A turbulent stretch has led to a whirlwind of upside in the live music industry. With fan attendance broadly higher than before the pandemic, concerts have reasserted themselves as staples of American live entertainment. Concert promotion is also more diverse than ever before, giving industry pros countless ways to reach the fan bases supporting the comeback.
That all adds up to an exciting new frontier for live music. Concert promoters who can utilize cutting-edge booking and management tools while maintaining a human touch have the upper hand in inspiring audiences. They’ll also have an advantage as we move into an increasingly automated future dominated by real-time data and artificial intelligence. Even though the essential connection between artist and fan largely remains the same, the digital playing field is constantly changing, forcing music insiders to adapt or fall behind.
Concert promotion: Where we are and where we’re going
The attendance numbers tell us nearly everything we need to know about live music’s recovery. The largest players in the industry reported monstrous fan attendance in 2022, with overall ticket sales rising well above 2019 levels. Beyond the record-breaking 2022 rebound, the good news has continued to flow in 2023. With the largest promoters and venues leading the way, we might even see more tickets sold in 2023 than in 2022.
That stability is welcome news for all music professionals. Everyone knew 2022 was going to be the year fans went all-in on concert experiences, and now we’re seeing that level of excitement continue. Fans are buying more overall tickets, paying higher amounts, and looking for VIP access that helps them connect with their favorite artists.
If the digital realm was already taking over music by 2020, the reinvigorated industry is all about using digital tools to captivate fans. Promoters can now provide personalized content across a spectrum of platforms, with each outlet having its own advantages and selling points.
Digital marketing in the competitive world of live music
A single moment on social media can ignite a promotional campaign, though finding that moment can be incredibly difficult. There is no surefire way to connect with fans, but today’s promoters have success when they find their niche and use trends to their advantage. By tapping data-driven insights and sculpting campaigns to fit the audience, promoters can unlock the benefits of today’s cutting-edge tools.
The impact of the right social media platform
There are plenty of great platforms for music promotion, but TikTok has become a giant in a crowded space. There are now nearly three times more active TikTok users in the U.S. than there were in 2019, showing a clear snapshot of the app’s impact. One out of three American mobile internet users are regularly on TikTok, which is one of the main reasons concert promoters have taken notice.
TikTok is helping music marketers in a number of ways, from hosting private listening sessions to making it easy to produce high-quality short-form music videos.
But not every artist and fan is in love with TikTok, leading many promoters to keep an open mind. Periscope, Bandcamp, Last.fm, YouTube for Artists, Snapchat, and more can also connect a promoter with the intended demographic.
A common theme for successful social media promotion is going wherever the audience is and recognizing influencers with overlapping goals. Instead of being married to a single platform, most successful promoters are willing to bounce around until they find the most reliable channel to reach fans.
Playing the volume game
Quality will always be important, but experts also acknowledge the importance of volume when it comes to digital content. Cranking out 10 posts that have average social engagement is typically worth much more than a single high-quality post that triggers an avalanche of excitement. The point is to create momentum via regular posting, which establishes your brand and delivers key information about the shows and bands you’re promoting.
A volume-first approach is also critical for expanding beyond your typical fan base. With behavioral tracking that provides real-time insight, promoters also have an easier time matching a campaign to the intended audience. As promoters move beyond the central audience, real-time data helps make sure engagement benchmarks are being reached.
The importance of concert video footage
The digital world is built for video distribution. A professional photo of a concert might provide the wow factor a promoter is looking for, but videos are a much more reliable partner in music promotion. Promoters are using both professional and amateur video footage to showcase the concert experience. The glossy professional look can still be a major asset, yet the right fan-shot video can serve as the perfect invitation for those who didn’t make it to a big show.
And the importance of video is only increasing with advancements in phones and other technologies. Video quality has enhanced significantly on the average phone over the last few years and will continue to improve with each product cycle. Fans are now capable of filming and editing high-quality footage, making every audience member a potential partner for a concert promoter.
Video is also laying the groundwork for the next revolution in digital technology: augmented reality. AR features are already popping up at prominent music festivals all over the U.S., and we’ve only just started to see what the technology can do for the industry. As AR grows within live music, forward-thinking promoters will be looking to include more and more AR experiences in their business models.
Understanding how to use AI to generate promotional content
Artificial intelligence has certainly been all the buzz in 2023 across many different fields. For concert promotion, it is already helping promoters, agents, and artists improve their reach and limit the monotony. With a few prompts, AI programs like ChatGPT can generate text in a variety of different tones and formats, which can then be used in marketing posts, emails, and more.
But you still need to understand the pros and cons of AI before you can maximize its impact. Consider these best practices that are helping promoters bring AI into the fold:
Having clear goals and communication strategies
It might feel like AI can read your mind sometimes, but that’s a mirage. Programs like ChatGPT need as much detail as possible to shadow your intentions. If you want a friendly, easy-going tone, make sure you specify that from the outset.
You can usually do this by passing along the text excerpts from content that is close to what you’re looking for. ChatGPT and similar tools can mimic the style, put in your prompts, and deliver functional content to your intended audiences. The clearer you are in your marketing goals, the better positioned you will be to take advantage of AI-generated content.
Double-checking the basic information
One of the easiest errors to make is to submit incorrect information when you’re issuing prompts to an AI tool. While it might autocorrect your mistake, it’s also very possible that it will simply use the wrong information and confuse anyone who reads it. With that in mind, double-checking your essential prompts (who, where, when) is critical to make sure you’re disseminating the right information.
Don’t set it and forget it with AI
Everyone needs to remember a critical element of AI: we’re still in the infancy stage of this revolution. Anything AI produces today will likely look unsophisticated at some point in the near future. AI-infused tools are also prone to mistakes without proper supervision, which can occasionally draw negative attention.
Take some of the recent troubles one major company has had with some of its AI-generated travel content. Microsoft was forced to pull a few articles that offered unusual travel recommendations. Although Microsoft claimed it was ultimately human error at the heart of the problem, it’s clear there was a disconnect between AI and the human world.
This should serve as a caveat to anyone using AI text for concert promotion. If a major AI player like Microsoft is still prone to hiccups, anyone using AI for business needs to remember to scrutinize promotional content from a human POV. Although we will eventually overcome these types of issues, that isn’t going to happen in 2023—or even 2024. For now, it’s best to keep an eye on the robots to ensure your audiences are receiving the right content.
Management platforms that keep concert promoters on target
One of the best ways promoters stay ahead is by adopting management platforms built to handle the challenges of tomorrow’s live music industry. The right set of tools provides an invaluable stroke of efficiency and organization, letting music pros save time and maximize the impact of their business.
With Prism’s revolutionary live music management platform, cloud technology and automation help promoters handle all the business fundamentals. Industry leaders can upgrade their operations with real-time data, secure file sharing, and automated documentation that can slash time spent on monotonous tasks. Try out Prism today to see how our platform can help your business seize its full potential.