This week an examination regarding the relationships between Agents, Buyers and Talented artists in a regional context and I seek to identify if different countries have different relationships in operation. If so, why might this be? Perhaps it might be dependent on the population size of the countries and what therefore might the consequent impact be upon competition and market forces?
Different countries have different types of relationships in place. These will have developed due to the degree of the competition operating. A smaller country will perhaps have fewer companies or corporations meaning there are less events for which entertainment is required. The size of the population dictates the market forces governing that country. Singapore is a prime example of this.
Conversely, in larger countries, many agencies can all operate in parallel. There are enough companies, organizations and corporations staging events that require a larger number of agencies and Talent.
In smaller countries that can’t support many agents, the clients on both sides of the ‘Agent’ equation* must choose whom they will list with, whom they will select to run their event. This means that the population simply isn’t big enough to support many players.
It is important to understand the way the systems/ relationships work in other countries before venturing into the market for risk of alienating potential allies for work. If one agency learns that The Talent are listing with all or even one other company, none may choose to represent them, as they require exclusivity. The Talent base is the artist’s product, and this product is the way they set themselves apart from the rest. The Talent portfolio may be their point of difference.
Similarly corporations will have developed strong relationships over time with
Event companies or agencies and work exclusively with those. Loyalty is a key factor so long as each player fulfills his or her commitment successfully.
There is a business principal that states it is far easier to keep your client than to establish new ones. This is especially true in a small pool.
Like any prudent purchaser, clients (Buyers) will shop around creating competition familiar in the western democratic system. On some occasions, Talent, who may be listed with many agents, may be approached by a few of these with what turns out to be the same enquiry. In this strange circumstance the individual agents may be unaware of the ‘shopping around’ that the client is doing. At times like these, relationships can be vital to closing the deal.
Before the digital age, this competition was perhaps not so common. Now with the advent of web sites, all the ‘players’ in this trilogy, can host a web presence and have their information in the public sphere. I believe that competition has definitely increased and any serious business entity must have a web presence. It’s as necessary as the old ‘A-frame’ sign board out side the shop.
*Re: Agent Equation: please refer to part one in this series.
Next week: Part 5 The Upsides and downsides of ‘The Agent Equation’.