Business Interviews

Q&A: Jen Long, Dice

By | Published on Friday 10 April 2015

Jen Long

In the run up to CMU Insights @ The Great Escape, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke is talking to some of the people who will be contributing to the event this year. Today Jen Long, Music Editor at Dice, who will be discussing the innovative new ticketing app – how it differs and how it works – in a session looking at how ticketing services are becoming marketing platforms as well as sales channels within the full-day strand Music Marketing Is Broken: Let’s Fix It.

CC: Tell us about Dice – what does it do, when did it launch, who is behind it?
JL: Dice is the fastest growing ticketing and music discovery platform in London. We launched in September and have recently grown to Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow too. To put it simply, we ticket the best gigs in any given city with No Booking Fees. And it’s 100% mobile so cuts out touting software. But Dice is also growing in terms of features with a lot of great new developments on the horizon that will change the face of ticketing. Our CEO is Phil Hutcheon of Deadly People, and it’s a joint venture between Deadly and the incredible design studio ustwo.

CC: What is your role?
JL: I’m the Music Editor, and I work alongside Russ Tannen who is our Head Of Music. As the company is so new and there’s not really anything else around like Dice, our job roles are quite flexible and fluid. Together we curate what shows make it on to the app, then my main responsibilities are around the copy in and out of the app.

CC: That curation element is very interesting. Why is that a feature and how does it work?
JL: I think everyone has been in a position where you’ve wanted to go to a show, or find something to do with a friend one night, searched online, and just been overwhelmed. Especially in a city like London where there is so much choice. And that awful moment where you realise you’ve missed seeing a band you love, just because you didn’t realise they were in town. We wanted to offer a place where music fans can go to discover not just what is on, but what is on and unmissable.

CC: Some big players currently dominate in ticketing, do you think there are opportunities for new and innovative services to compete?
JL: With innovation comes opportunity. I think at Dice we have an advantage in that we are all huge music fans, have previously worked in different areas of the music industry, and understand the problems that we as fans, and managers, and labels, and so on, want to see fixed. This is such an exciting time to be working in music. We’re very much looking to the future.

CC: Do you think services like Dice can help publicise shows as well as handle the ticket transaction?
JL: Absolutely. Discovery is really important to us at Dice. We want to help fans find out about more gigs, buy more tickets, go to more shows, and fall in love with more incredible artists. Everything we do is focused on publicising the shows we ticket because if they’re on Dice, they deserve to be attended.

CC: To that end, is choosing where to sell tickets now partly a marketing decision – ie asking which services will help you reach your audience, rather than just picking a ticketing platform and forcing everyone to go there?
JL: I can’t speak for every artist or manager, but for us at Dice we value the fans and artists foremost. The live sector is an area where bands can earn their living, so why penalise fans with booking fees and sold out shows that are only accessible for huge sums on the secondary market? We’ve found that the artists who choose Dice do so because they can see the bigger picture when it comes to ticketing.

CMU Insights @ The Great Escape consists of four full-day conference strands sitting at the heart of The Great Escape Convention, which takes place in Brighton from 14-16 May. Full information about this year’s programme is here.