Skip to main content

What Data Is Telling Us About the Booming Business of Developing Artists On the Road (Guest Op-Ed)

Recent data from Live Nation, Bandsintown, MIDiA and the IFPI confirms that, for the first time ever, developing artists are key drivers of industry growth.

As the global music market is expected to explode in the next few years and pass the $100 billion mark, according to Goldman Sachs, developing artists have increasingly become the focus of labels, streaming services, brands and promoters — all of whom are eager to discover and partner with the next rising star. Recent data confirms that, for the first time ever, developing artists — including DIY musicians and artists without labels — are key drivers of industry growth.   

Last month, Live Nation announced impressive Q2 earnings and chairman/CEO Michael Rapino specifically touted the performance of artists outside of their top 100, stating, “Ticket revenue from concerts outside our top 100 artists is up 32% so far this year, demonstrating that the demand for live music is strong and growing from the largest stadiums to the local clubs.”

On the recorded-music side, labels are investing more than one-third of their global revenues (or $5.8 billion) in A&R and marketing each year, to break, develop and support new artists, according to the IFPI’s 2019 Global Music Report 2019. Additionally, independent labels are now the fastest-growing sector of the global recorded music industry, according to the 2018 Worldwide Independent Market Report.


Bandsintown’s data confirms fans’ passion for new artists, as well as this growing emphasis on developing artists. Fifty million registered users and 130 million unique monthly interactions with active music fans have made Bandsintown a trusted industry source of data gathered from millions of concert-goers and agnostic of any specific geography, promoter, or ticketing platform.

Despite 2019 seeing fewer stadium shows and Taylor Swift-level tours, the overall live music market is growing as fans are spending on a higher volume of shows, demonstrating a shift in consumer interest and great news for smaller artists: The number of separate shows for which Bandsintown fans bought  tickets for, in the first semester of 2019, is up 84% compared to the same period last year.

In 2016, only 36% of all fans’ intent to buy tickets through Bandsintown (“buy tickets” clicks) went to developing artists’ shows. Now, in 2019, intent to buy tickets for shows of developing artists rose to 50%.  Each week, Bandsintown refers 1.8 million fans (out of a total of 3.6 million referrals) to ticketing sites for shows of developing artists. Thus far in 2019, 40% of music fans using Bandsintown RSVP’d to a show of an artist with fewer than 100,000 followers and 50% of Bandsintown users declared they have attended the shows of artists that they were not familiar with prior to Bandsintown’s recommendation.


At a time when there are growing concerns that playlists and streaming do not do enough to strengthen the artist/fan relationship, Bandsintown can measure and amplify the growing importance of live performances to develop new artists and help them grow a profitable and lasting relationship with their fans.

Fabrice Sergent is Managing Partner of the #1 global concert discovery app and music marketing platform Bandsintown Group. With a reach of 130 million monthly active fans globally, 50 million registered concert goers and 500,000 touring artists registered to its platform, Bandsintown offers marketing solutions to engage with the most passionate music fans.