Eventric last week celebrated the holidays bowling at old-school Lincoln Square Lanes (awesome time) and it clearly feels like end-of-year mode - always a time for reflection. And what a year 2010 was for Eventric and the touring business.
Depending on who you talk to, 2010 was a terrific year or a horrible one. (Observation: at the Billboard Touring conference last month, nobody 'fessed up to having a bad year.)
On the down side, worldwide grosses are reportedly down between 15-25% from the year before. There was a seemingly increased number of cancelled or postponed tours. Ticket prices seemed to finally reach its zenith (which I wrote about in this post). Pigeon droppings prematurely ended a Kings of Leon show in St. Louis ("too unsanitary to continue" said the Twitter post.)
On the up side, things were very good for a lot of acts. If you are Lady Gaga, AC/DC, U2, James Taylor/Carole King, Justin Bieber - well let's just say that people are still paying top dollar to see the shows they love. The festival business continued to thrive this year. Worldwide box office grosses were over $3B. Country music continued it's consistent success. I've seen reports that the club business had a solid year.
We at Eventric enjoyed a very productive and successful 12 months. We released the all-new Master Tour late last year so 2010 was our first full year running our subscription-based software service. We welcomed several thousand new users over the year and released many new features including a very innovative settlement module, new mobile apps, document management, and custom tour book printing (with partner Access Pass & Design).
We worked with many tours of all sizes and genres - it continues to surprise me the number of working acts that we in the office have never heard of that sign up for Master Tour every month. We were a part of some of some really big tours (Rihanna, Dave Matthews Band, Black Eyed Peas), artists having breakout years (Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Zac Brown Band, MGMT, Owl City, Paramore, Lady Antebellum - see right), and some great new festival customers (Central Park Summerstage, Peats Ridge Festival in Australia).
Live Access (our permission-based VIP ticketing solution) processed millions of dollars of secure guest tickets for tours such as Bon Jovi, John Mayer, The Glee tour, and Pearl Jam.
I would like to thank all of our users for their support and business - our users are the greatest. As a guy whose worked in the software industry for many years I've never seen users as generous with their time and insight to give us feedback and help us continue to refine our products. Muchas gracias and you know who you are...
Looking Forward - 2011
What's next in 2011 for the touring biz? Our Eventric customers are gearing up and loading in lots of dates for next year. Dave Matthews Band is NOT touring for the first time in...ever. Backstreet Boys/NKOTB are going out for a "heritage" boy band super-bill. 30 Seconds to Mars and The Decemberists are going big out of the gate starting in early January. Judas Priest and [maybe] the Rolling Stones are going out for a "farewell" tour. (I went to The Who's first farewell tour in 1982 so forgive the quote marks.) From our perspective (and the activity on our servers), it looks like 2011 is off to a good start.
We have a large number of enhancements and new products scheduled for release in 2011, including our new artist management module (code-named Master Manage) and the first wave of Live Marketplace apps. (We brought in some new rockstar programming talent, see them at left during Eventric New Hire Orientation.)
I'll talk more about Master Manage in a future post but I can say that it will include things such as a multi-organization dashboard, a comprehensive budgeting and expense tracking feature, a marketing module, huge enhancements in the calendar and group productivity area, and a booking module. We have a large number of management organizations using Master Tour and this is the natural thing for us to tackle. Look for our first release of this module in April.
Last words: perhaps some of the "controversy" generated this year will lead to some better booking and pricing decisions as well as a renewed focus on improving the fan experience. We at Eventric will no doubt play a bigger part in 2011 by building the tools need to manage the huge flow of information that makes the show "go".