19 April 2016 User Stories

Datapalooza: How Jamplify is Rocking the Music Tour Industry with Elasticsearch

Von Matt Roman

Jamplify collects and analyzes concert ticket sales data and provides venue and routing information for leading talent agencies, both large and boutique. For our clients, we are collecting and analyzing sales data for hundreds of touring artists as they perform in venues around the world.

Data collection, visualization, and analysis around live event ticket sales have not advanced in parallel with other analytics tools in entertainment. With our Ticket Counts Pro and Live Intel tools, Jamplify steps in not only by removing the time and headache of tracking down updated ticket sales data from venues, but also by turning otherwise stagnant sales data points into valuable, actionable insights for our clients.

How we use Elasticsearch

We began using the Elastic Stack as a DevOps tool. It helped us get our log data in one place so that we could analyze problems with our servers and applications in context with each other.

Once we had the Elastic Stack in place, we became accustomed to adding logging to diagnose what was happening with our application in production. It didn’t take long to realize that we could use the Elastic Stack as an analytics platform to understand user behavior and feature viability on a deeper level. We were initially using Google Analytics for this purpose, but Elasticsearch provided much more flexibility and only required adding more logging.

Eventually, we began using Elasticsearch to enhance our products as well. Previously, our clients collected and managed ticket sales data via emails and spreadsheets, but by using the Elasticsearch aggregation framework and D3 we were able to give our clients a new look at their sales data and provide them with actionable insights.

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Since dealing with Elasticsearch aggregation queries and results in your application can be a bit clumsy, we created a Node.js wrapper (Elastica) which handles these tasks with a small DSL for retrieving relevant data from the results. This allowed us to simplify our application code and externalize parsing and processing as much as possible.

Live Intel

Our latest product release, Live Intel, heavily utilizes Elasticsearch’s geographic search capabilities. Live Intel is a venue intelligence platform that helps booking agents route tours by providing them with a combination of geographic and term-based searching.

Common challenges in tour routing include finding new venues that fit your artist profile and filling in open days during a tour. For instance, if there are two booked dates for a tour, one in New York on a Wednesday and another in Philadelphia on a Saturday, an agent would need to find potential shows and venues between these two cities and dates. To further complicate matters, live-event contracts often include radius clauses that prevent the artist from performing within a specified distance from the venue several months after the show date (music festivals have particularly onerous radius clauses that can span hundreds of miles and an entire year).

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Historically, agents would try to work with radius clauses by cross-checking venue/promoter directories with Google Maps. This solution is limited, time-consuming, and cumbersome - an agent might spend an entire work day filing one or two available dates.  Live Intel quickly resolves this issue by using Elasticsearch to combine the map and the directory in a single application, while also ranking the search results based on performance metrics like the venues’ ticket sales histories. Now they can reach out to every relevant venue within minutes and get to a booked show in an hour. By streamlining processes around both ticket sales data collection and tour routing, Jamplify helps agents do their jobs faster and better.


mattdeck.jpgMatt Roman is CTO and co-founder of the live events data platform Jamplify, and has been programming professionally for 16 years. He has worked in a variety of industries including enterprise software, algorithmic trading and online marketing, but finally found his home in music and live events when he helped found Jamplify four years ago.