Google's incubator wants to make artists' concert planning less dumb
A new tool, Demand, could help your favorite artists price tickets at what they're really worth, or realize they should book two dates in your city instead of just one.
Joan E. SolsmanFormer Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Google's experimental start-up incubator Area 120 launched a new tool for the music industry Wednesday. Called Demand, it organizes Google search, YouTube and other data about artists so that promoters, managers, labels and other reps can plan live performances that, ideally, better fit the actual demand of fans.
That means Demand could potentially help your favorite artists price tickets at what they're really worth. Or it could help artists realize from the get-go that your city should get two performance dates on their tour, instead of waiting to see if the first one sells out before opening up another show on another that might've been your preference anyway.
"This is an industry that hasn't had data at their fingerprints to make informed decisions," Parag Vaish, a co-founder of Demand, said in a briefing last week. Nick Turner, another co-founder of Demand, added that the music industry has always needed to rely on historical data, not real-time data like Demand aims to make available.
Inside Demand, Google Trends data provides a specific glimpse into what a fan is searching for, and YouTube data provides a barometer for sustained interest in an artist over time. Demand goes further by adding third-party data sources about ticketing (even the average ticket price in secondary markets), as well as giving users the ability to filter data to metropolitan areas. The overall goal is to provide a new view into the live music market for the people planning your favorite stars' next gig.
Demand is free, but people interested in using it need to apply to get access.
"We're calling it the great equalizer, because everybody will have it," Turner said.
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