Is Live Nation’s market share cause for concern?

Written by Paul Walters, Lecturer, Staffordshire Business School


The global event industry has grown significantly over the past ten years and in part due to the introduction of Live Nation as a concert touring company. The UK has benefited from their strategic alliances, buyouts and ownership with some of the entertainment products in the UK. The company has grown to become more than live music but a one stop-shop for venue management, artist management, ticketing, concert touring and festival management. Some commentators within the industry have aired their views as to the growth and dominance of Live Nation within the UK. The company was investigated by the Competition Commission regulator on the merger with Ticketmaster. Not the first time Live Nation was investigated by the UK regulator. One can debate if Live Nation has a market share of the UK live music industry that warrants concern. It is difficult to disagree on what Live Nation has brought to the global economy for live events. The company is now in more than 40 different countries developing a similar business module taken from the USA. It is therefore accurate to conclude that Live Nation is the largest live concert touring company in the world.

In an article published in Music Business world 2018, The Association for Independent Festival organiser is considering lodging a complaint to the Competition and Marketing Authority. It is claimed by AIF that Live Nation has 25% control over the UK festival industry.        

https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/ticketmaster-entertainment-live-nation-inc-merger-inquiry-cc

Association of Independent Festivals

 


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Harnessing the power of social media for small businesses

Written by June Dennis, Dean of Staffordshire Business School, Chartered Marketer and Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.


If you only have a small marketing budget, social media can seem like an ideal way to promote your product or service. Twenty years ago marketers could only dream of having access to such a huge audience so quickly.  However, where does one start?

Here are just four suggestions that could help you get more out of that limited budget:

Know your audience – it’s so obvious, but it’s really easy to make the simple mistake of taking your eye off the ball when it comes to ensuring your communication channels and messages are targeted at the appropriate audience(s).  We can get carried away by all the opportunities open to us that we forget what the purpose of engaging with social media actually was!  For example, why use Facebook if you’re primarily targeting a business-to-business audience?  (Sometimes, there’s good reason to do so, but you need to know why).  Spend time to make sure you know who your intended target audience is and what the key message is that you want to communicate with them.  Only then can you identify and choose the communication methods which best fit your message and audience.

Know your limitations – basically, don’t try to do too much!  Social media may seem very low cost compared to other forms of advertising or sales promotion, but there is still the cost of your time to factor in, at the very least.  It’s also very content hungry and if you commit, say, to writing a daily blog or tweeting several times a day, you may find you crash very soon.  Take note of what other businesses your size manage to do and try, where possible, to plan out your messages in advance.

Know how to create synergy – try to use the same or similar content more than once if you can. So, if you write a blog or post something on LinkedIn, can you direct people to it via Twitter? Could you use the copy for some promotional material or a newsletter? When you put something on YouTube, how can you maximise its use? It’s pretty obvious, but not everyone does it. Encourage customers and staff to send in stories which you can promote. I’ve found that people get a buzz from seeing something they’ve submitted being used or published and it creates a virtuous circle and they submit more material….

And, finally, think of ways you can work with others to create mutual benefit. A while back, I did an interview for a friend who was looking to increase traffic to her website via YouTube. As a result, I also sent links to my contact to her webpage and used the content of the interview to develop this blog. We both benefited and had some fun doing it.

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Jobs of the future

Written by Rachel Gowers, Associate Dean


By 2025 it’s estimated that we will lose over five million jobs to automation. Don’t worry though – jobs are getting more interesting with machines handling the more mundane tasks. Your time will be freed up from performing the repetitive tasks of the past so you can focus on more fun stuff like knowledge creation and innovation. Here are some of the jobs to look out for:

Data Analyst – Data analysts are in high demand across all sectors, such as finance, consulting, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, government and education. Data analysts translate numbers into plain English. Every business collects data, whether it’s sales figures, market research, logistics, or transportation costs. A data analyst’s job is to take that data and use it to help companies make better business decisions.

Forensic Accountant – As a forensic accountant, you’ll utilise your accountancy skills to investigate financial discrepancies and inaccuracies such as fraudulent activity, financial misrepresentation or misconduct and disputes. The role involves an integration of accounting, auditing and investigative skills. You will carry out meticulous investigations to uncover information, identify specific irregularities in financial documents and reports, quantify the exact losses and trace and recover illegitimate funds.

UX Analyst – User Experience (UX) roles involve delivering the best possible experience for the user of a website, with the aim of making the website as straightforward to use as possible. The term UX analyst arises as the role involves a lot of analysis of users’ behaviours and preferences in order to create the best experience for the user. As a UX analyst you will look at the content of websites, and also the design elements, such as colours and images. Within some companies you’ll focus on research skills and psychology, in others you’ll concentrate on design and in some you’ll fulfil a more technical IT role.

Content Creator – A content creator is someone who is responsible for the contribution of information to any media and most especially to digital media. They usually target a specific end-user/audience in specific contexts. Facebook hires thousands of content creators and editors every year to not only provide content but also to monitor what is happening on-line.

Talent Manager – A talent manager’s responsibilities include designing employee training programs, building succession plans and crafting an internal promotion process. To be successful in this role, you should have a solid understanding of full-cycle recruiting along with a strategic mind-set in order to develop a skilled workforce. Ultimately, you will build a talent pipeline that aligns with our hiring needs and business objectives.

Customer Experience Manager – Customer Experience Managers can be in any industry, here are responsibilities for a manager in the leisure and Theme Park Business. You’ll propose and implement strategies to constantly improve customer satisfaction and park development. Additionally, you may also oversee or take sole responsibility for the marketing of the park in order to generate business. You’ll be involved in all areas of the park, including rides, retail and food and beverages. Theme park managers may also be known as guest experience managers, rides and operations managers or attractions managers.

 

If you’re interested in a job of the future our Business and Accounting Degrees prepare you for these roles.

If you’re interested in a career in Leisure why not try the FdA in Visitor Attraction and Resort Management in partnership with Alton Towers.

Leaders versus Leadership

Professor Rune Todnem By, MBA and Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship course leader

r.t.by@staffs.ac.uk   @Prof_RuneTBy


Leadership is often defined as “something leaders do”, and this common (mis)understanding is the cause of much confusion, conflict, and under-utilisation of resources in both organisations and the wider society. Finding themselves somewhat pre-occupied developing superhero Teflon-shoulders, flip-flopping around meeting short-term targets in support of their own survival, bonuses, the next step up the career-ladder, and a golden pension others can only dream of, too many formal leaders simply don’t have any time left to provide leadership. However, many who don’t perceive themselves as leaders do provide leadership. Tons of it – every day (that is if we could measure it in metrics). When cheering on your child, supporting a colleague, taking your grandparent to a doctor’s appointment, picking up some litter, or volunteering in a club or society, you are in fact undertaking acts of leadership through actively contributing to a better society.

To live in a society which we like to refer to as highly advanced and developed, we are rather backwards.  Many of our institutions and organisations are still operating under the Great Man concept, with one all-powerful, strong and macho leader whose word is law. This is often a person we all tip-toe around and tell what they want to hear. Well, this reflects power – not leadership. Leadership is the activity of undertaking a journey together in order to deliver on a common good. As with migrating geese, it is less important who is flying first. What is important is where we are going and going first is something we all need to take in turn.

Although we are somewhat obsessed with titles, power, status and salaries, leadership is something we do – not who we are. The activity of leadership is not the prerogative of a small, exclusive group of ordained individuals. It is a shared responsibility none of us can abdicate from. Unfortunately, we are living in a country where class still defines us. Who our parents are, the post code we live at, and where we receive our education all matters, when it shouldn’t. As a result, many of our formal leaders are made from the same mould with the same notion of privilege. As a result, many who could provide leadership are never given the opportunity. Such a status quo is holding us back. Simples.

I am pro-leadership with a view full of hope. Just imagine what we can achieve as a city and society by releasing the leadership ability and energy in us all. Imagine the potential! Once upon a time not too long-ago, women were perceived as less able than men, and ethnic minorities less able than white people. These things have thankfully changed, and not a minute too soon. However, what hasn’t changed yet, is an equally outdated view that leadership can only be provided by a small group of all too often, white, middle-aged, privileged men. Because surely, no one else can provide leadership…

Thinking of joining us? Find out more about our courses in clearing

Why not take a look at the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Level 7 that we offer!

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Accounting and Finance achieve 98 per cent satisfaction in National Student Survey

Written by Karl McCormack, Course Leader in Accounting and Finance


We are proud to announce that the Staffordshire Business School’s suite of Accounting and Finance courses are in the top 5% of institutions for overall student satisfaction according to the recent National Student Survey results.

The suite of courses achieved 98% satisfaction in the overall quality of the courses, ranking 6th out of 107 institutions teaching Accounting and Finance. The two-year accelerated award achieved 100% overall satisfaction rating for the second year running.

The breakdown of key results for the suit of courses is as follows (all rankings are out of 107 institutions teaching Accounting and Finance):

  • Staff are good at explaining things – 98%
  • Staff have made the subject interesting – 90%
  • The course is intellectually stimulating – 98% (3rd)
  • I have received sufficient advice and guidance in relation to my course – 93% (3rd)
  • I have been able to contact staff when I needed to – 93%
  • I have been able to access course specific resources when I need to – 98%
  • The course is well organised and is running smoothly – 93% (9th)

Karl McCormack, Course Leader for the Accounting and Finance degrees, said:

“It is really good to see that our accounting students are having such a great experience on their course and at the university. Our strong personal tutoring programme, staff enthusiasm and promotion of the Staffordshire Graduate attributes all play a crucial role in these results. It must not be forgotten though that the dedication of staff, both academic and support, shapes the overall experience.”

Dean of the Staffordshire Business School, June Dennis, added:

“These results are testament to the great work that our Accountancy and Finance team does in producing a fantastic student experience. To be in the top 10 in the UK is a real achievement.”

More information on our Accounting and Finance courses.

Thinking of joining us? Find out more about our courses in clearing

Five things you didn’t know about Staffordshire Business School!

Written by Rachel Gowers, Associate Dean Recruitment


1.    We are one of the leading Business Schools in the world for Social Media. We’ve won the Edurank ‘Best Twitter Performance’ award twice in the Business School category (beating Harvard into second place) and we’ve also come in the top 20 Business School blogs in the Top 20 Business Education Blogs And Websites To Follow in 2018

2.    Our Marketing Management course includes exemptions from The Chartered Institute of Marketing and also Google Garage Exams, covering SEO, PPC and loads of other practical skills so you can start to build your own digital marketing campaign straight away.

3.    The Events Management Degree is a top ten course* according to The Complete University Guide League Tables 2019. We’ve also added some new modules this year like ‘experiential marketing’ and ‘managing the visitor experience’ which mean you get out and about straight away and start working with companies to design their systems.  You’ll also get to go on an overseas residential in your second year – last year we went to Iceland.


4.   
Business degrees are the same wherever you go – right? Wrong! Our Business Degree covers topics you won’t find anywhere else, we worked with employers to come up with them.  You’ll study Business Agility, Big Data, Authentic leadership and Customer Experience Strategy (CX) – don’t know what these are? Google them – these are vital topics for 21st Century leaders.

5.    Accounting and Finance degrees at Staffordshire Business School offer more than just a degree.  You will also gain exemptions from three professional bodies meaning you can fast-track to professional qualifications when you’ve finished you’re degree. Plus we were ranked 1st for ‘Students Satisfied with Teaching’ in the Guardian League Tables 2018.

As if five wasn’t enough, did you know we are the first Business School in the UK to launch an Esports degree…don’t know what this is? Find out here.

*ranked 7th in the ‘Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism’ category

Thinking of joining us? Find out more about our courses in clearing

 

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Exciting news for Esports students at Staffordshire University

Written by Stuart Kosters, Lecturer in Esports at Staffordshire Business School


 

Staffordshire Business School launches the brand new Esports Hub – a customised esports lab for showcase and learning.

We strive for excellence and have spoken to many esports industries to deliver the very best training; in delivery and presentation.

Computer equipment is top of the range industry standard, featuring tournament level hardware and software, allowing for ease of use and the best in quality assurance.

  • Razer Naga Chroma Professional Grade Ergonomic MMO Gaming Mouse
  • Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma V2 – Gaming USB Headset and 7.1 Surround Sound with 50 mm Drivers, Retractable Digital Microphone
  • Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2, Linear and Silent Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
  • Razer Goliathus Chroma RGB Gaming Mouse Mat

Stylish graphics surrounding the room showcasing your home of Esports Hub, stems from extensive research and design prototypes, to be unique and current in the world of competitive gaming and learning. This esports lab strives to be one of a kind.

State of the art broadcasting area for your training experience and exhibition pleasure featuring an incredible range of the best equipment from sound editing, to vision mixing and full 360% camera rotations to capture every moment and showcase the very best in esports event exhibitions:

  • 360 degrees camera
  • vision mixing unit
  • soundboard
  • and full streaming training unit

Custom made interview area with a backdrop and modern esports furniture for viewing pleasure allows for extensive use of training in casting and interview skills, building soft skill management and providing the best experiences to share with online and local viewership.

Want to find out more? Visit us on one of our Open Days to have a look around and speak to our expert staff!

Details of our Esports Hub Launch Event on 18 August 2018!

Thinking of joining us? Find out more about our courses in clearing

 

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Culture and Ethics In The Workplace

Dr Bharati Singh, Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire Business School


I knew when I was joining Staffs last year that I was going to be part of a connected University. During the various inductions and trainings that I had, it was obvious that being active on social media was expected. So, I opened an official FB page and a Twitter account. I already had a profile on LinkedIn and other academic research sites.

However, almost a year down, one of the things that I have procrastinated on is writing a blog. I did not know what to do and where to start from. I am struggling to write articles out of my own thesis so a ‘blog’ about something that interests me was hard coming by.

I googled on ‘how to write a blog?’ and there were suggestions galore. The list of dos and don’ts was long. I pondered and contemplated and deliberated on what interests me and what could I write to draw the attention of readers.

I had worked for many years in the corporate world which included traveling and working with various multinationals and different nationalities before changing directions towards a full-time academic role.

In this role, having just attended the Business Staffs graduation ceremony, an idea for a blog started to take form in my mind. This emanated from the general conversations I had with the graduands and the pride for some to have already secured a job and the primary aim of others to secure a job as quickly as possible.

I knew then that I had to share my experiences of having worked with large multinational companies and banks and to provide some insight about work culture and ethics to my students and anyone in general.

One can face both success and failure at work. It is part of life as much as is birth and death. I am not trying to be macabre here but just dishing out some hard facts. You will not like some people at work and some people may not like you. So where is it that you can make a difference?

Integrity, honesty and being true to your job are first and foremost. Sometimes job descriptions can be misleading but never despair. Give it your all because you will need that recommendation letter when you do move on to your dream job.

 

The other important fact to remember is: what goes around comes around; so maintaining relationships is very important with people you like or don’t like. You never know who you will meet at any given point of life: the world is round.

Words can never be retracted so be careful what you say, to whom you say and when you say. Be mindful of the external environment (and I don’t mean the weather here).

Finally, never be afraid to own up to your mistakes. A very important lesson that I had learnt at a very young age (courtesy Reader’s Digest): the least important one word is ‘I’ and the most important six words are ‘I admit I made a mistake.’

Dr Bharati Singh, Senior Lecturer at Staffordshire Business School

Twitter: @BharatiCSingh

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The World Cup: Sports tourism bringing Nations together?

By Carol Southall, Senior Lecturer, Staffordshire Business School

 

In recent years the phenomenon of sports tourism has grown in popularity, not least because of technological advances facilitating online ticket bookings and confirming event and venue scheduling. Sports tourism is certainly one of the fastest growing sectors of the global travel industry and refers to travelling to another destination, away from where the traveller normally lives and works, in order to observe or participate in a sporting event.

The Russia World Cup 2018 is an opportunity to bring people together from different nations across the world with a common interest…diversity, and of course football! Spread over 1,800 miles from Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast to Ekaterinburg at the foot of the Ural mountains, 12 stadiums across Russia will host the 64 matches that comprise the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, the largest venue and one of the newest, will hold the first game of the tournament on 14 June and also the final, 31 days later. England’s first match against Tunisia on Tuesday 18th June at the purpose-built Volgograd Arena, almost 600 miles south-east of Moscow, is likely to be a key draw for the thousands of football fans heading to Russia.

Covering over 17 million square kilometres, 11 time zones, and with a population of almost 147 million, Russia is the largest country in the World. With over 200 ethnicities and ethnic groups and more than 100 languages and dialects, plus 28 UNESCO World Heritage sites and several thousand museums, Russia is working hard to promote its tourism potential. Interestingly on the Russia Travel website, to which fans applying for a FAN ID are directed when they enquire about tourism opportunities during their stay in Russia, there is a reference to the ‘Miracles of Russia’ in the host towns and cities, and the fact that “all these have nothing to do with the habitual stereotypes of Russia”. This is evidently an ideal opportunity to debunk some myths surrounding perceptions of Russia as a destination.

Red Square, Moscow, Russia

Studies show that major events can be a positive force in bringing nations together and enhancing and strengthening national identity. Whether Russia needs to strengthen its national identity, or indeed which countries need to strengthen their national identity, is a moot point. What is clear is that any such tournament that brings the world together should only serve to strengthen national pride and identity and facilitate an element of cultural understanding.

As a traveller you often find that wherever you are in the world, the common language is football. You may not be able to hold a conversation in a native tongue beyond ‘hello’ and ‘thank-you’ but mention the relative merits of the better-known English football clubs and you can hold a conversation for the duration of a taxi ride.

Clearly participation in football, whether as a player or spectator, plays a major role in social and global cohesion, enhancing social capital. Football creates its own world order, deviating from the hegemonic power relations that characterise world politics. Conversely, the mutual respect and consideration that should be evident in all international sport tourism is sometimes overshadowed by political tensions, causing hostility where there should be empathy and understanding.

Since the selection of the host nation, 8 years ago, political tensions have certainly overshadowed the event. The BBC recently reported that England should wear black armbands during the World Cup to protest against the Russian regime, with a prominent MP suggesting that the FIFA tournament is a massive propaganda coup for Russia. Additionally the violent clashes between English and Russian football hooligans at Euro 2016 have led to concern of a repeat performance at the 2018 World Cup. Russia’s significant investment in the tournament, and the need to avoid any tarnishing of the event, has led to Russian hard-core supporters being contacted by police and officially warned to behave. Similarly local UK supporters have also been warned, and in some cases had their passports confiscated by police for the duration of the tournament.

The role and responsibility of football in the world is significant and its importance in social cohesion and nation building should not be underestimated. Conversely, we should also recognise the power of football to incite violence and xenophobia. Regardless of the political tensions that overshadow the tournament this year, it is hoped that the UK and international sports tourists travelling to Russia on their FAN IDs (a personalised spectator’s card – offering visa-free entry to Russia for supporter’s holding World Cup tickets) will take the opportunity and time to explore, experience and engage with Russia’s culture and people. Only then can there be any hope of the mutual respect and understanding that football has the power to facilitate.

Follow Carol on twitter @cdesouthall

FdA Visitor Attraction and Resort Management


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Preparing for Brexit: Economic forecasts versus wishful thinking

During the Referendum campaign, Michael Gove notoriously commented that the British public had “had enough of experts”, in particular of economic forecasters. This article explains a little about (i) economic forecasting and (ii) why economic forecasts may be useful even if they cannot be completely accurate.

Economic forecasting is like medical diagnosis. The economy and the human body are both complex systems that are still imperfectly understood. Your GP has to make a diagnosis on the basis of limited information: headache; flue; or meningitis? From the perspective of public health advice, the situation is no less difficult. For example, official advice on diet is much contested. Advice changes as new evidence becomes available.

When economists forecast or predict the impact of Brexit, they start with a diagnosis of the current “health” of the “patient”. Is the UK economy delicate or in rude health? Since experiencing the economic equivalent of a heart attack during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09, the UK has undergone stagnant productivity (and, hence, wages), low investment, record levels of household debt, public sector austerity, and now low growth during a world economic upturn. Economists diagnosing the patient along such lines would tend to recommend against administering a shock to the patient. However, economists, like doctors and medical researchers, differ in their diagnoses. Other economists might point to unprecedented levels of people in employment and conclude that the UK economy is more or less fit, and that Brexit is just the tonic needed to make it thrive.

Even when medical experts can give an accurate diagnosis (headache or a brain tumour), they will typically be unable to give a completely accurate prognosis (if the diagnosis is a brain tumour, does the patient have weeks, months or years to live?). There are too many unknowns. However, the well-trained and experienced medical expert may be able to give useful guidance. It is similar in economic diagnosis/prognosis (or, in economic terminology, analysis/forecasting). Government ministers confronted with politically inconvenient forecasts often dismiss them by pointing out that forecasts are predictions of the future, which is unknown. In any case, they often continue, economic forecasts are usually wrong. Yet, just as medical diagnosis and prognosis are useful for guiding treatment, so economic forecasts – even though not precisely accurate – can be useful for guiding government policy. For example, forecasts of economic growth enable the planning of government borrowing and/or tax changes to fund spending commitments. Such forecasts offer broad guidance on the future state of the economy and thus a rational basis for policy. In short, expert forecasts are the alternative to wishful thinking. As such, economic forecasts help to guard against astonishment and panic as the drivers of policy.

One reason why economic forecasts were so easily dismissed during the Referendum campaign – and subsequently – is that most forecasters failed to foresee the Global Financial Crisis. Unfortunately, for most – although by no means all – reputable economists, financial crisis was an “unknown unknown”. (In public health, a rough analogy would be failure in the early 1980s to predict the appearance and rapid spread of AIDS.) In contrast, forecasting the economic effects of Brexit – and now its more or less “hard”/”soft” variants – is to think about “known unknowns”. “Known”, because we know roughly what is coming; but “unknown”, because we cannot know its precise consequences. The consequences of Brexit are unknown and so must be estimated – in other words, forecast. In preparing businesses and government for Brexit, economic forecasts, if used within their limitations, have the potential to enrich understanding of likely threats and opportunities and thus improve preparations.

Disclosure: the author voted Remain, and would do so in future if given the opportunity.

Professor Geoff Pugh, Staffordshire Business School