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Concert listing sites help acts reach fansDENVER (Billboard) - This year's decline in touring business revenue has caused the music industry to take a hard look at how it approaches concert promotion, pricing and scheduling.

That's good news for the many tour-related Internet startups that emerged back when it looked as if touring was going to single-handedly save the music business. Rather than hurting their chances for success, the changing touring landscape is instead giving them a chance to shine.

According to Billboard Boxscore, North American box-office dollars totaled $886 million in the first half of 2010, down $250 million, or 22 percent, from the same period last year. There are a number of factors behind this decline, all of which play into the hands of these new companies taking a digital approach to the touring business. With the economy such that it is, music fans are becoming more selective in their purchasing decisions.

Additionally, the downturn in music sales has led to more bands touring to make up for the lost revenue, and that's led to a glut of tours. Concert ticket aggregator Eventful has 383,552 events scheduled for August; last year it had 276,844 listed for the month.

All of this bodes well for services like Eventful, Bandsintown, Songkick and JamBase, which are designed to help fans find and buy tickets. They offer a one-stop shop for music fans, aggregating hundreds of thousands of current and upcoming tours put on by a variety of promoters with links to any ticketing platform they use. And they offer more listings of smaller, cheaper gigs than those found through Ticketmaster.

Consider the recent move by direct-to-fan platform Topspin. It quietly launched a ticketing system that lets artists sell concert tickets through their e-mail and Twitter lists. For instance, the Pixies sold 6,000 tickets through the system, let fans print them out at home and then scanned the tickets at the venue using iPhones.

"(Live Nation) on average has roughly 15,000 upcoming events listed while we have anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000," says one digital aggregator who requested anonymity because of relationships with Live Nation. "We're just aggregators. So the more competitors that are around, the better it is for us."

 

Take Eventful. It has 15 million registered users that use the site to discover upcoming concerts and link to buy tickets. According to CEO Jordan Glazier, the site registers more than 1 million "buy" links, which is a 50 percent increase from this time last year. Those links only lead users to the option to buy, and it can't tell how many of those clicks result in an actual sale. But it does illustrate how many potential sales Eventful is sending to its various ticketing partners.

That has prompted more artists to use Eventful to help promote their events. Eventful has specific information on its users -- such as age, gender, city and music preference -- which it uses to customize tour recommendations. Glazier says more managers are now either including Eventful in their early marketing plans or reaching out for help when ticket sales are hurting.

"More and more artists are looking to the data of where they're in demand to make the right decisions about where to tour in the first place," he says.

Eventful's "demand it" feature enables users to submit a request to their favorite acts to schedule a stop in their town. In July 2009, 68,869 acts participated in the program. A year later, more than 80,000 did -- a 17 percent increase.

One of the most common reasons why some gigs don't attract larger crowds is because fans simply don't know about them. New concert-focused websites could go a long way toward addressing that problem.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 August 2010 15:28
 
(UK)

Newsflash Archive

Liam Gallagher and fellow former Oasis band members Gem Archer, Andy Bell, and Chris Sharrock have announced details of their first album under the moniker of Beady Eye. The new band releases its debut album Different Gear, Still Speeding on February 28th next year.

The announcement was made on the Beady Eye's official website earlier today.

The band will release the record on Beady Eye Records. The album features thirteen new songs written by the band and was recorded at RAK Studios during the autumn with producer Steve Lillywhite, who had his first commercial success with Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1978 with the hit single "Hong Kong Garden." Lillywhite is also currently producing the third album for Evanescence.

Single "Bring the Light" was released on November 9th, and according to the news bulletin was downloaded from or played on the band's website "over 350,000 times" in the first twenty-four hours.  The official video, which was premiered one week later, has received "over 600,000 hits."

The video can be viewed {rokbox title=|Beady Eye Bring the Light :: Indie Rock and Roll Radio| text=|here| size=|fullscreen| album=|default|}images/stories/Beady Eye - Bring The Light.flv&autostart=true{/rokbox}.

Tickets for Beady Eye's first UK tour sold-out "within 30 minutes" of their general release to the public on November 26th. The band will be joined by Matt Jones on keyboards and Jeff Wootton on bass for the UK dates as well as for the European shows which follow.

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