Google’s Area 120 Launches DEMAND in Partnership With Pollstar

Demand Altered

Today, at the 2020 Pollstar Live! Conference in Los Angeles, Google’s Area 120, in partnership with Pollstar and its parent company Oak View Group, unveiled DEMAND, a ground-breaking live business tool providing the live industry access to unique and robust data sets filled with unprecedented insights never before available in a single platform. This free online product for the live industry enables stake holders, including artists, managers, promoters, agents, sponsors and others, the opportunity to better formulate touring strategies while reaching more fans in more ways than ever before.
The panel at Pollstar Live! 2020 featured Parag Vaish and Nick Turner, founders in residence of Google’s Area 120, and Jeffrey Azoff of Full Stop Management, and was moderated by Eric Gardner, Director of Booking at Oak View Group. 
During the session Turner discussed why he considers this product “the great equalizer,” giving individual promoters to the same valuable data that major agencies, promoters and managers covet. Jeffrey Azoff regularly interacted with the slide show on stage to explain use cases and gave examples of how he has already found the product invaluable, including when they found an unexpected surge in demand for Harry Styles in Atlanta and made the call to add an extra show there.

Led by tech industry veteran Vaish and entrepreneur/musician Turner of Area 120, Google’s experimental workshop, DEMAND culls publicly available data from Google Trends and YouTube based on “trillions of searches” as well as information from third parties such as Pollstar with its industry-leading live industry data. These robust data sets provide actionable, real-time analytics facilitating better planning, pricing, marketing and sponsorship of live events through data in four key areas: Trends, Pricing, Announcements and Insights.

Both Vaish, who formerly worked for StubHub, Tesla and Disney; and Turner, who worked for Live Nation, Vevo and Artist Direct, say the impetus for DEMAND began with the duo’s love of music and artists and their desire to introduce a data product that allowed musicians and their teams to better understand fans. Citing as starting points both “Moneyball,” the book and subsequent film chronicling the Oakland A’s and manager Billy Beane’s use of data to compete in the 2002 AL Division Series as well as information that 70% of all tickets purchased originate with a Google search, the duo formulated a plan: “We thought is was possible that if we took data from Google, as well as other parties, there would be a similar story line here: that this cocktail of data could transform this industry and elevate it to new heights,” Vaish said. “By using DEMAND we now believe artists can now make informed decisions, backed by timely market data to reach the most passionate fans.”

“The industry changed today,” said Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke. “The launch of DEMAND gives industry insiders greater insight into how an artist is positioned in the marketplace, provides new advertising and sponsorship data, and is a predictor of the success or failure of a tour.”

Indeed in a demonstration, DEMAND’s Trends section offered side-by-side comparisons of Google search activity for Billie Eilish, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber for a six month period (users can set the range from two weeks to five years). The data sets revealed that Eilish had a tremendous spike in search in late-January timed to her Grammys sweep on Jan. 26; Bieber saw a jump earlier in the month coinciding with the release his new single “Yummy;” Styles went through the roof in mid-November when he announced his “Love On 2020 Tour;” while Ariana Grande saw a late-January surge timed to her stunning Grammys performance.

The Trend data also allows for artists and their teams to compare this search activity in more than 200 specific markets. If an artist has to decide between playing two nearby regional markets – say Seattle and Portland, for example—one can easily compare search activity for both markets and make a better informed decision.

Parag Vaish and Nick Turner

Parag Vaish (left) and Nick Turner of Google’s Area 120 which co-founded Demand.

But DEMAND is not just for major acts. “It will serve as the ‘great equalizer’ for the live music industry,” says Turner (who, it must be noted, played drums in The Lords of the New Church featuring the late-great Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys, Brian James of the Damned and Sham 69’s Dave Tregunna). “While the biggest managers, promoters and agents will have access to the analytics, so too will the rising artist and smaller venue owner. Our hope is that access to this data will nurture the rise of new artists and new opportunities across the live music spectrum.”

DEMAND’s pricing tool displays both primary and secondary ticket prices in real time. When secondary ticket prices are higher than the primary, the larger amount is green —which may indicate room in the market to increase ticket prices; and when secondary ticketing is less than the primary, the number displays as red—suggesting primary tickets are priced higher than demand. This data is not only potentially actionable for the largest artists and their teams but also smaller artists who book their own tour stops and want to make more informed pricing decisions based on similar artists.

The third tab on DEMAND “Announcements” compares the buzz artists generate three days after their tour announcements and quantifies if demand, via Google and YouTube search data, “strongly exceeds,” is “positive” “on target” or “underperforming” when compared against similar acts in various markets. This data too can be used as a barometer for artist teams and venues when booking show.

DEMAND’s final data set entitled “insights” allows artist teams to see which consumer brands index the most with their fans in a number of categories that includes restaurants, fashion, video games, automotive, travel, television and sports. In a demonstration, Chance the Rapper’s fans, for example, would appear to have a predilection for Grand Theft Auto V, Popeyes, Ford Mustangs, the 49ers, Nike, American Airlines and “Saturday Night Live.” This important and actionable information can help brands and marketers better align with artists, tours and venues for a myriad of sponsorship opportunities.


DEMAND’s interface.

In addition to partnering Oak View Group (Pollstar’s parent company), DEMAND was demoed before a wide swath of the live industry including working with Full Stop Management (part of The Azoff Company, helmed by Irving Azoff, co-founder of Oak View Group) on tour announcement analyses that included Harry Styles, Maroon 5 and Bon Jovi. Additionally, the DEMAND team worked closely with Nederlander Concerts to gain insights into the processes around artist bookings and event marketing.

DEMAND also presented its data product to some of the touring industry’s most senior executives. “With their access to Google, YouTube and other music industry data, the DEMAND team are on the cusp of providing valuable insights to the live events industry,” stated Marc Geiger, head of music at WME, after seeing a demonstration.

Much of DEMAND’s incredible potential, in fact, is derived from its creation in collaboration with and for the purposes of the live industry. “Quite a few people in our shoes would have focused on being in the consumer space,” says Vaish, “like putting something on search results that is focused on x, y, or z, right? We said, ‘Let’s find a different spot to influence this industry for the benefit of consumers and the business and the industry overall,’ which is where this was born.”

All of which begs the question how can these valuable tools possibly be free? “We want the lowest barrier to entry for people to use this,” says Turner. “And currently the price is right, so we’re hoping that people will use DEMAND extensively.”

DEMAND is available at no cost to live music professionals, go to to access its publicly available and proprietary analytics.