Today, touring artists are gaining a new (free) tool for understanding their fans' demands, and where those fans are located. Bandsintown, a Web-based service used by a quarter-million artists and 15 million concert-goers, is announcing its new Bandsintown Manager today (Feb. 3), a free application for Facebook, iOS and Android. The analytics tool will be available to artists that have over 100 "trackers," or fans that have opted to receive an artist's concert updates.
Bandsintown is a multi-purpose, cloud-based tool. Fans use it to track favorite bands and RSVP -- without the actual commitment of purchasing a ticket -- for upcoming concerts. (Songkick is its main competitor.) Artists, meanwhile, use it to synchronize tour dates across multiple online platforms, promote their concerts on social media and notify fans about those shows.
Analytics have become a common product feature. Digital distributors started adding analytics dashboards a few years ago, and detail-rich analytics can now be found everywhere, from streaming services like Spotify and Pandora to analytics firm Next Big Sound and publishing administration service Kobalt.
This particular analytic tool has a practical value: ticket sales. Bandsintown president and COO Julien Mitelberg says "about 40 percent" of concert tickets go unsold because fans don't know their favorite artist was in town. That's the same number Ticketmaster has cited for years. The refrain has become industry shorthand for lost revenue.
Bandsintown's new geographic interface promises to be a useful tool. Overlaid on a map are the locations of the aforementioned trackers, those trackers' standing RSVPs and the artist's tour dates. (Trackers of similar artists are also shown.) Metrics are displayed as centric circles around the locations of the tour dates. So, for example, an artist can quickly get a look at where RSVPs most closely match trackers by comparing trackers in various cities. The closer the sizes of the concentric circles, the higher the percentage of fans that have RSVP'd for a show.
Naturally, the interface will alert artists to missed opportunities. If a significant number of trackers are located where no tour dates have been scheduled, an artist can consider making stops in those markets at some point in the future. Artists seeking market potential in other countries can simply drag the map outside North America.
Finally, two graphs provide additional information in a single glimpse. One chart shows the increase in trackers over a period of time. The other chart shows the number of people that have RSVPd or are interested in each tour date.
While much attention has been paid to utilizing "big data" to better serve listeners, the needs of artists are increasingly being met through the same means -- which is a good thing for fans, too.