For this month’s edition of our Digital Media Deconstructed series, we’ve invited a good friend, Wes Davenport, to take the reins in an interview with Bandposters co-founder, Jonathan Sexton.
Wes Davenport is a marketer, manager, and publicist based in Nashville, TN. He writes about ways musicians can thrive at wesdavenport.com. Follow him on Twitter @wesdavenport for more music industry insights.
Musician and ArtistGrowth co-founder Jonathan Sexton was tired of spending too much time creating, printing, and shipping posters for gigs. So he partnered with co-founder Mike Fabio and Back Porch Group, a music business think tank, to develop a solution: Bandposters.
Jonathan, now Bandposters CEO, chats about saving musicians time, partnering with other companies, and whether putting cows on gig flyers is a good idea.
Bandposters and Back Porch Group are fairly new entities. What are you trying to accomplish?
I think the idea of both companies is to find solutions to nagging problems for artists, and for the music and entertainment business at large. Bandposters specifically isn’t built to shake the earth, rather its built to do one thing really well–Do we have a million ideas on where to take it from here? Of course we do and in time we will, but in time our first goal remains simple: solve a problem, ease some pain.
What problems does Bandposters solve? How did your team identify those problems?
The problem Bandposters solves is one we’ve both had for years as artists and managers. Sending posters is something that is almost always required by venues, and it is a time consuming headache. Generally speaking, the pre-Bandposters postering process works like this: Someone in the band gets a designer or designs a poster, then they get hundreds of copies made with a blank space on the bottom so that important gig info (date, venue, time ticket price) can be handwritten with a Sharpie on every. Single. Poster. After a trip to Office Max for some giant envelopes to mail them in (11×17 posters), the artist has to Google every address and fill out each envelope by hand, lick stamps, and THEN hop back in the car, drive down to the post office, and stand in line before paying.
Bandposters takes care of all this in about 90 seconds.
Going forward, we’re looking at tackling the street team problem. It remains difficult to get the word about your shows in towns that you don’t live in. We want to solve that problem.
What do artists need to start using Bandposters?
A gig to promote! Plus, If you have a poster design you already love and use–great! Just go to https://www.getbandposters.com, upload the image, and get to work. If you do NOT already have a design, our Facebook integration makes it really simple to import existing photos and images to make a new poster from scratch in seconds.
What other companies are you partnering with and why?
There are so many cool products and services around for artists, but one thing that continues to be a pain point is manually entering tons of tour dates across multiple sites. We wanted to address this out of the gate, which is why we have partnered up with SongKick and BandsinTown. Between these two fantastic services, we have literally hundreds of thousands of gigs covered. We’re currently in discussions with a few other services as well, but these 2 provide a great foundation.
Many bands seem to focus most of their energy on digital promotions. What’s the value in a printed gig flyer?
Digital Promotions and Printed Gig Flyers aren’t mutually exclusive. Both are important, and work together to make a great show happen. Bands should certainly have a digital strategy for promoting gigs (and soon BandPosters will help with that too), but there is still no replacement for a great looking poster on the wall at the club you’re playing.
Do you have any favorite flyers? If so, what draws you to those?
Americana songwriter Scott Miller recently used BandPosters to make some posters with a cow it. It was a cow from his farm. I loved it; it felt really honest. Really though, the best part is seeing all the different ideas and creative ways to use the service that I never would have thought of before creating it.
Tell me about the pricing. How did you determine it? What kind of savings are artists looking at?
$15 per show, and each show you purchase sends 5 high-quality 11X17 flyers on 100lbs gloss cover paper. It’s a reasonable price point, ESPECIALLY if you factor in the cost of design, but it’s also about time. You can literally send posters to 200 gigs in about 90 seconds. It’s adding years to your life!
Is it possible for a user to proof their poster? What can users do to make sure they have the best looking flyer possible?
Sure. Part of our process includes a poster review before checkout. So you can see what you made, how it will look, and make any changes you need. We knew this idea would NEVER make it if the print quality wasn’t high enough. So we make sure it’s great. Every time.