Jonathan Sexton hated shipping out his band posters to venues around the country. He hated standing in line at the post office. And the hand cramps after scribbling out show information for 50 different show dates are enough to cause carpel tunnel.
Sexton teamed up with Mike Fabio, who he met while working at ArtistGrowth (the previous company he founded) and they started Bandposters.
Bandposters allows anyone to upload a design and import show data from BandsInTown or SongKick then Bandposters will print and ship these customized posters to venues.
Bandposters sends out 5 posters per venue and charges $15 which includes printing, labor and shipping.
Now, I have about 200 promo posters sitting in my bath tub (I ran out of closet space) and have burned through countless packs of sharpies over the years filling in specific show info at the bottom of the posters. It's a remedial, time consuming task that no one wants to do. It's something I felt guilty making my interns do. "You thought the music business was all after parties and music videos? Don't forget to include the show time! "
"You want your manager to do it. The manager wants the promoter to do it. The promoter wants the agent to do it. It's one of those things that everyone wants to pass off to another person." – Jonathan Sexton, Co-Founder, Bandposters
Bandposters just launched a year ago, October 2013, and in that time over 1,000 artists have used the platform and they have shipped to 49 states. Currently they only offer their services in The States.
$15 per show may seem like a lot, but when you factor in shipping, printing and time, it's a bargain.
Users have options to ship out between 5 and 25 posters per venue. They currently do not have a Street Team option – which is something I'd like to see.
Many small-mid level artists who rely on grass roots promotion, incentivize their street team to put up posters around town in advance of the show in exchange for free tickets. Utilizing a street team is tremendously important, but often totally under utilized. Years ago, I got in touch with Umphrey's McGee in advance of their Minneapolis show to help them promote. A friend and I put up about 30 posters around town and we got free tickets ($35 face value). They played the 1,700 seated First Avenue two nights in a row. Both shows sold out. You're welcome UM. Street team people. Street team!
Sexton mentioned that they do offer "Enterprise prices" (bulk deals) for artists who have big tours setup. This feature isn't currently built into the site, but is given to users who email in and request it.
Although Bandposters doesn't currently design posters, they do offer 25 different font options to add in the band name and show details.
The posters are full bleed (no white borders) and very high quality. Sexton sent me 5 posters and they arrived unscathed. These posters are the highest quality show posters I've seen. Much better quality (and on heavier paper) than Discmakers', who offer very inexpensive bulk poster printing specifically for bands.
By default, Bandposters sends out the posters up to 45 days before show day. If shows get booked last minute, they can get the posters printed, shipped and delivered to the venue within 5 days. Sexton explained they use 2 day shipping for all orders.
Worth mentioning that David Gray uses Bandposters for most of his tours and even sells these posters at his concerts.
Funny how something as simple as getting show posters sent out can now be streamlined like this. I never would have thought anyone would have cared to take this simplistic task on and turn it into a company, but Sexton confessed "I wanted to start a company that just did one thing really well." Mission accomplished.