Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guest Ticketmaster's Tom Hefter
Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guest Ticketmaster's Tom Hefter
From L to R: Host Dr. Steve Marcone, Producer Phillip Gorokhovsky, Ticketmaster’s Tom Hefter, Host Professor David Philp, student Co-Host Ashley Overa.

Music Biz 101 & More is the only radio show in America that focuses on the business side of the music & entertainment worlds.  Hosted by William Paterson University’s Dr. Stephen Marcone & Professor David Philp, the show airs each Wednesday at 8pm on WPSC-FM, Brave New Radio.

Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guest Ticketmaster’s Tom Hefter

In this episode, Tom Hefter, Marketing Services Specialist at Ticketmaster Entertainment, talks about networking, tickets, VIP packages, Roadrunner Records, and how his MBA in Music Management helped him “make it” in da biz.  Wanna hear it?  You have two chances, right now and at the end of our most brilliant recap.

At about 3:40, your co-hosts review the lessons learned from past Music Biz 101 & More podcasts (hear ’em all HERE).

Tom Hefter Music Biz 101 More radio
Ticketmaster’s Tom Hefter talks VIP Packages while Dr. Stephen Marcone listens intently.

At 5:00, almost on the dot, student co-host Ashley Overa discusses why she chose William Paterson, the University, to study the music biz.  She also speaks about her summer internship with Blue Raven Entertainment and her singing role in a stage version of The Magic Flute.

At 9:35, Hefter begins to discuss his education and how he got his first job at Roadrunner Records.

At 13:18, Hefter talks about a typical day at Ticketmaster.  There’s some good detail here, including information about VIP packages and sending emails that actually get read.

At 14:38, we hear the term “third party packager” for the first time.

VIP Packages – how they’re put together, what has worked, who puts them together – are discussed in depth at 15:00.

We’re still deep into VIP packages at 17:00, including the target market for each package and costs.

At 19:00, the purpose of a VIP ticket package is explained – it’s not just about the money.

At 20:30, Hefter explains how fans find out about VIP packages and what Ticketmaster does to raise awareness.

At 22:00, we learn about what Ticketmaster does with social media, such as buying ads, for their shows.

At 23:30, we learn about their email “frequency caps” so nobody feels like they are spammed.

Tom Hefter and wife Lily Music Biz 101 More
Ticketmaster’s Tom Hefter talks about VIP packages. His wife, Lily, formerly of Roadrunner Records, gets ready to talk about what happens when a label lays off staff.

At 24:45, Hefter talks about how to become a 3rd party VIP packager.  “That’s where the money is,” Hefter says.  “People will go out and buy a $4,500 Motley Crue package.  They won’t buy a $10 CD.”


At 26:25, he talks about what DIY artists should do to build their own VIP packages.

At 28:00, Hefter talks about how a band isn’t about just its music.  A DIY startup band needs to “think broader” and make their own merchandise.  People put so much effort into recording their music but need to put as much effort into their live shows and their personalities and their merchandise packages.

At 31:40, Hefter says to DIY artists to stop thinking about getting signed to a record company and start thinking about yourself.

At 32:35, Hefter shares his most “amazing” story of the industry when he was on tour with a festival.

At 34:11, Marcone gives a great line: “Don’t sell your music.  Sell the band.”

At 37:30, Lily Hefter, wife of Ticketmaster’s Tom Hefter, is asked about what happened when she was “phased out” of Roadrunner Records.

Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guest Ticketmaster's Tom Hefter
Look! It’s (from L to R) Marcone, Ashley Overa, Philp, Lily Hefter, Ticketmaster’s Tom Hefter. Great post-show pose, huh?

At 42:39, Tom Hefter answers a tweet and explains how he got his job at Ticketmaster (he was employed by Roadrunner when the opportunity arose).

At 44:20, Tom explains the importance of networking and respect of others in the biz.  As Marcone explains, “Everybody knows everybody.”

At 46:18, we add in how you need to work really, really, really hard too.  “Every opportunity that was there, I took,” says Hefter.  “And you have to have a lot of patience.”

Music Biz 101 & More: The Podcast With Special Guest Ticketmaster's Tom Hefter
Show notes, pre-show. Not sure why the finger is there, but it must’ve been important at the time.

At 49:50, Ashley Overa asks if it’s important for students to know the exact job they want from the outset or to be open to other possibilities and be open about opportunities.  Hefter gives his excellent take. “The more you know, the better equipped you are.”

At 53:09, Hefter answers a tweet about what has changed the most in the industry since he entered in 2005.

At 57:00, the entire show is recapped.

  • Sell the whole package, not just a song or a CD.
  • Ticketmaster is the #3 ecommerce site in the world.
  • Network if you want a job in the biz.
  • Being let go from a biz gig is painful.
  • Working hard really does pay off.

Now go below and listen more than once to the podcast.  Yes, it is that good!


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