IEBA Agents Power Panel Touches On Fan Attention Span, Data And Agency Structure

Pictured (L-R): Brian Manning (CAA), Pete Pappalardo (AGI), Jamie Loeb (Nederlander Concerts), Sam Hunt (Paradigm) and Seth Siegle (WME)

The International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) conference is underway at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

On Monday (Oct. 16), IEBA hosted its Agents Power Panel with recent Nashville transplant Brian Manning (CAA – Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, Penatonix), Pete Pappalardo (AGI – Hall and Oats, Megadeath, Kidsbop), Sam Hunt (Paradigm – Major Lazer, xx, Run the Jewels) and another recent Nashville transplant who replaced Rob Beckham in the panel, Seth Siegle (WME – Gary Clark Jr., Kaleo, Amos Lee). Jamie Loeb of Nederlander Concerts moderated.

The panel touched on how the touring industry has changed, with artists moving in and out of public consciousness faster than ever before.

“Ultimately we sign with our gut, but it’s about connectivity,” said Manning. “Regardless from streaming, views, spins, etc. people need to have songs, connect with the audience and keep that connection from one tour to the next. To me, data is interesting, but it sometimes follows, rather than informing a trajectory.”

“It is amazing how the very lowest level of bands can be discovered,” echoed Manning. “[My 13 year old daughter] was texting me this morning about a new artist. She has pointed out 15 different artists to me over time. It’s so fast moving — she’s in and out of artists within a week.”

“A week?!” replied Loeb. “That is mind-numbingly depressing.”

“Especially to think when you’re booking festivals 13-14 months in advance,” quipped Hunt. “The most powerful people in the music industry are the children of festival buyers.”

The panel also touched on the advantage and disadvantages of territorial agents and data points.

For Pappalardo, it comes down to an artist delivering a quality show to expand a fan base.

“Everybody has the ability to put music out and get views on YouTube, but unless there’s a quality show, it doesn’t really translate or matter in the touring cycle,” Pappalardo remarked.

“Nobody signs and retains clients without having a personal relationship with them and caring about what they do,” said Manning.

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] @EricTParker

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