Thursday, February 21, 2019

UK-based mobile ticketing platform DICE to ‘ramp up’ US expansion in 2019 | Music Business Worldwide

UK-based mobile ticketing firm DICE has big US expansion plans for 2019.

Speaking exclusively to MBW, Chief Revenue Officer Russ Tannen (pictured) has said that the company will be “ramping up” its expansion in the United States this year with a full list of venue partnerships to be announced “slightly later in the year”.

Tannen’s role at the company recently switched from UK Managing Director to Chief Revenue Officer, and is now working globally, managing all of DICE’s city leads in each market.

“We’re hiring a lot in the US, so we’ve got our LA headquarters but we’ve also got people in New York and Chicago now,” said Tannen.

“We’ve got different heads of music and music leads for the West and East coasts and we’re starting to think about other markets like Austin and Portland.”

DICE, co-founded by music exec Phil Hutcheon and digital studio ustwo in 2014, is available in most UK cities as well as in LA, New York and Chicago, but has also ticketed one-off events in the likes of Atlanta, such as the recent pre-Super Bowl Travis Scott show.

Tickets sold by the London-born ticketing company only work on mobile devices. The mobile ticket and associated QR code has to be shown at the door of a concert to gain entry. If a ticketholder can’t make it to a sold-out event anymore, they can return it for the next person on the waiting list to buy.

The company’s model has proven to be an effective deterrent against tickets being sold on the secondary market at inflated prices and the app has been used for shows by the likes of Travis Scott, Kanye West, Jack White, Taylor Swift and other huge acts.

“It just feels like there’s never been a better time for us to really, really launch,” said Tannen. “A lot of that is based on how the [US] market seems to be reacting to secondary and touts.”

“It just feels like there’s never been a better time for us to really, really launch. A lot of that is based on how the market seems to be reacting to secondary and touts.”

Russ Tannen, Dice

Tannen cites an upcoming Federal Trade Commission-hosted public workshop looking into the online event-ticket marketplace as an example of the current state of public opinion in the US about the secondary ticket trade. The FTC invited the public to submit comments about their ticket-buying experiences ahead of the workshop and has had close to 2,000 responses so far.

“When you get into people’s real experiences and you see how emotional people are and how angry people are, it’s such a big and universal consumer rights issue that’s affected so many people now,” said Tannen. “That’s why we think this is our time in the US because we fix so much of it, so much of what people are really angry about.

“Our solution is to completely cut off the supply. We’ve been doing that for years. None of our tickets have been resold on a secondary market.”

In addition to the company’s ambitious US expansion plans for 2019, Tannen says that DICE is already taking its first meetings in Canada and South America, which he says will be the “the next wave”. DICE has also recently employed its first member of staff, and set up an office, in Sydney, Australia and plans to launch in Sydney and Melbourne in Q1 2019.

Added Tannen: “The big focus is US and mainland Europe for now, but there were key things in the product we had to get, especially around  the discovery, the personalization, but once we have all that, it’s fairly straightforward for us to roll out our playbook into new markets.

“It’s a city by city approach. DICE works in cities, the same way as you wouldn’t always expect to go into a market and have a City Mapper or something like it. We’ve got a pretty ambitious list of cities to get into.”Music Business Worldwide


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