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Q&A with Matthew Tomaszewicz, co-founder of Thrillcall

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What inspired the creation of ThrillCall?

Before Thrillcall, scattered ticket listings and confusing ticket purchase methods created stress for music fans and deterred them from going to shows, especially at the last-minute. We wanted to ease the concert goer’s experience by streamlining the ticketing process: The information, the access and the purchase.

First in 2008 we launched Thrillcall.com which streamlines ticketing by featuring the most accurate listing of live music events and tickets in every major US city and alerting you to when your favorite band is in town. Then building on this success, in February this year we unveiled our new mobile app, which is an extension of our current offering and gives our audience a way to access live music on their phone, while also giving them unique offers not available anywhere else.

How has the response been since launching?
We have had overwhelming positive response since launching our mobile app, both from consumers and artists/promoters and venues alike. I think that people were just waiting for an app like this that is very easy-to-use and gives them visibility into the local music scene.

In the first four hours of launching we had 500 downloads and this number has continued to increase every day. We have also had a great response from new and existing partners, including venues, artist and promoters.

I read a comment you left on Evolver.FM saying “Thrillcall was not a Groupon for live music and that the live music space needs dynamic pricing not discounting.” Can you explain this more?
What is important to note is that we are focused on technology and helping people in the music industry. With Thrillcall it’s easier to get to shows, it entices people to attend shows with exclusives, makes it a lot easier to purchase and it benefits the entire live music ecosystem.

This last point is important to note, as the music industry is inherently complex one that take a lot of navigation. What we are doing is different—we don’t want tech to be disruptive as is typically common practice in Silicon Valley, but to be cohesive and additive to the live music space. Our exclusive offer model is one that can be described as organic, sustainable and mutually beneficial, it is not about discounting.

On a side note it’s no surprise that there has been a lot of controversy about the business of a Groupon like deal; a pricing reduction model can never succeed in live music as tickets and artists inevitably get burned, which is troublesome given the industry is having issues monetizing across the board. Thrillcall has been cautious in its approach and over the last three years created a unique business model that creates a tighter community and benefits all parties involved.

What are some of the standout features on your new mobile app?

Thrillcall is about building the city’s local music scene. We work with venues, promoters, ticketers and artists to inform you what music is on tap tonight, while giving you exclusive access not available anywhere else.

With the app live music aficionados can now:
• Find everything that is playing in any major city in the U.S.
• Get access to exclusive live music offers every day, such as VIP access, backstage passes, etc.
• Purchase any exclusive offers directly through the mobile app with one simple touch
• Share offer with friends and let them know what show you will be at

What is your long-term vision for Thrillcall?

The reality of live music is that it is a massive scattered signal business with a low-frequency. For example, the “urban-based iPhone user” only goes to about 12 shows a year. Because it is so difficult to actually discover and buy a ticket, a potential buyer usually just says, “Forget about it” and stays home or spends their entertainment dollar elsewhere.

At Thrillcall, we feel confident we can increase this number, city-by-city then country-by-country, while benefitting everyone from the concert goer to venue, promoter and artist. It’s a gargantuan challenge and monumental task. The thing missing right now is a mash-up so to speak of: (a) uniformity of experience (b) comprehensive listings and (c) ease of purchase, which we are confident we solve.

This is the big opportunity.