One More Thing: English moves centre stage at Ticketmaster
The late Eamonn O’Connor (right), who was head of Ticketmaster in Ireland, with Peter Aiken of Aiken Promotions at an event in 2005
Music industry insiders are still reeling from the sudden death last month of Eamonn O’Connor, the head of Ticketmaster in Ireland and an all round legend, according to his friends.
Keith English, who worked with O’Connor for more than 15 years, most recently as his business development director, has taken over the job as managing director of Ticketmaster Ireland.
He told me during the week that the staff are still expecting O’Connor to “walk through the door”.
“He was such a dynamic character. We really miss him. I suppose we have moved past it on a business level. But on a personal level, I don’t think some of us will ever get past it,” said English.
The show must go on, however.
English says Ticketmaster has some big changes coming down the tracks on the technology front. Its smartphone app has now topped 100,000 downloads, while Ticketmaster has also recently redesigned its website to read properly on iPhones and Androids. It is also set to redesign its newsletter, which reaches 500,000 customers.
“But we want to make things more clever,” said English. If users allow it, Ticketmaster will gain access to their purchase history and other information on their iPhones and iPads, and make recommendations for future music events that users might enjoy.
Ticketmaster is also working on a new way of delivering tickets for gigs. Instead of having to print them off from the web or queue outside a box office in the rain somewhere, tickets will also be delivered directly to a users mobile phone, via a barcode. “We hope to have that up and running in the second half of next year,” said English. “It’s already happening in the US.”
Technophobes, don’t fret. English says Ticketmaster plans to still retain its network of retail counters.