Mike Finnegan was recently named VP of Programmatic and Product Innovation at Live Nation, the largest concert company in the world . This is a new role for the company, and Mike will be charged with building out their programmatic division in the coming months. Previously, Mike served as Director of Product Development at WPP’s programmatic agency, Xaxis. The Makegood recently spoke with Mike about his new role and what he hopes to establish at Live Nation.
The Makegood: You were recently hired as VP of Programmatic and Product Innovation at Live Nation after serving as an executive at WPP. What will your role be in this position? What made you decide that Live Nation was a good fit for you?
I’m very excited to build out programmatic solutions at Live Nation. I also look forward to training our current sales team, as well as developing best practices and new innovative products. Live Nation has it all when it comes to what advertisers want in a strong publishing partner – a compelling cross-channel media footprint, unique first-party audiences, and awesome content (music!). Building out this platform is such a great opportunity, especially given my passion for music.
The Makegood: Could you discuss what Live Nation does, and how your efforts will be crucial to company success?
Live Nation is the world’s largest live entertainment company. Within Live Nation, there are several divisions, including representation of artists, ownership of venues, an e-commerce platform in TicketMaster, and a sponsorship platform for brands. As programmatic buying has grown out of its infancy, Live Nation is ready to make it a core component of its success, which is why my role was created. It’s an exciting time at Live Nation. The company is making big strides in the digital publishing space, as we’ve recently launched a number of websites and digital products.
The Makegood: How will you be monetizing on unused inventory in the ad space?
My approach to programmatic is first and foremost about making compelling ad solutions for our clients. When looking at programmatic as another source of demand, there isn’t “sold” vs. “unsold.” Live Nation’s foray into programmatic is fueled by understanding how our brands want to use Live Nation as a platform to reach unique audiences.
The Makegood: You plan to create ad products around Live Nation’s first-party consumer data. What does this mean, and how will it benefit the company?
Live Nation brings valuable audiences to market through our data arm, Live Analytics, and access to our TicketMaster database. We’ve gathered a significant amount of first party data about these consumers and their entertainment habits as it relates to event affinities, favorite teams, musical genres, artists, etc. My goal is craft ad solutions that apply these audiences across Live Nation’s media footprint.
The Makegood: How do you plan to evolve the company throughout your time at Live Nation? What improvements or enhancements are you planning?
It’s such a great time to be at Live Nation because there’s a distinct feeling of “evolution” in the air. This is a company fully embracing the idea of being a platform – for both fans and marketers – especially as live performances are becoming more digitally connected at a rapid pace. The key is to evolve our ad solutions in a way that adds value to the fans and our brand partners, as well as to the live experience itself. Launching programmatic ad offerings will allow us to further invest in ways to allow brands and fans to engage.
The Makegood: Thank you, Mike.