House of Blues Boston: Traffic Analysis of the World’s Most Popular Club

I came across an article recently stating that the House of Blues in Boston sold more concert tickets than any other club in 2009. This is an amazing feat, as the location’s first event open to the public was on February 21st. The Boston Globe’s James Reed reported that the House of Blues hosted nearly 250 shows in 2009, and while it may have not been the most profitable club in the world, the market is showing the venue as a powerhouse in Boston.

Although we don’t have ticket sales numbers for the venue, with Compete.com data we can see a ramping up of traffic to hob.com from November 2008 to the February 2009 peak, with over 400,000 unique visitors trafficking to the site. In March, hob.com began redirecting traffic to houseofblues.com: a side-by-side comparison below shows that people migrated to the new site over the course of 2009, with increased traffic likely a result of the new Boston club location.

There are interesting branding insights in the keyword referral data for hob.com, indicating that the hob.com url branding is more recognizable to visitors from the Chicago location. "House of Blues Chicago" makes up 20.2% of the keyword referral share to hob.com, while House of Blues Boston referrals to hob.com make up only 5.93%. Additionally, Chicago related keywords for hob.com tended to be more engaging, with a higher total time index.

Jumping forward to the houseofblues.com url, our keyword referral data shows that House of Blues Boston comes in second behind the general branded keyword House of Blues with 12.81% volume and house of blues Chicago comes in at 4.45% volume for houseofblues.com. The time engagement metrics also favor Bostonians searching for houseofblues.com coming in with a high total time index on Boston related keyword search terms.  All of this keyword information is very interesting from a brand recognition stand point, given the company’s website branding, url changes, and location openings over the last year.

From the paid search perspective, it’s interesting to note that the company has paid for very little search advertising, but does so on select locations that seem to have more market competition or are being promoted as new locations. It will be interesting how this SEM strategy might change given that a new competitor, the Royale (previously the Roxy), is slated to open this month in Boston.

The House of Blue’s ticket sales over the last year are one indication that Boston was ready for a change of venue. For those of you not familiar with Greater Boston’s music venues, there are a limited number that have the space and layout to accommodate a range of events that would include concerts, dancing, and special theater events. Though I’ve only made it to one show at this venue; I was impressed by the sound quality, the continuity of the themed décor, and the overall flow of the space. Many of Greater Boston’s smaller concert venues are cramped, overheated, and difficult for those vertically challenged to see the performance, much less enjoy the show. I appreciate this venue’s line-up with a wide range of events such as their unique House of Blues Gospel Brunch performances and a mix of performers like Dropkick Murphys, Ben Folds, Dashboard Confessional, and Lupe Fiassco. Now that I’ve professed my love for the House of Blues, I’m waiting in anticipation to find out what the shiny new Royale has to offer and the upcoming stats on their web traffic.

About Lindsey Mark:
Lindsey Mark works in Client Relations at Compete and is responsible for the strategic development of client retention and support policies for compete.com, with a focus on education and training efforts. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY so she's a certified technology junkie and open source advocate. When she's not thinking about marketing or training digital 007's at compete, she's doing yoga & blogging about gluten-free diet and lifestyle. Find Lindsey on Twitter as @linji, Google Plus as Lindsey Mark or connect with her via LinkedIn.