Contributors

Jim McCarthy

CEO, Goldstar

Jim McCarthy is the CEO of Goldstar, but he is also Customer Service Agent No. 1 for the company. Jim has spent the last decade and a half in e-commerce, starting way back at GeoCities before it was bought by Yahoo in 1999. Even before that, he helped to open about 50 Noah’s Bagels locations in California, where he learned about delighting customers, developing employees and managing high growth. He’s written articles and commentary in Fast Company, Business Insider and other well known publications, and has appeared as a speaker at conferences like SXSW, TEDU (part of the main TED conference), INTIX and others. He co-founded TEDxBroadway, which he also hosts and curates. Jim graduated from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. He also speaks Japanese, writes ghost stories and is a certified lifeguard.

News

Young Comedians on 2013 Top-Earning List Shows Sign of Healthy Industry

The names of the top-earning comedians of 2013 makes an interesting contrast to the touring lists for musicians. With the exception of Jerry Seinfeld and George Lopez, almost none of you knew who any of these guys were 10 years ago.To prove that, here's a link to a performance we had for sale on Goldstar at a GREAT comedy club in San Francisco. For $7.50, you could have gone to see Louis C.K.Two people did (and on the plus...

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News

New Musical Tells Story of Jesus Through Britney Spears Songs. Good Idea!?

It's the story of Jesus told entirely through the unchanged lyrics of Britney Spears songs.This will attract an audience, and here's why: I can explain it to you in the 15 words I used in the previous sentence, and it gives a lot of people something they can anchor their decision on. For some, it will be Britney Spears; for others, the story of Christ; and for a still large group, both.Familiar mixed with unfamiliar in potentially interesting ways...

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Pricing

How Not to Discount: Part III

Don't discount only your lowest-priced inventory.Today’s example of how not to discount is slightly counterintuitive because it’s easy to associate “discount” with “low price.”The mistake I’m talking about is only discounting the lowest-priced inventory in your venue. This happens because some marketers are conflating two different things: a low price and a discount from face value. They aren’t the same thing, and they function psychologically to the consumer in very different ways.A tier of seats that is inexpensive has...

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Experience

Santa Monica Pier Can Host More Than Live Music

Can the Santa Monica Pier become a great concert venue?Yes, it can. This harkens to the issue we discussed recently. Of course, changing the location of the show can make a big impact on success, and there's just not a cooler place than the Santa Monica Pier.Here's my one quibble: Why does Martin Fleischmann say, "What we're trying to do is create a destination for locals on the pier," and then talk solely about how "people here need a place...

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P&L

The Importance of Reaping Revenue From the ‘Other’ Category

In contrast to the gloomier news in other spots in the symphonic world, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has reported increases in revenue from both tickets and donations and a much, much smaller operating deficit.In fact, this year's ticket sales record of just over $22 million surpassed last year's sales, which were also a record. Very interestingly, to me, about $10 mm in revenue came from what I'd call the "Other" category, which included "tour fees, merchandise sales, space rentals,...

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Experience

The Mega Rock Star Model Is Old, Let’s Find A New One

The Who 'Going Mobile' For the Last Time?Congratulations to The Who for 50 years, and even though their 1982 tour was known as their "Farewell Tour," they've continued since then for 10 years longer than they'd been together at that point.Hey, I'm a fan of the band, and all, but classic rock of this kind has hung on too long to be healthy for the business. I won't say this tour will be unsuccessful, because I don't know, but...

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Pricing

Price Has Nothing to Do With Costs

When I talk about this, people look at me puzzled. A couple years ago, Michael Kaiser, smart guy and Big Chief of the Kennedy Center, wrote an article on Huffington Post that gives me a starting point for what I want you to understand about prices:“The central challenge facing arts managers is to fill the ever-widening gap between rapidly increasing expenses and earned income, primarily from ticket sales. This gap continues to grow each year since the number of seats...

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Bright Ideas

Create An Event, and You Might Change the Place Where It Happens

I talk a lot about the interplay between event and place, and this is a great example. No event lives in a vacuum, so if you're part of an organization (or group of organizations) large enough to change the dynamics of the place where your event is (or would be), you can create a synergistic effect.In this case, Tony Hsieh of Zappos and others are working hard to create an anchor event, the Life is Beautiful Festival, to bring...

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Innovation

YouTube’s New Music Streaming Service Not Too Different

YouTube's going to be offering a service that replicates what's available from services like Spotify, Rhapsody and others that to me, with a few quirks of user interface preferences, really doesn't differ much for the consumer.But I have a hard time caring much about this. The established principle here is that there is a business model for the streaming of music online in which musicians and rights holders get paid, but what they'll get paid is pretty minimal.Why is...

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Word Stock

Word Stock Market: Spooktacular

The Word Stock Market is an occasional feature on SellingOut.com, where I will tell you whether to buy, sell or hold a certain word based on whether that word has a strong future or has seen better days. For example, if you’d bought the word “hybrid” 10 years ago (when it meant a cross between a horse and a donkey, not an eco-friendly car), you’d be rich today. On the other hand, if you’d bought “digital camera,” you’d be...

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