Established in 1989, with offices in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Toronto, The Billions Corporation is one of the leading touring agencies in North America. We’re privileged to represent over 250+ of the finest artists on the road today, including Grammy Award-winning Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver and The Arcade Fire; Grammy-nominated Death Cab for Cutie, St. Vincent, and Vampire Weekend; internationally celebrated singer/songwriters Neko Case, Jason Isbell, and Sufjan Stevens; and legendary artists such as Wire, Robert Earl Keen, and Bonnie Prince Billy.
But to truly know us, you’d have to read our manifesto:
First and foremost, we at The Billions Corporation honestly believe that no other agency is as truly artist-centric as ours. All of our efforts are targeted at the creation and maintenance of long-term mutually rewarding associations, not only between us and the artists, but between the artists and promoters as well. Because of this philosophy, it is absolutely essential that, prior to considering working with any artist, we establish that our thinking runs parallel with theirs.
We thrive on communication, honesty, and common sense and strive to be as flexible and responsive to artists’ needs as possible. That is perhaps the most pronounced advantage to a competent smaller agency: the artist’s confidence that, in their agent, they have a dedicated long-term consultant who will represent them as they wish to be represented.
This commitment to quality custom representation requires something that is becoming rarer in this business: a manageable roster size. While current conditions in the marketplace encourage adoption of a volume approach to artists, you won’t see it here. Some agencies chase every artist with momentary buzz, assigning them to inexperienced agents and intending to pay proper attention only if and when the artist achieves genuine popularity. Of course, this means that many clients are routinely dropped for underperformance before they’ve even had a chance to develop. This model is anathema to our ideals at Billions.
We are ruthlessly direct and treat our clients as responsible adults who do not need to be fed platitudes and distortions in order to preserve or enhance the relationship. If we make a mistake, the affected client will hear about it from us. If we feel that an artist is making a poor decision, that artist will be advised of that opinion. Naturally, once we have been heard on any such issue, we will always faithfully do our best to execute the client’s wishes regardless of any misgivings we may have.
We have never played the game of attempting to promise to outperform other agencies financially because that creates very unhealthy and destructive motivations within the company. Every deal that we strike on behalf of a client is one that we feel is as equitable to all parties involved as possible. Recognizing the damage that can be done to an artist’s career by such strategies, we will not extort artificially high prices through the use of threats and bidding wars. We seek to place the show in the right room with the most honorable and reliable promoters available at an appropriate ticket price with a fair fee for our client.
In addition, we strive to maintain excellent relationships and open communication with most agents at small, medium and large agencies alike, both here and overseas, in order to maximize the opportunities for our artists. Our activities abroad on behalf of our clients and ourselves have steadily increased over the years. We sell shows to promoters in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South America regularly and in 2000, our founder launched Billions Australia, a full-service international touring company in partnership with an Australian promoter.
Unlike most agencies, we do not divide responsibilities geographically within the company because we feel this practice leads to distortions in the way the artist is presented to promoters and lessens the control and communication that should be available to the artists and their management. At The Billions Corporation, your agent is your agent and he or she handles each and every deal personally. Furthermore, that agent and others within the company are always available to our clients after hours via mobile and home phone numbers.
The validity and effectiveness of our sensible and patient approach can be seen in the careers of many of our current clients who, generally speaking, are able to tour profitably when and how they see fit independent of label tour support and often outside of industry routine. We have enjoyed extraordinary loyalty from the artists with whom we have worked over the years and, while we are grateful for having had the opportunity to be associated with such people of character, we feel it is no accident. We take on new clients infrequently and only after careful consideration. The number of times that we have declined to represent artists that, while offering guaranteed profitability, seemed like a mismatch for our philosophy and methods are too numerous to count.
Perhaps the most fundamental truth we can relate about The Billions Corporation is that we will not seek to represent any artist whose music has no real fans within the company. It is not healthy to divorce music from passion no matter how much of that is in evidence these days. We believe that real music is extraordinary art with a substantive and enduring social value. This is not to say that it is not entertainment but that it is entertainment that transcends the momentary diversions of pursuits like today’s video games and extreme sports because it speaks to something elemental in people. Reducing it to shallow, disposable product manufactured by faceless and interchangeable musicians is to plot an indefensible course toward disaster. While this is epidemic throughout the music industry right now, you won’t find any of it here at The Billions Corporation.
We, like you, are music fans, plain and simple. Our tastes run into many genres so do not be surprised as we continue to demonstrate that our methodologies apply equally well across many stylistic lines. The next year always promises to fascinate.
Thank you for taking an interest in the extraordinary artists we represent; it means more to us and to them than you’ll probably ever know.
All My Best,
David T. Viecelli
Founder and President