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Artist Development or Tour Marketing

This section discusses the functions of a record label artist development / tour marketing department. At this point, you may also want to review the StarPolish dedicated section on Performance Marketing / Tour Support for more details and do-it-yourself tour marketing tips. Some labels refer to product management or marketing as "artist development" (which sounds nicer than "product management"), but at most labels artist development is the touring department. This area not only deals with touring, but also non-recoupable performances like promotional tours, special artist appearances and label events and presentations. First off, if you don't already have a booking agent, the artist development department can undoubtedly help you find one. There is a finite number of major booking agents in the country, and major- label touring departments maintain excellent relationships with all of them. If you need an agent, your artist development representative can help you find the right match. Once you are paired up with your ideal agent, Artist Development can also help you find your ideal touring situation. The label's muscle and promise of marketing support will help you to secure a good tour. If you're up for an opening slot, other agents, headline acts and venues all want to know that their opening artist will have label funds behind them to support the tour with advertising, promotion and visibility to help sell tickets.
Tour Support - The Budget
The main order of business for Artist Development is approving your tour budget. Your recoupable tour support amount is pre-determined in your contract. However, this does not mean that the touring department just writes a check for that amount and sends you on your way. Even though tour support is recoupable and you are ultimately responsible for that money, it is not yours upon demand. You might think, "Hey, it's my money, let me have it!" But the sad truth is that in most cases, the label does not recoup tour support money from its developing acts.
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