Whether you manage a single artist or a roster of talent, keeping track of it all is no easy feat. From juggling emails, texts, and phone calls to coordinating travel logistics, navigating disparate calendars, and managing big personalities, there’s a lot of chance for error.
Luckily, there are some great artist management tools out there to help you keep track of it all. You just have to know what to look for, as most project management tools aren’t geared for the music and entertainment space.
So to help you choose the best artist management software for your organization, we’re looking at 10 questions you should ask when evaluating your options.
1. Can I see all of my artists’ events for the year in a single calendar view?
There’s nothing wrong with popular options like Google Calendar or Apple’s iCloud Calendar. For most people and businesses, they’re all you need. But in an industry where album release cycles can span 18–24 months and tours routinely extend into the next year, you need more.
Featuring both 6- and 12-month extended views, Artist Growth Workspace puts all of your events on a single screen. You can even view your calendar by location, allowing you to quickly see where an artist will be at any given time, which can be especially helpful in determining where to focus promotional efforts.
However, extended views aren’t the only requirement of an artist management calendar. Just as important is the day view.
Workspace, for example, lets you add day notes, travel and event information, and any associated files right alongside your schedule for the day, so that everything you might need to know is easily accessible from both your desktop and mobile device.
This also means you can easily recall historical event data that might be useful to an artist and their team when they return — like what media outlets and digital service providers were invited the last time they performed in that city.
2. Can I view my entire artist roster in one place?
If you manage more than one artist — or plan to — a roster-level calendar view is a must for many reasons.
Say you’re a label promotions team looking for opportunities to cross-promote artists or wondering where you should focus your marketing efforts. Or maybe you’re booking a joint tour with two artists.
In instances like these, you need to be able to see all of your artists’ events in a single calendar. At the same time, you need to be able to view each artist’s schedule individually.
Unfortunately, that’s not something you can do in many popular calendar and tour management apps, making this one of the most important questions to ask when vetting artist management software.
3. Can I control who can view and manage events, finances, and other sensitive information?
In music, as in other areas of the entertainment industry, a lot of planning goes on behind the scenes. The last thing you want is for someone to leak details of a yet-to-be-announced album release date or to find out how much an artist gets paid per show.
So how do you keep everyone involved appropriately informed without divulging more than necessary? By making certain that the artist management app you choose gives you complete control over user permissions.
For example, Workspace's granular permission controls let you specify who in an artist’s team, label, or management agency can view and/or edit:
- Guest lists
- Performance dates
- Tentative events
- Travel logistics
- Ticket requests
- And much more
4. Can I access my data while offline?
For an industry that’s always on the move, it’s absolutely essential that you’re able to access schedules, travel logistics, and other data even when you’re offline.
Most management software, however, doesn’t work that way.
With the Workspace mobile app, though, you can view all of your information, and even make changes, while offline. That way you can keep working, knowing that any changes you make while offline will sync later.
5. Can I export day sheets, itineraries, and tour books?
Knowing you can access your artist management software anytime, anywhere is a beautiful thing. Still, some team members will prefer or need to have something printed out.
With most calendars and conventional project management tools, you’re on your own to create things like printed agendas and itineraries. That’s a problem for two reasons: 1) It eats into your already-limited time, and 2) it introduces the potential for errors that could derail your tightly coordinated plans.
Before you make a decision on artist management software, make sure that it enables you to export day sheets, tour books, and other itineraries for easy printing and sharing.
6. Can I track and export expenses and revenues?
No artist project management tool would be complete without the ability to track and manage finances. But while many tools have templates for budgeting, there are often limitations that you should take into consideration.
For example, can you upload receipts? Link financial transactions to specific events? Or export to popular tax and accounting software?
Workspace lets you sort financial transactions, upload receipts and, critically, link transactions to specific events, giving you a holistic view of your operation’s finances.
Additionally, you can export your finances as CSV files for uploading to tax and accounting software — with third-party integrations on the way.
7. Can I manage and approve guest pass requests and ticket budgets?
For record labels, the process of requesting, managing, and approving guest passes and tickets for performances and promotional events can be a major source of inefficiency. Often, requests are submitted informally via email, text, or DM, and managed via spreadsheets.
Well-thought artist management software, however, can streamline your ticket request workflow and budgeting process.
Workspace users can easily request guest passes and tickets. Meanwhile, approvers can quickly approve or deny requests thanks to customizable notification settings.
Additionally, ticket managers can allocate tickets to people and groups within your organization, who can then share those tickets with promoters, members of the media, and so on. Depending on your Workspace tier, users can even aggregate and segment requests and ticket budgets by tour, group, or department.
8. Can I import events from Songkick, WME, and others?
If your artists’ tour dates are already listed on a website like Songkick, why should you have to go through the painstaking process of entering each and every one into your artist management platform?
The answer is: You shouldn’t. Thanks to our integration with Songkick, pulling in your artist’s events is as simple as entering a URL. Scale and Enterprise Workspace users can also pull in data via our integration with WME. And we’re working to bring more integrations into Workspace, like with Bandsintown.
Before choosing a tool, make sure that integrations like these are on the roadmap, if not already available.
9. Can I manage and view events across time zones?
Another area where many calendar apps fail the music industry is when it comes to managing time zones.
To be fair, for most professionals, if you have a call at 3 pm, ET, but traveled to California for work, then you’ll need to jump on Zoom at noon local time (PT) — so your calendar adjusting to local time makes sense. But in our industry, there are a lot of instances in which you would not want this to happen.
Take show times. While the member of your team or record label charged with entering details about an artist’s performances may be in New York, chances are the show is going to be at 8 pm local time regardless.
Any artist management app worth its weight will give you the option to view and enter events by either your location or that of an event. And it should be easy to toggle between the two. If the tool you’re looking at doesn’t, that should be a red flag that it may not meet the needs of the music industry.
Workspace's savvy time zone management eliminates the confusion of cross-country and global scheduling. For record labels managing international artists, this means performance, promotion, and release schedules align perfectly with the artists’ event times, irrespective of location.
10. Can I store files, guarantees, and other important deal info?
Finally, no artist management tool would be complete without a way to save files and information like set lists, contracts, and guarantees directly to events. That way, nothing gets lost.
This also means you can easily find information from the last time an artist performed at a certain venue or location.
Workspace puts everything you need to know about an event right on your calendar — from event, marketing, and promotion notes to guest lists to contact information and much more. You can even pull up directions right from the event.
Try Artist Growth’s Workspace artist management software for free
Hopefully these 10 questions are helpful to you as you evaluate which artist management tool is right for you and your team.
Choosing the best artist management software for you is a major decision, which is why we offer a free trial of Artist Growth Workspace. Because ultimately, what’s important is that the tool you choose makes your job (and those of your team) easier — and the best way to find out is to try it yourself.
Sign up for your free 14-day trial and find out if Workspace is right for you.