I was talking to a friend while in Philadelphia last week about how I’m constantly moving onto the next thing when it comes to work.
My mind is already working out my bands' plans for the fall and winter of 2018, even though most of them are either on the road right now or are gearing up for their summer tours. Since things have been rapidly changing in the industry, from shifts in streaming to the way tours sell, I've been asking myself a lot about what we can do better. How can we improve upon the plans we made for these tour rollouts? What can we change to be more successful? Am I doing enough?
An example from this train of thought: in my experience, from the time I started managing bands to now, ticket sales have largely shifted to a lot of week-of and day-of show sales, as opposed to pre-sales. Neither is bad, but the former is harder to plan for. Can we combat that? Or are millennials just slow to purchase tickets? As a fellow manager pointed out, there’s a report that says more than half of Americans are living with less than $1,000 to their name. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it makes sense not to buy a concert ticket three months out -- but it's my job to help put together a compelling tour package and marketing plan to boost sales, not to use the economy as a crutch. Ultimately, there's a lot I don't know or can’t plan for, so how can I use the information I do have to better benefit my bands?
The last time I was planning a lot of headlining tours was two years ago. Spotify mattered but not like it does today, Snapchat was still for nudes, Instagram had no stories nor an insane number of users, and album releases still had pretty boring rollouts over six-week timeframes. Now, there are more bases to cover than ever, and plenty of new ways to use your resources -- and it might hurt if you do one thing incorrectly. I’m working to reevaluate what I had previously deemed the right way to approach a set of problems. And while I don’t have the answers, I think saying so out loud is important to start experimenting in order to find them.