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Pia and Udo join forces for Upcoming agency

Japanese ticketing firm Pia has teamed up with rock promoter Udo Artists to establish a management agency for musical acts.

The newly formed Upcoming agency will aim to bring together artists from different genres to enter the Japanese market, as well as globally. It will rely on three revenue streams that have proven effective in Japan – live performance, merchandise and fan clubs for artists.

Keisuke Endo, the managing director of Upcoming, told Billboard: “In the past we at Udo thought a promoter and other aspects of the music industry should be separate, but the business environment now means in order to grow our revenue we have to develop new avenues.

“We wanted to develop artists, but of course we were also concerned with the marketing side, so we thought about who would be best to join forces with. Pia has the ability to reach 12 million subscribers, so that was a factor.

“Of course, we’ve had a strong relationship with them for a long time since they sell tickets to our shows. They’re a very effective company and the staff is extremely creative.”

Under the agreement, both partners will have equal shares in the new venture.

Endo continued: “We thought about how to divide the shares and we decided to go 50-50. We want Pia to put tremendous effort into this project so we thought this was a good way to incentivise them.

“We’re not looking to take over the management of artists already well known. We want to develop our own talent from scratch and put new and exciting faces on the market.

“Pia has a staff of about 1,000 people. As such they go to just about every show of new bands and artists so we have a great ear-to-the-ground there. With Pia’s reach and our ability to recognise talent this offers us a good opportunity to find acts.”

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