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Tixxy, a predictive concert recommendation service that delivers alerts by text, so fans never miss a show and artists play to more people. CEO and founder Eron Bucciarelli was a platinum-selling musician with the band Hawthorne Heights, an excited startup founder with Soundstr, and most recently a technical product innovation leader at ...

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Anna Barnett

Need-To-Know Shows: Tixxy Texts Music Fans About Concerts They’ll Love

Tixxy is your virtual concert assistant who reaches out via text to tell you about cool shows coming to town—but only the ones you’ll care about. Ad-free and privacy-first, the SMS concert notification chatbot links your Spotify or Apple listening habits to a growing database of concert dates, using only your zip code and basic travel preferences and predictively alerts you, so you don’t have to do any work. 

There are no apps to download, no push notifications, no data brokerage or irrelevant promotions. Just info about a local show based on your music tastes, with a link to buy tickets.

“As live music returns, artists will need to reach out to fans about their upcoming events,” says  drummer and Tixxy CEO and founder Eron Bucciarelli. “Old habits have faded. Artists will need to rebuild that connection. They’ll need to make sure fans feel safe and excited to get back to going to shows.”

The idea for Tixxy sprang from Bucciarelli’s own experiences as a touring musician. A founding member of the platinum-selling emo-punk band Hawthorne Heights, Bucciarelli saw firsthand how many fans missed shows, simply because they didn’t find out about them in time (or at all). The band saw meteoric success with its debut albums, playing the late night shows and winning plum spots on radio, but even with their following, they found getting the word out while on tour to be tough. “We’d get messages from fans asking when we were coming to a city where we had just played,” recalls Bucciarelli. “It was so frustrating. You couldn’t help but wonder ‘Where were you a week ago?!’”

The answer, Bucciarelli discovered, was simple enough. As local media outlets like alt weeklies died, and as social media throttled feeds and blocked direct organic access to followers, fans had fewer ways to find out who was playing in town. If they did hear about an upcoming show, it might be too late to arrange childcare, fit the expense into a tight budget, or make plans to head to the next city over. “Years later, no one’s solved this problem,” Bucciarelli explains. “Before the pandemic, 40% of tickets went unsold on average. The efforts of artists and promoters are still not enough to change that.” 

Bucciarelli envisioned a friendly, non-invasive assistant that would address this awareness gap, giving fans ample time to plan for the big night and bands more ways to fill venues. It would gather insights from fans’ listening habits, compare it to upcoming shows from current Tixxy partners like AXS, and match fans to concerts they want to see.

But what was the best way to reach these fans? Buciarelli’s second career as a music tech entrepreneur—he successfully started and sold Soundstr, a music monitoring device—and then as an inside innovator at a major consumer company helped guide Tixxy’s approach. “Social media has awful engagement and conversion rates compared to anything else out there. Sure, it’s measurable and has great reach if you pay for it, but it still doesn’t convert efficiently. Going viral is like hitting the lottery. It’s great if it happens but it isn’t a strategy,” he notes. “Email has higher conversion rates than social media, and push notifications slightly higher still. But SMS marketing is almost ten times as effective as notifications.” 90% or more of Tixxy’s messages are opened. 

To make the most of that effectiveness, Bucciarelli knew he had to keep things simple for fans and for artists. Fans only need to register with Tixxy, connect their streaming account, and answer a few short questions. Artists need to do nothing; so long as their show information is up-to-date, Tixxy will take care of the rest. The chatbot is free for all involved. (Tixxy takes a small percentage of ticket sales completed through its system.)

Tixxy’s business model means the company has no incentive to offer users spammy recommendations or to sell their data on to a third party. There are no ads. “We want to establish trust and rapport with users, not break it by selling data. We don’t want to send people irrelevant messages. It does us no good,” notes Buciarelli. “Our messaging is about trust, about understanding the overall lifetime value of the relationship. It’s like a music career: You can have a meteoric rise and fall, or steady, lasting growth. We want growth built on trust and long term value.”