Jim McCarthy

CEO, Goldstar

Jim McCarthy is the co-founder and CEO of Goldstar (, a company that sells millions of live event tickets to millions of people on behalf of more than 5,000 venues and producers each year. An e-commerce veteran, Jim has spent his entire career in high-growth businesses and likes to share his 
knowledge and insight with others. He's the editor and main contributor to a website for live entertainment and arts marketers. He's the curator and co-founder of TEDxBroadway the sold-out annual event dedicated to the question: "What's the Best Broadway Can Be?" He's spoken at conferences all over the world, including TED, SXSW, INTIX and more. His articles have been in Forbes, Fast Company and Business Insider. About Jim, Bob Lefsetz has said, "Jim McCarthy is smart, he'd win in any world, not only via his brain, but his hard work and dedication." He's the organizer of the Pasadena Entrepreneurs' MasterMind Meetup, which Pasadena Business Now noted, "Jim McCarthy, CEO of Goldstar, discussed his personal philosophy of business and leadership. His stories of humanity and giving brought tears to many eyes and motivated all to do more for more. It was clear to all why Jim's MasterMind groups have a many-month waiting list to learn from him and his vision and insight." Jim is also a very active member on the Board of Directors for Union Station Homeless Services as well as the Pasadena Playhouse. He studied English at Harvard University and received an MBA at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Jim recently earned his black belt in Northern Eagle Claw Kung Fu.

 Follow @goldstarjim on Twitter.


Revenue Up, Attendance Down on Broadway

Broadway producer (and Selling Out friend) Ken Davenport analyzes the first 13 weeks of the Broadway 2013-14 season … and he’s not happy. Though revenue is up .3% (Don’t spend that all in one place!), attendance is down 8.7%, which is on a base of attendance, which dropped 6.2%. Ken says, “I’m not sounding the alarm bells just yet, but I definitely have my finger on my ‘I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up’ button.” OK, Ken’s alarm system sounds...

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Louis C.K. & Kid Rock: Are they “generous” to their fans?

Both Louis C.K. and Kid Rock have gotten attention in the last year for charging much less than market value for tickets to their shows. In Kid Rock’s case, tickets are just $20 for this summer’s tour, and in both cases, shows sold out extremely quickly as a result of the pricing, and, I would add, the massive publicity about the pricing. So, are they being “generous” to their fans with these low prices, as some feel, or do they,...

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NFL Has a Problem With In-Stadium Experience

I’ve said this before and time has only made it clearer that I was right: The NFL has a problem with the in-stadium experience. The ingenuity shown by the Seahawks in using undercover security who will be dressed as opposing team fans is great. But it shouldn’t be necessary. Clean up the in-stadium experience, or game attendance will slowly trend down, as it has in the three years since I first warned about this. Take a look at the Los...

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Is Your Show Better Than a Meal at the Restaurant Next Door?

I wrote an article in 2010 about whether or not live entertainment is an industry. (The answer is “yes.”) Today, I’m asking how that industry is doing. For a long time, I’ve been saying that Live Entertainment is fundamentally healthy, and I still believe that. When I hear people bemoaning the business, I frequently ask them what business they’d rather be in. Aside from fad or hype-driven sectors, few places exist in the world of entertainment and media that are reliable,...

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Give Your Audience A Little Bit of the Spotlight

Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe is joining a number of other sports venues around the country in displaying social media content from people attending the game on Jumbotrons and other displays. While I'm not sure this is going to sell more tickets, I do think it helps avoid what I call "The Big You, and the Little Me," where the live entertainment business thinks of each patron as just an arm-waving face in the crowd, there to worship at...

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“Natasha” Drops Meals After Surveying Audiences

I saw this show when it included dinner and was in the Meatpacking District.  Now that it’s moving to Midtown and dropping dinner, it’s less of an immersive experience, but I still think you should go if you can. Here’s the part I thought was most interesting about the article: “Our audience surveys and phone surveys showed that people didn’t really value the meals, and at each ticket price level, people said they would’ve still bought tickets without the meals,”...

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