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Market music not shows themselves, Outback Presents CEO says

Tour marketers are more likely to have a hit if they promote an artist’s music rather than the shows themselves.

That’s the view of Outback Presents chief executive Vaughn Millette, a former investor who sold an energy finance startup to Panasonic in 2014 before switching to event promotions and a successful link up with singer-songwriter Jason Isbell.

Millette, whose Nashville-based company now works with around 100 artists, told Billboard that marketing should be focused on the act’s music rather than the live event, citing his success with Isbell.

“There’s opportunity for every tour to be better marketed — it’s often done in too cookie-cutter of a way,” Millette told Billboard.

“As a thank you to Jason Isbell, we ran a couple hundred commercials on the History Channel for his album, which was non-recoupable to us. I think the album recharted for a time.

“Tour marketing itself is rather ineffective. We need to spend a year trying to market the artist’s music, to convert a bigger percentage of locals to fans.”

Millette also distanced himself from the kind of ticketing scandals highlighted by last week’s Billboard expose of Live Nation’s link with the resale sector.

He added that his company has tested methods of negatively impacting resellers.

He said: “I don’t want to be putting tickets on the secondary market in any way. That said, we have done an experiment or two to see if there are ways to hurt broker pricing. We’re really trying to make sure fans can buy tickets at the price the artist wants them to.”