Born and raised in Los Angeles in the 90’s, Jason Swartz had a love for hip-hop, and a thirst for global adventure. As founder of Alliance Talent, Jason has taken his childhood concert business to the international stage allowing him the great joy of bringing his roster of talent, new, dynamic opportunities within the music industry. Spanning an eleven-year history, Alliance Talent has scaled to the forefront of emerging opportunities in global concert bookings, social media, and music publishing. With an impressive resume of ahead of the curve activities, highlights of Jason’s career include establishing the first electronic DJ residencies in Las Vegas with global stars Diplo and Chromeo and cultivating lineups for emerging festivals in China, Norway, and Mexico with acts ranging from Steve Aoki, Charli XCX, Jason Derulo, Cody Simpson, Gigi Hadid and hundreds more. With an average global spend of over $20 million a year in talent buying for concerts, Jason was able to leverage his history in the concert business to become the first to scale Facebook social media monetization strategies across the music industry, earning clients $150,000 to $600,000 a year in annual passive income. Highlighted talents include Ludacris, Gucci Mane, B.O.B, 2 Chainz, Keri Hilson, Lil Jon and many more.
How did you get into the industry?
I grew up in Los Angeles, and was obsessed with the music and culture of the 90’s. Hip Hop, alternative rock, electronic music was something I loved, but I also needed to make money. So, like any young entrepreneur with a passion for music, I decided to start putting on events at the age of 16, in Los Angeles. It started off with warehouse events, or after- proms for local high schools that had 300-500 attendees and eventually evolved to proper concert venues, with headliner national acts for 1000- 2500 fans.
Any emerging industry trends?
The spirit of the music festival continues to grow in the touring industry. Every year more festivals pop up and I think we’re seeing North America really come of age. Also, new festivals are learning to combine amazing acts with unique travel experiences, or a creation of a larger community to really develop a unique festival. Aside from touring, there’s a huge trend for musicians to find alternative sources of income and Alliance Talent has really helped spearhead that for artists and record labels as it relates to passive income business models we’ve applied on Facebook, YouTube, and soon on Instagram.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
I do think social media is playing a huge factor in creating alternative revenue and influencing fans right now. It’s important for musicians to update with the times. Everyone knows social media is important, but it's a real art form to fully understand how to monetize social media with the right execution. Alliance Talent has had a lot of success monetizing social media with this over the last 3 years on Facebook and YouTube, so now everyone in the industry is really paying attention to these strategies.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?
I think the future of the music business as it relates to Alliance Talent focuses on touring, technology, and music publishing, as this connects to the overall concept of staying current. Technology and music trends move so quickly now that one has to be as current as possible to really ride the wave. I see my company as a leader in finding new business trends, vetting them fully, and then scaling them extremely quickly to our trusted network. That's what I like about lean agile business models. We don't need to have all kinds of meetings. We find opportunities and if they’re right, then we get them in front of our clients immediately and close the deal.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
Over the next year, I’m really excited for us to continue to grow our social media monetization business with Facebook and Instagram, as well as finding unclaimed royalties for artists on YouTube and via international music publishing. That, along with putting more time and money into researching real estate opportunities that could be potential sites for future music, arts and cultural festivals, and which would allow for further development of vacation destinations.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
For Alliance Talent, the key to success in the music industry has been to have no ego and run the lane we’re given to the best of our ability. It sounds simple, but not having an ego in the music business goes a long way. My team and I never take any decisions personally. We’re here to vet and present opportunities, and once vetted, we push them through. That, and taking the time to get to know our clients personally, has been my recipe for success over the last 17 years and allowed me to close deals quickly, and with a huge diverse roster of musicians, labels, brands and managers.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
The most difficult challenge I’ve had has been the mistaken logic that what is making Alliance Talent money now will continue forever. I made that mistake at an age when I had a few huge clients that made up most my income. I just assumed those would continue on forever. When one disappeared and my income dropped to half, I quickly was reminded and forever learned that diversifying is essential to long term success. That and continuing to work hard every day, every week is the key. It’s important to be proactive to find that next opportunity, because eventually the one that is your ‘go to’ will eventually go away.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
Anyone that works with Alliance Talent immediately sees that we are very direct, always availlable and get quick answers on all our deals. Other companies love to take offers just to show clients options. Alliance Talent really only spends time on deals that can actually happen. We only bring the deals in that are fully vetted , ready to go and are ready for confirmations. If they’re not, we let companies know to move on and give them alternatives that can work for their budget and the style of needs. Again it seems simple, but you wouldn’t believe how much time is wasted in the music industry on deals that have no chance of even getting done
How do you motivate others?
Everyone is motivated by different things, for me and my team it’s about lifestyle. The more money people make the more they can do the things that really give them inspiration in life. It’s not about more numbers in the bank account, it’s about working in a way that's successful, but also allows one to have a life outside of work. I think our clients appreciate that we get them the deals they want, but we’re also out there living lives that lead to finding new opportunities in our travels, social networking, and overall lifestyle. Those experiences allow us to find new unique opportunities for clients that aren’t typically found by simply staring at a computer all day.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Do what you love for enjoyment, and do what you’re best at for work. So many people do what they love for work, and I think that's great but eventually it will become a grind. I’d advise people to be as successful as they can at what they do best, so they can go enjoy the things they love the most.