Matt Urmy

Matt Urmy

Susan Urmy

The strategic partnership will launch a new financing program for live entertainers.

Artist management-platform, Artist Growth, has joined forces with Pinnacle Financial Partners to develop an artist-friendly way to access touring capital.

The tour-financing program is being launched to place more financial power and control into the hands of artists, providing streamlined access to capital without dipping into personal savings or other costly alternatives.

“For many years we have been working on our software to get it to a point, not only where it had a really robust and valuable feature set for managing the business side of touring, but also had the ability to integrate with other systems like software systems at a bank,” Artist Growth’s founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Urmy tells Billboard.

Urmy says he sat down with Pinnacle’s head of music, entertainment and sports, Andy Moats, over a year ago to start developing the integration. The new program will allow agencies to upload event routing and confirmed guarantees into Artist Growth where Pinnacle can then approve an advance ranging from thousands of dollars into the millions based on tour dates, guarantees, insurance terms and more.

The partnership means artists can get capital quickly, without needing to submit the personal financial documents generally required for a bank loan, like tax returns or credit scores. 

“What makes this unique is that the information that we collect around the tours is allowing Andy and his team to evaluate the artist for their financing in a really unique way. They will be able to base it solely off what their tour business looks like, how many dates they are playing and what the income is there,” Urmy tells Billboard. “We’re able to sidestep a lot of the traditional red tape associated with people looking for financing from a bank.”

Since its founding in 2012, Artist Growth has been tailored for the monitoring of the touring business, integrating multiple software systems to enable artists and their teams to track finances, inventory, tour schedules, and promotions and has been used by artist teams at Universal Music Group, Red Light Management and Vector Management.

“Generally, the need for money is a matter of timing in most cases. These are profitable tours and it is just a means to move cash based on future bookings,” says Moats.

“The loan itself can be used for any business purpose. It is typically used for the pre-tour production needs of a small or even very large tour,” Moats tells Billboard. “If an artist needed to self-finance an EP or buying themselves out of an existing contract, that’s also available.”

Up and coming artist can use the capital to produce larger-scale shows as they start to fill larger rooms or iconic musicians can find capital for pre-productions needs without the money coming out of their own pockets. Pinnacle has a history of working with the music industry from providing credit cards for emerging acts to multi-million-dollar acquisitions of music copyrights and masters.

“The program gives the artist the ability to potentially make more strategic decisions,” says Urmy. “Even artists at earlier stages who may not have as much capital available to them, $20,000 at the right moment, under the right terms can really make a difference on whether or not an artist is able to capitalize on an opportunity.”

The lending program will remain in pilot through at least the third quarter of 2018, available only to a small number of invited users. Full access to Artist Growth clients is expected in the fourth quarter.

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