Area 120 is Google’s internal incubator for experiments, and its latest project is called Demand. This data analytics platform hopes to provide artists, venue managers, promoters, and others in the live music industry actionable insights.

Update 11/10: In an email today, Area 120 announced that it’s shutting down Demand on November 20th:

Although we’re extremely proud of what we have built, we have decided to discontinue the project. We are so grateful that you signed up to be a user and we hope you enjoyed what we created, even if for a short time.

This analytics service for live music debuted just before COVID-19 lockdowns took effect around the world. Hyperlocal social network Shoelace was wound down for similar reasons, though Area 120 ended up launching Fundo in September for hosting and ticketing virtual events.

Original 2/5: According to the Area 120 team, live music still heavily relies on “gut instincts, rather than actionable insights.” There are four key parts to Demand:

  • Artist Trends: See Google Trends and YouTube Views data for more than 19,000 artists. Compare artists across 210 US markets.
  • Ticket Pricing: See historical and real-time pricing data for the primary and secondary ticket markets. View the percentage of tickets available on the secondary market.
  • Announcement Effectiveness: See real-time activity for an artist’s on-sale announcements. Filter the activity across 210 US markets to enhance marketing, pricing and planning.
  • Audience Insights: Set up-to-date insights about an artist’s audience. View other brands and media relevant to fans based on monthly search traffic.

Demand is powered by publicly available Google Trends data given that fans start looking for tickets through Google Search. It then leverages YouTube and Google Play data as a “barometer for sustained interest in an artist over time.” Third-party data sources then provide historical and current pricing. Examples of valuable data from Demand cited by the Google Area 120 team include:

  • When evaluating the tour schedule for a Top 40 artist, DEMAND’s data revealed that the artist did not price their tickets at market rate, which was leading to higher prices for fans in the ticket resale market.
  • DEMAND’s analytics identified that an artist was choosing tour stops that didn’t reflect the strongest fan interest.

The goal is to “enhance the planning, pricing, marketing and sponsorship of live events,” while also improving the fan experience by expanding reach.

Additionally, we believe that DEMAND will serve as an equalizer. Even rising artists booking their own club stops and unknown venues can benefit by seeing where similar styles of artists performed well—or not so well—and at what prices.

Demand is currently invite-only for professionals with whitelist sign-ups open now. It’s available at no cost for the U.S. music industry.

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Abner Li

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