Record Label Deal?

I recently had the pleasure of pitching a very talented, well produced artist to major labels. Years ago I was 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 the 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 you tube 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, it is memorable and that’s what creates a great album, one that people actually buy.. Let’s get back to concentrating on making great music and the labels might sell some records again.

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