Live is Where the Money is
In the last two decades, the live music market has developed into one of the most important sources of income within the music industry. One of the main known reasons for this due to the loss of income from physical sales thanks to music piracy. Digitalisation poses challenges and opportunities for artists and those behind the scenes in the music industry alike. The questions by Helen Meyer of The Venue Berlin: How is the right target group addressed? What does the ideal marketing mix look like online and offline? How do you avoid random crowds, but still have a full dance floor?
The answers to these questions are complex. As always, there are differing opinions, but at one point the participants of the panel were all immediately united: Those who do not promote their event can not expect the public to attend, especially, in large cities such as Berlin.
It has Become More Serious and More Businesslike
"The live business has become more serious and more business-like," says Camilo Betancourt, passionated organizer and booker at Cassiopeia. Since he was a teenager, the now social scientist has been booking live shows and playing in bands. "When it comes to attracting the attention of concert and music fans, Facebook and Instagram are now a must. Knowledge of live event marketing is critical.”
Nobody is an Expert
But this is exactly where the industry lacks. "Nobody is really an expert," says Marie Hoffmann. With her label NordPath Records she juggles the difficult balancing act between artistic demands and profitability. To play as a small act is not easy: "You need to cross a certain fan brand to be interesting for clubs".
No one wants an empty club. Hoffmann recommends: "Form collectives and organize together! It's also more fun. As a musician, you should use all tools and platforms and learn to understand their algorithms and functions."
Clubs and Musicians Are in the Same Boat
"80% of concertgoers inform themselves on Facebook", says Steffen Rudnik from Live Music Accelerator Berlin (LMAB). LMAB is a funding initiative of gigmit and the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe for the sustainable support of musicians and organizers in contemporary concert advertising. It concerns knowledge transfer and smart digital marketing.
"No other federal state has more concerts than Berlin. However, with the number of concert visitors, the city ranks sixth in Germany. Throughout the country, less than 25% of all concerts are sold out. This is a serious problem that we can only solve when clubs and bands work together. In the perception of the scene, it's always the other person's fault if nobody comes to the concert. Clubs and musicians, however, are in the same boat."
Use Helpful Data Solve the Problem
Old school ways of concert promotion, like sticking up posters, (which will be overglued again after a few hours) cannot be a solution from an ecological point of view. Instead, streaming and fan data offer a great opportunity for efficient promotions. gigmit also wants to use this potential for its Matchmaking Algorithm, reveals Steffen von gigmit: "The more data you have, the more accurately you can decide who should come to your event. The fear of the anonymous will disappear if you master the instruments".
That's why LMAB 2018 has trained 59 Berlin agencies, live acts, clubs, and festivals in two-day workshops, and provided an advertising budget of between 100 and 2,000 € each in order to test the new promo know-how in practice.
Without Digital Marketing it Doesn't Work
"A poster doesn't sell tickets," Camilo says. Marie adds: "Millennials use up to 10 sources until they make a decision to buy a ticket.” The trend is clear: without digital marketing, it is no longer possible to sell tickets to younger audiences. That's very serious.
At the end of the project on November 6, 2019, the Berlin-based “bullshit-free, get-it-done, connectivity conference for creatives and music business professionals who know that Berlin does it differently” convention Most:Wanted Music will show how successful the efforts of the LMAB initiative have been. The findings will also be made available to the gigmit community as recommendations for action. Because successful concert promo concerns us all!
Feel free to take the easy way of booking and create a gig via gigmit. Then do succesfull promotion and enjoy your live.