Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Surveillance State in Ticket Sales

Or, why I'll never click a link in email from [redacted] again.

I received email over the weekend from a performing arts org about a program that they're presenting. Curious about what was actually on the program, I clicked through.

Today I got email reading as follows, and I'm pretty sure it's because of how they track and respond to click-throughs:
Hello, Lisa!
We're as excited as you are that [ensemble] is coming to [redacted]! Prices may increase due to demand, so the sooner you get your tickets, the better. 
[Blurbs]
If you have any trouble purchasing your tickets online, or need assistance in any way, you can contact the Ticket Office and we’ll be happy to help with your order.
Nope, nope, and nope. I may unsubscribe from [redacted]'s mailing list, or I may just never click a link again, but I do not want to feel as though I am being stalked by any performing arts org.

7 comments:

Patrick J. Vaz said...

the threat about prices (possibly) going up is also extremely annoying. . . .

Chanterelle said...

That happened to me with a performing organization advertising a tou--I was curious because the group includes former colleagues. I answered the stalker-ish email I received after clicking through, and was told essentially that everyone tracks email email click-throughs. It's true, based on shopping websites that nag me to fulfilll an abandoned shopping cart. I don't know whether I persuaded said person how creepy it was to feel stalked, but at least the message was conveyed.

K said...

Why the redaction of the organization's name? Wouldn't it be a public service to warn people away from an organization that does this?

Lisa Hirsch said...

See Chantarelle's comments above: as she notes, every organization tracks email opens and link clicks, whether they are responding to your opens/clicks or not.

Henry Holland said...

I've given up. I know that if I do a search for, say, bedspreads, that within an hour, I'll get ads for bedspreads on any website I go to. I have ad blockers and all that, doesn't matter.

Los Angeles Philharmonic announced their 2019/20 season today:

https://www.laphil.com/events/seasons/6/complete/

The usual stuff for the most part, some interesting pieces scattered here and there amongst the ghastly John Adams stuff that is "new" music to them. Malkki gets more concerts, Salonen has some of his pieces being played, a couple of Saariaho pieces and the season finale of the Gurrelieder are the main things I'm interested in. Still can't figure out the connection between Ives and Dvorak that gets 3 Dudamel concerts but oh well.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Ad tracking with cookies is a different technology from the email surveillance, but yeah, they have similar impact on users.

I noticed that the LA Phil isn't as interesting as the current season. You do realize that there are exactly two Adams pieces this season? (Naive & Sentimental Music, which is a terrific piece, and Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, which, sadly, isn't on a program with L'histoire du soldat.)

Robert Gordon said...

The current season is the 100th, and the Phil has pulled out all the stops. I never imagined that they could keep this up on a regular basis, and they clearly don't intend to. Still, there's enough of interest here to satisfy me, so I'm not going to complain.

An interesting mini-trend: the LA Opera has previously announced a short run of The Light in the Piazza, and now the Phil is going to do the same with Sunday in the Park with George. So while Chicago Lyric has been doing the likes of Show Boat and My Fair Lady, LA organizations are planning musicals that are by comparison more esoteric and highbrow.