Booking agents and managers are embracing a new Web tool to identify potential live markets for their artists.
A free service dubbed Demand, from Eventful.com, allows fans to request that specific acts perform in their local markets. The Demand tool is added to artists’ Web pages such as personal Web sites and MySpace pages and lets fans voice their opinion by clicking and “demanding” a performance. Tallies for all requests are displayed on Eventful’s Web site.
The San Diego-based company, which closed a $7 million round of funding in September, soft-launched the service in March followed by a wider launch in June, according to Eventful CEO Jordan Glazier. According to the company “hundreds of thousands” of users have voted for more than 35,000 different events using the tool since launch.
Acts ranging from Diddy and 50 Cent to Anthrax, Korn and Hinder are using Demand on their MySpace pages, as is rocker Otep, who is running a promotion to let fans determine eight dates on her upcoming tour using the tool.
“It’s going to be the first-ever user-generated tour,” says Jonathan Cohen, Otep’s manager. With seven dates in major markets locked down on the 15-stop tour, the promotion is being held in 24 markets, each competing for one of the final eight stops. The weeklong online competition ends October 30.
“It’s a really handy tool for us to have to determine where the fans are,” says Dave Kirby, president of TKO Booking, who represents Otep. “When you’re doing a tour like this, when you’re going to smaller venues, making the right choice city by city is critical.”
Comedian Jim Gaffigan currently has more than 8,600 demands on Eventful after having the Demand tool posted on his MySpace page for eight weeks. A 30-city Gaffigan tour is in the routing stages. “(Demand) helped us with swing markets, it put a few back into consideration,” says Alex Murray, Gaffigan’s manager, who used the data in conjunction with CD and DVD sales and past tour history to route the tour. “And for the markets we decided to go in, it helped us determine how much we should get.”
User-generated tools may eventually allow fans to completely determine an artist’s tour. “I can easily see it going the next step, where you’re looking a blank slate before routing the tour at all, and using that type of data to determine the entire tour,” Kirby says. “It’s no question that would be a smart way to use the tool on the next level.”
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