Every month we introduce a different member of the Artist Services team. This time we talk to Artist Relations Manager John Talbot.

We get an insight into his day-to-day role as well as find out what he's listening to and looking forward to attending this year.

Q: Tell us your story – how did you end up joining Artist Services at Ticketmaster?

A: I worked for a record company for long time. I’d been at Island Records for nearly a decade, working on high profile retail campaigns for artists including Amy Winehouse, Florence + the Machine and Disclosure. It was very exciting and ultimately satisfying to be part of a close team that could work with an act and take them from a relative unknown to household name status. I love working in music and when I moved to pastures new, I felt it was important that I still be surrounded by it and work for an organization that had the interests of artists at its heart. Ticketmaster Artist Services has literally that, so I was really pleased when I took on the role of Artist Relations Manager for Ticketmaster and TicketWeb in 2015. 

Q: Can you explain a normal day in the office for you?

A: Half the time I’m not actually in the office.  As Artist Relations I’m essentially the business development manager for Artist Services, so I’m out a lot, speaking to the artist management community about what we offer. That can mean established management companies like Lateral, IE and Redlight, but it also means independent artist managers too.

When I am at my desk I tend to scour industry newsletters, blogs, radio playlists and so on, to try and second guess who might be planning to tour or put on shows soon. Then I get out and meet them – my message is usually pretty consistent; we can work with artists at any level and we’re interested in working to deliver what works for your campaign. We’re fortunate at Ticketmaster to have two distinct platforms (Ticketmaster and TicketWeb) plus such a wide and diverse customer base, it gives us chance to present artists to our millions of gig-goers at any stage in their career.  It’s just part of our commitment to helping musicians build their fanbase.

I work with all our label partners too, so I meet regularly with Sony, Warner and Universal’s commercial teams. It’s great to hear what new acts are a priority and what’s coming through the record companies.

Day by day I’m heavily involved in the communications that come from Artist Services. I co-ordinate our regular client newsletter and even often write about emerging artists and events for the TicketWeb blog and the Ticketmaster B2B blog. I work closely with Ticketmaster and TicketWeb’s fantastic Marketing, Socials, Sales and Design guys to build compelling campaign pitches, designed to encourage artists to utilize our services, often coordinating with our promoter partners such as Live Nation. Needless to say, no two days are the same.

Q: What has been your favourite campaign to work on?

A: Since joining in August 2015 – I think Artist Services has worked with around 300 artists - we love everyone equally! I was really pleased at how people responded to the Robbie Williams interactive ticket we devised. As well as purchasing a ticket to the Heavy Entertainment Show 2017 tour, fans could upgrade to an interactive Collector Ticket, the first ticket ever to carry a Shazam Visual Recognition watermark.  When owners scan it with the Shazam app it brings their phone to life with extra exclusive Robbie Williams content and offers. Tens of thousands of fans took advantage of it and we saw some amazing press coverage. Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino even tweeted about it – that’s got to stand for something.

On a personal note I’ve been a big fan for years of the Shins and of Grandaddy who’ve both had tours managed by Artist Services in the last few months; it’s always nice to work on projects by the artists you love – it doesn’t feel like real work.

Q: In your opinion, what is the most exciting service that Artist Services has to offer?

A: I’m going to reveal myself to be a bit of data junkie. Lots of acts work with us on branded tour assets, landing pages and the like, which obviously look and feel great when their audience come to secure tickets to their shows, plus we help artists by bundling their music with tickets. But I think the most value service we offer to touring artists is our data and insight, we share a lot of analysis with our event partners which can prove very informative when planning future campaigns, whether that’s other shows, recorded music or merch. You can learn such a lot about your fans through our data.

Q: What are you listening to at the moment?

A: I’ve had Flo Morrisey & Matthew E White’s ‘Gentlewoman, Ruby Man’ on constantly since it came out early in 2017. It’s a covers album, so I’m not sure it takes itself too seriously, but the production is beautiful. It’s worth listening to for the cover of ‘Grease’ alone.

I’m also managing an unsigned band. They’re called SuperGlu, from Suffolk and are going out to play SXSW in March. It’s a very exciting time for the band and it really feels like something could happen for them this year. I’m listening to them a lot, obviously, as should you.

Q: And finally, what live event are you most excited for in 2017?

A: SXSW2017 is going to be a lot of fun. Sunshine, BBQ and loads of live music. Plus I can’t wait to host our own stage there – TicketWeb + DIY Magazine Presents at the British Music Embassy on Monday 13 March. Nothing will come close. Although I do like wandering down to Field Day in Victoria Park when the weather’s nice. Or even when the weather’s not so nice. Aphex Twin headlining will be phenomenal, plus I’m  looking forward to seeing King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and also Forth Wanderers there, especially as they will have just appeared on our South By showcase.

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