Posted: Aug 17, 2015
Category: The Musician Business
**Guest post by Stephen Wrench, CEO of Musik and Film.
"I recently had the pleasure of pitching a very talented well produced artist to major labels. I used to be a VP of a major label and have been in the business for decades. We all know that record sales have been taken over by streaming. Very few people are buying records anymore, so it’s tough these days to be a record label.
The artist I was pitching spent several hundred thousand dollars with the best producers and studios. The production is fabulous. The songs are great and so are the performances. With that, one would think that obtaining a major label would not be an issue.
After pitching the album to about every major label, I started making calls to my contacts at the labels. Naturally my first question was “How did you like he music”? I was shocked at the answers I received. “Well I took a look at their social media numbers and they weren’t very good”. But how did you like the music? They never listened to it because their social media numbers were not good enough?
So this is what music has come to a social media contest? Where would the greats be today if they were dependent upon social media numbers? Would we have ever heard Jimi Hendrix, Led Zepplin, The Rolling Stones or Michael Jackson?
Music is supposed to evoke emotion and not be just a number. Does a million YouTube hits evoke emotion? Record labels sales may be in the toilet, but maybe that is because they are concentrating on the wrong thing instead of the music. After all, it is all about the music and if the music is great and evokes emotion to make you laugh or cry then it is memorable and that’s whats creates a great album, one that people actually buy. Lets get back and concentrate on making great music and the labels might sell some records again. Record Labels are too busy taking multi-million dollar advances from streaming companies to concentrate on seeking out any real talent for their labels.
In short if you are looking for a record label, forget it cause as an indie artist it is your business and you are on your own. As your own business, build your following via social media, PR and radio promotions. Then go tour the world, get paid for your performances, sell merchandise and collect your airplay royalties. You will make a living and your business will continue to grow. "
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