For Those About To Rock: An iPhone App To Organize Tours

Artist Growth is a new smartphone/tablet app suite aimed at touring musicians and their managers. Can it make life on the road a little easier?

The smartphone and tablet revolution has resulted in a boom market for robust, full-featured apps. Many of these apps are aimed squarely at subcultures and industries that most of us pay no mind to—and where healthy profits can be made. One firm, Artist Growth, has introduced the perfect example of this: An app suite aimed at touring musical acts and their managers.

Essentially, the app suite—also called Artist Growth—functions as a mobile management system for bands and solo musicians on the road. The apps, which are available in iOS, Android, and HTML 5, allow managers to manage show calendars, merchandise sales, promotions, set lists, expenses, revenue, and booking from within a single platform. Founders Jonathan Sexton and Matt Urmy told Fast Company that the app suite originated in their own needs for specialized software for touring appearances.

Artist Growth, which generated $1 million in seed funds, debuted the app suite this January. Since then, they've inked a deal with BMI to handle live performance royalties for musicians, which also includes a six-month trial Artist Growth subscription for all BMI members. The app suite normally charges a $5 per month subscription fees; managers of multiple acts are charged $5 for each act they manage. The company also has a preexisting agreement with CD Baby.

The software suite includes databases of concert venues, radio stations, and media licensed from the Indie Venue Bible; management can also create read-only accounts for band members. Subscribers are also given access to pre-populated task checklists for touring, making new records, online promotions, and other projects.

While there are already specialized software suites and websites such as ReverbNation that cater toward bands and their managers, Artist Growth was deliberately developed as a mobile-centric platform. Talent management, much like other fields such as teachers, retail firms, and truckers, are turning out to be fertile ground for full-featured smartphone apps.

For more stories like this, follow @fastcompany on Twitter. Email Neal Ungerleider, the author of this article, here or find him on Twitter and Google+.

[Image: Flickr user Jared Polin]

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