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Live Music and Theater Fans Turn to Mobile Devices to Guide Performance-Going Experiences from Ticketing to Post-Show, According to Research from IAB & InMobi

With the summer concert season under way and the Tony Awards fast approaching, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and InMobi have released results from “Raising the Curtain on Mobile,” an in-depth study that shows that 89 percent of live entertainment seekers conducted mobile activities in direct relation to performances they have attended in the last six months. Further underscoring how mobile plays a critical role in helping concert promoters, theater producers and other performance marketers reach target audiences, the research demonstrates that these mobile activities occur at all stages throughout the live performance-going process – including pre-show planning and post-show activities.

“There is no question that mobile has become a central part of live entertainment events,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “Whether learning about the next big rock concert to hit town or planning a trip to see the hottest show on Broadway, consumers who adore live performances are turning to mobile devices as part of the entertainment experience – signaling that marketers and agencies need to include mobile in their media strategy, if they want to successfully reach prospective ticket buyers.”

Key takeaways include:

  • Mobile rivals TV as the preferred media channel for getting information on live performances (60% mobile vs. 53% TV)
  • 41 percent purchase concert and show tickets directly through mobile devices
  • Over three quarters (78%) use mobile to help plan trips to shows
  • 22 percent “check in” at a live performance via social apps
  • Nearly a third (31%) use mobile to make plans for before or after a show

“The mobile as a medium offers brands the benefit of conducting hyper targeted, native ad campaigns that are personal, location and context-aware in addition to eliciting immediate responses,” said Atul Satija, Vice President, Revenue and Operations, InMobi. “This study demonstrates why live-performance marketers should be investing in mobile advertising more than any other medium.”

The research also spotlights the importance of cross-screen strategies among marketers trying to reach live music and theater aficionados, with 90 percent of this coveted group turning to mobile for more information after seeing or hearing an ad elsewhere. And when it comes to viewing mobile ads about upcoming concerts or other shows, live performance-goers prefer ads that:

  • Showcase video, sound and photos (40%)
  • Feature performance dates and information (40%)
  • Offer special deals or promotions (34%)
  • Feature favorite stars and performers (33%)

“Clearly, the mobile experience at live performances has gone well beyond waving around a mobile screen with the image of a fired up lighter,” said Joe Laszlo, Senior Director, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “With live entertainment seekers leveraging mobile throughout all the phases of going to a show, marketers should pay keen attention to the insights offered in this research. Investing in mobile could be the difference between a full house and a flop.”

To download the complete “Raising the Curtain on Mobile” study, please visit www.iab.net/mobileeventtickets.


InMobi and IAB conducted an on-device survey over the Decision Fuel mobile platform. Respondents were recruited via the InMobi mobile ad network in the US during 2014 Q1. A sample was taken of n = 695 US mobile users. The survey results were targeted and weighted to represent the US mobile population

About InMobi

InMobi enables the world’s leading brands, developers, and publishers to engage global consumers through mobile advertising. InMobi platforms leverage advances in big data, user behavior, and cloud-based architectures to simplify mobile advertising for its customers. Recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the 50 Disruptive Companies of 2013, InMobi is the world's largest independent mobile ad network, engaging 759 million consumers across 165 countries.

Additional information:

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit iab.net.

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