By adaptive - August 22nd, 2016

Bandsintown debuted in 2007 as a service on Facebook alerting users, as the name implies, that there are bands in town that they may care about. Eight years down the road, the mobile-first app boasts tens of millions of active users and more than a quarter of a million artists using the service to reach fans.

Bandsintown CEO Fabrice Sergent discusses with Open Mobile Media’s Robert Gray the app’s “overnight success” and majorly rocking in-app purchases.

OMM: When did Bands In Town begin to expand beyond the Facebook updates?
Sergent: We acquired the company in 2011, we launched the iOS and Android apps in 2012 and focused all investments on being "mobile first “, we formally launched a website in October 2015.
OMM: Why did you create a mobile first app instead of the traditional website first?
Sergent: We had a Facebook presence and a basic website but it seemed to us that concert discovery and notifications had to happen on the go.
At the time, we were a large publisher of sports, music and movie related apps so mobile was our focus anyway.
We felt there was room for the launch of a "fandango" equivalent for concert on mobile.
OMM: Since bands in town is mobile first, how much traffic is your website generating these days?
Sergent: Approximately 7 million uniques (visitors) a month. 
We have passed 25 million registered users and 350,000 artists are connected to our B2B platform.
We’re organically adding about 700,000 new registered users each month.
OMM: How do you measure traffic and usage since you push notifications, email updates and have the app/site?
Sergent: We track each action such as email open, app install, ticket clicks, etc.
OMM: What’s the most effective means of communicating with users? And how do you balance informing them via notifications for instance, without annoying them with too many? 
Sergent: We scan the user's music library and create what we call a music DNA, which is specific to each user. We only send notifications or emails when users are likely to be interested (based on our algorithm). 
OMM: Where do you see growth coming from? 
Sergent: Our first constituency is the artists, which we help get discovered. Did you know that 50 percent of our users go to shows of artists they had never heard before? And once users install the app they go to twice as many shows than before having the app. 
Fans are obviously our other important constituency and we invest a lot in order to stay relevant.  
OMM: What drives the most traffic to your app? 
Sergent: Users' word of mouth, app stores, artists promotions, they all matter a lot. Our last version of the app is a 5-star rated app on the Apple Appstore for example. We only grew organically, meaning we never bought users through marketing campaigns.
OMM: You’re now partnering with Ticketmaster for in-app purchases.  Is this type of partnership driving your bottom line?
Sergent: Yes, we get a fee per ticket sold. We are Ticketmaster's largest affiliate partner in the US. 
OMM: Is that relationship exclusive?
Sergent: The partnership is not exclusive even though we were their first API partner. We work with many ticketing companies. They announced a similar partnership with Facebook.
OMM: What about partners on the music side—iTunes and streaming services? Is this a growing business for you, referrals?
Sergent: We believe we facilitate music and artists discovery. Music companies are potential advertisers or discovery partners.  
OMM: What’s the one thing people may not know about Bandsintown, but you think they should?
Sergent: Bandsintown is the place where artists and fans connect. Mobile provides geo-location, real time information and reinforces the emotional connection between artists and fans; think how exciting it can be when a notification announces a new concert from a loved and long awaited artist. Only mobile push can deliver such an experience!
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