Millions of streams, no ticket sales: what does an artist’s online success say?

People love numbers and especially promoters and programmers. Where previously the followers on Instagram and Facebook were looked at, now the number of streams on Spotify plays a decisive role. But are the number of streams on a globally used platform in proportion to the fees that many artists demand today?

Followers: what does this say about an artist’s success?

As mentioned, the followers on social media play the leading role less and less often. That bubble seems to have been punctured, after major debacles with celebrities who bought ‘likes’ or followers. For those who have acquired followers in a fair way, the question is often whether the followers are relevant for the Dutch or Belgian market at all. Because what good is 100,000 followers if 80% of them are in Asia? Then you may still be a nobody on this side of the world, on social media level. A high artist fee is probably not justified. Therefore, always try to ask for local figures. Also try to find out whether the artist guaranteed a boost in ticket sales at other organizations.

Streams: what does this say about an artist’s success?

Spotify streams seem to be the next best thing, because no fewer than 3 million Dutch people use the streaming service. Nevertheless, the data should be viewed with some caution. How many of the streams come from a Dutch user? And how many times did the same user play this music and does this user actually exist?

Get advice from a booking office

The streaming figures are therefore not as watertight as thought, but that does not mean that we can no longer have confidence in the online statistics. Use your own instincts and determine with common sense whether an artist fee is or can be justified through ticket sales. If you can’t figure it out, you can also seek advice from a booking agency such as Thunder Agency.

With experience on both sides of the table as a programmer and as a promoter, a thorough assessment is easily made. That way you won’t be left with questions, even if the affinity with the music is not so deeply rooted in the DNA, because with the speed of all developments you can often no longer see the wood for the trees.

Text by: Roy Habets