Given the challenges facing the recorded music industry, touring seems like an ever-more-important way for musicians to make money. Yet TourCommand co-founder Asad Yusupov said there hasn’t been that much done to make it easier to actually manage a tour.
“There are very few tools for the backend of the music industry,” he said.
So Yusupov and his three co-founders (Joshua Gunter, Ivan Veskov and Brian Putt) have built online software that’s supposed to make the menial touring tasks easier. They launched the company two months ago with the ability to manage the guest and equipment lists and make hotel reservations. These are things that artists and managers could have done before, but TourCommand brings them together in one place.
And now they’re launching TourCommand 2.0, which Yusupov said should make the platform particularly useful for “entry-level artists who want to become touring professionals.”
The new features include the ability to create custom artist pages, to share directly from TourCommand to Facebook and Twitter, to track tour budgets, and to search a database of different venues. These features aren’t necessarily for newbies only, but Yusupov said the marketing tools in particular can help someone who’s trying to start their career. (It also puts TourCommand, whose main competition on the tour management side was Master Tour, in a position where it could be competing with services like ReverbNation and BandPage.)
“The way we’ve set up TourCommand is that it is the artists’ tour kit,” Yusupov said. “You can literally go in there and build the beginning stages of your career.”
Although Yusupov talked up the number of customers that TourCommand could potentially serve, he also acknowledged that new musicians don’t necessarily have a lot of the money, and they might not stay in the business for very long. However, he said there are always new people entering the business. And to make TourCommand affordable, pricing starts at $7 a month (the team is probably hoping some of those users will find success and graduate to a higher pricing plan).
By the way, even though Yusupov and his co-founders are young (their ages range from 20 to 25), they claim to know the touring business from real experience. Yusupov, for example, co-founded booking company EMG Management — he said the company booked appearances by the Jersey Shore cast among others.
He added that TourCommand is being tested by companies including record label Roc Nation, and no one has canceled yet.