place fans go when they can't get a ticket is to the secondary market. Now, management does not care how the ticket gets sold. Remember the broker has to buy the ticket. So how could we solve for this?
Try this out: Brokers get to submit to the system that they are brokers and interested in buying up all the unsold tickets after ten days of 1st sale announcement. Giving fans ten days to get their tickets. All members would get an automatic warning notice that ticket sales broker window is about to open.
Partnership ticket sales cannot start at the same time as U2 membership sales start. Yes, I understand that this may be a challenge because of sponsorship relationships. However, maybe the sponsor gets allocated some memberships to give out to their credit card holders, and thus they become members.
Ticket allocation, it seems that the allowances may need to be adjusted to take into account of the U2 membership pool. Adjustments can be made almost daily in between membership purchases. Pruning the ticket pool would allow for U2 memberships to get early and also enable TM to maximise the sale of tickets.
Data is available to see what members buy so you can not tell me you don't know the difference between a four-ticket purchase every tour and a 50 ticket purchase. You know, Maybe its time to hire some bright minds to go through your data and sort out the analytics
Membership: 1st in equals 1st out: If you have a purchased a membership that does not expire for a few months to buy tickets your automatically pushed into the first group; also your early renewal months will be added on to your new membership.
Better communication: Not saying you have to cuddle up to the fans however what I am saying is that we need a better string of communication.
By now all U2 fans around the world have expressed their displeasure and concerns. U2 has an opportunity to address this concern with a frank and open conversation. Again because of the data you know your fans. Develop a fan board ( a small group that is representative of the more massive base) that can be the voice of fans and work with management, the band, and bridge the gap that continues to grow.
Leadership is defined not by what you say its determined by what you do. Now is an excellent opportunity to provide strong leadership and address the fans
Heck, I don't have all the answers however I do know that if we work together, we can solve anything. This is what has always made U2 fans great. The possibility!
Invite management to allow us to have an open conversation and see where we can be of help.