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« Marketing Music Through Non-Linear Communication: The Ecosystem Of Fans, Artist & Label | Main | Make That Five Tips for Your Domain »
Tuesday
Jul192011

What are the odds of succeeding WITH a record deal?

If your aim as an artist is to purely chase a record deal as a means to succeeding in this business, I will tell you right now that you are doomed for failure. You can throw all the trumped up statistics around that you want, but fundamentally your chances of actually landing a record deal are extremely slim. Furthermore, your chances of actually making money directly from that deal are pretty much zero. 

In the good old days when the CD was king and big advances were de rigueur, the percentage of bands that succeeded in the system was around 5%. That was before the CD crashed. Now if you do not fit the predisposed top 40 vision of the major label machine, there is no space left for you. There may still be a few independent labels who still have a working business model to accomodate less mainstream acts, but they survive by cutting down their roster, and investing in those who have already amassed an ever growing following. Quite simply if you can’t already pull the people, you are not ready for a label.

THE BIRTH OF PAY-TO-PLAY

When a previously burgeoning scene dies, it either disappears, or it finds a way to get subsidized, not due to popularity, but due to status.  This is why the pay-to-play system swallows up the shell of a once happening music scene. LA is a prime example of this, with venues like The Whiskey using its once legendary name to con bands into paying up to $500 for the privilege of playing there.

These venues survive, not because they offer a legitimate service, but because there are enough bands that blindly believe they are the ones destined for success. As a result they will happily make the monetary sacrifices in order to be “discovered”.

The music industry has long since been an extension of this pay-to-play mentality. You think that once you get a record deal your talent shines through and all the magazines, radio stations and established bands looking for opening acts are itching to include you in their insular worlds? Get real. These opportunities are all paid for. It is just another pay-to-play milieu that a record deal gains you access to.

EVERYONE IS AT IT

Just look at Rolling Stone magazine these days. How many bad reviews do they write in an issue? You would think that journalists are chomping at the bit to express their distaste for the latest debacle by a pop princess, but no, all the reviews are glowing. Surely this means every bit of space is bought in one-way or another.

You want to be a part of that world? You go ahead, but don’t think you will actually have a musical personality left by the end of it. Certainly don’t believe that it will affect your bank balance positively.

The major record companies think they are still king, but they are the corporate equivalent of a band who think they have stature because they bought themselves a 8pm slot at the Whiskey. Once you play the Whiskey you realize why they have to charge bands to play there – because no one else shows up.

Similarly no one is buying Magazines any more, so what happens? I would say it is pretty fair to assume they instigate a pay-to-play policy. Just like Johnny No Name believes that to have an appearance at the Whiskey on their bio holds some weight, the majors seemingly believe that to have a review in Rolling Stone also still means something.  But if no one is reading the magazine, the truth is, it doesn’t mean shit. 

This is the major labels conundrum, they are locked into an old system, putting up the front of a reigning potentate, but behind the scenes they are a crumbling monarchy quickly losing favor with their subjects, reflecting a distinct lack of understanding for what the people want.

IS IT WORTH THE COST

They pay for features, pay for songs, pay for radio, pay for style, pay for TV, they’ll probably even pay Bob Lefsetz for a mention if he’ll let them. But if no one is buying the products, how can they sustain this? And when everyone is jostling for the record company to use their money to bribe someone on their behalf, the reality is why should they use their ever-diminishing cash pile on you. Unless you are prepared to do whatever they want you to do in order to achieve their goals. But of course you will be signed because of your unrivaled talent. Right? Yeah right.

Maybe the future of the major labels will become a step-up from the Pay-to-Play model adopted by music clubs. Rich Mommy and Daddy putting up the cash to have the major label machine pimp their child’s product. This already happens with smaller labels that offer a kind of middleman role - if you have the cash  they provide everything from radio promotion to distribution. You are basically buying yourself a record deal.

THE FAME GAME

Those artists who have broken during these last dark few years, achieved their success because they did what it takes to succeed, and with the major labels that currently means metaphorically sucking dick whenever the situation deems it necessary.

It may be a route to fame, for a very select few, but is it really a route to musical satisfaction, for both the artists and the fans? And what is a business without satisfied clients and customers?

Robin Davey is a Musician, Film Director and Producer born in the UK and now residing in Los Angeles. He was inducted into the British Blues Hall Of Fame at the age of 23 with his band The Hoax. His band The Bastard Fairies achieved over 1 Million downloads when they were the first band to release an album for free via the internet in 2006. As a director he won the best Music Video award at the American Indian Motion Picture Awards. His feature documentary The Canary Effect - an exploration into the hidden Genocide of Native Americans, won The Stanley Kubrick Award For Bold and Innovative Film Making at Michael Moores Traverse city Film Festival in 2006. He is also head of Film and Music Development at GROWvision - A full service media, management and production company

 

Reader Comments (35)

Excellent points in this article! I agree completely Robin! Thanks for posting!

July 19 | Unregistered CommenterAngel B

I think this article was right on the money. It could have used some more specific examples or facts to enhance what it was trying to say, but nevertheless everything that was said still rings true. I live in NYC and I can't believe how crappy the music scene has gotten here. When I look for gigs I'm bombarded with unfair requirements or tons of "showcases" that want the musicians to pay to be a part of because so many "industry" people will be at them. Unfortunately, the entire music industry from the top to the bottom smells of desperation.

Free album download at www.facebook.com/chancius

July 19 | Unregistered CommenterChancius

Tris is my Youtube channels.. I got some vídeos singing.. Www.Youtube.com/gabrielakessofficial

July 19 | Unregistered CommenterGabriela

wow...thats extremely discouraging. I dont believe that is all true. There are bands right now as we speak that are being signed to big indie labels like Fearless Records, Hopless Records, Rise Records, Fuled By Ramen, Vicory and a few others. And these bands are getting huge recognition, maybe not getting rich but they certaitnly are gettting recognized and with time comes the positive income.

July 19 | Unregistered Commenterbtbmike

And now, here come the comments from the young hopefuls, the musicians refusing to believe that this is the way it really is out there...

Like the bands paying to play at The Whisky, they pay "promotion consultants" and demo studios, and all the rest who make money promoting the myth that talent is what metters, and if you think you have it, then go ahead *spend your rent money* on this service because you are gonna be a star eventually...

July 19 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Galen

truth! there are so many desperate artists/bands who will pay for gigs, pay for press, pay for airplay. they are being played. the complete lack of integrity (musical and moral) is pervasive and sad. paying $500 to play a club hoping to be "discovered" is just stupid. do bands really do that!?!?

for me, succeeding is making a living doing what i love to do. the local scene here (wash, dc) is not what it used to be, but there are still venues, musicians, and listeners who support good music. sure, it's harder to reach potential fans without a hype machine behind you, but it's much more satisfying to be in control of your music and stay true to yourself. like my hubby always says, "take care of the music and the music will take care of you."

great article! thanks for posting.

my website

July 19 | Registered CommenterDee Stone

This is an interesting article. Stark & jaded with a hopelessly bleak outlook. I have to say that it rings very true, i live in Sydney Australia & the scene here is pretty poor. It has gotten better since they lifted expensive entertainment license awards recently but it's still pretty dead due largely to a proliferation of poker machines & DJ's holding a status which seems to dwarf musicians 0_o

I have been to LA with a band I was briefly a part of. We played the cat club & recorded an album over there. I quit before they returned to play the whiskey. I assume they paid.

I do a lot of busking here in Sydney, it helps me reach new audiences. I put up a song recently called 'distant beaches' about my longing to leave this place for foreign shores but it would seem the scene is stagnant the world over.

Listen to the track here - http://facebook.com/stanmorephoenixmusic

Back in the day, the Aussie government offered generous incentives to pubs to pay bands to play in order to encourage Aussie music to grow. This was the time during which Aussie legends like INXS, ac/dc & cold chisel were born through touring this circuit & playing loads of shows. But they have long since stopped that sweet deal & now pokies reign supreme & I can hardly blame venue owners because they gotta make a buck don't they?

July 19 | Registered CommenterRyan Collings

What a sad and depressing post... and it lacks any actual facts or "odds" as the title suggests. This rant is a very lackluster and telling response to another post on MTT about odds of success with a label... though that piece lacked some context as well I didn't feel the need to medicate myself afterwards. Your post offers no hope, light at the end of the tunnel or even a "but here is how you can survive with music" prescription. I understand that you, the author, may be upset with labels and the music industry in general... and who isn't!... but that passion should be channeled into finding solutions or offering alternative routes for artists... and for God's sake... if you call the piece "What are the odds of succeeding WITH a record deal?"... please actually include some ODDS or some data to back up your points! Anecdotes are far from scientific and provide little more than a telling glimpse into your own experience and why your music career isn't working out as planned. Spare us your disgruntled musician / profanity laced rant and provide us with something we can use. MTT doesn't really seem to be a forum for group therapy.

July 19 | Unregistered CommenterAndy B

Reads like what it is: a post from a disgruntled failed musician who never had a major label deal. It's also legally slanderous - Rolling Stone and Lefsetz don't take cash for coverage (if they didn't write about you, it's because they didn't think your music was important enough.) And the only bands who pay the Whiskey are the ones who lack an agent and a following.

July 20 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Jarvis

Unfortunately Robin is right on the money with this article. I am a music executive and can tell you that what Robin describes has always been the case in the music business.

It's gonna get worse before it gets better...I recently had someone tell me that now artists are being "hit up" by radio programmers to co write with them. I guess if you want to get airplay at a station, then co write with the PD or MD...that's one way to get some airplay...but then the cross town PD will find out his song is not the single and so well, your screwed at that station as far as airplay...

But hey...if you think this guy is full of it, then book the room at The Whiskey and strap yourself in and go for it...cuz it's all about the music right???

July 20 | Unregistered CommenterDa notion

"There may still be a few independent labels who still have a working business model to accomodate less mainstream acts, but they survive by cutting down their roster, and investing in those who have already amassed an ever growing following."

Then why the heck are there are a ton of independent record labels signing and putting out music by new acts every day?

July 20 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

Extremely well written article. I too am struggling to make it in the NY and Long Island scene and it is god awful. A number of people tell me that if you want to go to where the music scene is flourishing, move to Texas. I'm heavily considering it.

http://www.facebook.com/facetheking

I guess my first reaction to this article, as an artist, is "Yes, marketing costs money. Is that news?" You do have to pay for press, radio, gigs, etc. Of course, if I were marketing a new toothbrush I'd have to pay for press, floor space, etc. The art of making music is creative, but the selling of the music is more or less the same as selling anything else. You have your basic strategy and all that costs money. I do feel sorry for a person who is in the music business and has no idea that this is how it works.This must all come as very bad news.

Each marketing cost must be considered in light of its return. will playing a show at The Whiskey give you any sort of return? Probably not. then don't do it. Look for something else.

If the goal is to "succeed" playing music, a record label will be of very little help. You're much better off building a circuit of shows you can play that pay. Working on creating various streams of music income and building it up over time. That's how to have a music career in 2011, imo.

The most frustrating thing for me is that the media and much of the public still hold to the "you're gonna MAKE IT and BE A STAR!" mentality. They see American Idol and think, "Oh, he's MADE IT!" At every show someone comes up and say, “Hey, my brother’s best-friends cousin just signed a deal with New West! He’s made it!” People just don’t understand that it’s all meaningless. Will he make it? Will he make any money? Will he have a career? Almost certainly not.

They see Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley and say, “Being on a big label must be great. They get to play at a HUGE stadium. Why aren’t you on a big label?” For those acts…who are often taken on by big management companies at very young ages it has worked out. It’s just hard to explain why there’s zero hope for someone making this happen at age 30.
and says, My brother's coustin

I guess my first reaction to this article, as an artist, is "Yes, marketing costs money. Is that news?" You do have to pay for press, radio, gigs, etc. Of course, if I were marketing a new toothbrush I'd have to pay for press, floor space, etc. The art of making music is creative, but the selling of the music is more or less the same as selling anything else. You have your basic strategy and all that costs money. I do feel sorry for a person who is in the music business and has no idea that this is how it works.This must all come as very bad news.

Each marketing cost must be considered in light of its return. will playing a show at The Whiskey give you any sort of return? Probably not. then don't do it. Look for something else.

If the goal is to "succeed" playing music, a record label will be of very little help. You're much better off building a circuit of shows you can play that pay. Working on creating various streams of music income and building it up over time. That's how to have a music career in 2011, imo.

The most frustrating thing for me is that the media and much of the public still hold to the "you're gonna MAKE IT and BE A STAR!" mentality. They see American Idol and think, "Oh, he's MADE IT!" At every show someone comes up and say, “Hey, my brother’s best-friends cousin just signed a deal with New West! He’s made it!” People just don’t understand that it’s all meaningless. Will he make it? Will he make any money? Will he have a career? Almost certainly not.

They see Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley and say, “Being on a big label must be great. They get to play at a HUGE stadium. Why aren’t you on a big label?” For those acts…who are often taken on by big management companies at very young ages it has worked out. It’s just hard to explain why there’s zero hope for someone making this happen at age 30.

@Andy B The information on statistics is there if you reread the first 2 paragraphs.

You say the post offers no hope, but it's reality. Realizing the reality of a situation offers plenty of hope to those who don't live in denial. Facing up to reality is one the most positive things you can do for your career.

July 20 | Registered CommenterRobin Davey

@ Greg Jarvis Actually I have been signed to Atlantic / Warner / Interscope and a plethora of Independents. One of my bands was featured in Timothy Whites music to my ears editorial column in Rolling Stone Magazine - as well as getting a great review.

It is not legally slanderous, please reread I chose my words very carefully.

July 20 | Registered CommenterRobin Davey

@Justin the answer is in the portion of the article you posted. Because they chose who they put out very carefully.

July 20 | Registered CommenterRobin Davey

A post like this needs facts and figures to back it up. Wild claims like 'every bit of space is bought in one way or another' inferring that there is no independent criticism in Rolling Stone mag needs proof, for instance. As does the statement that 'no one is buying Magazines any more' - when, despite the online assault, a magazine like TOTP can still sell 94,000 copies of each edition (bbcmagazinesadvertising.com). That's not to say the publishing industry is booming but, as with the labels, it's also worth pointing out that reports of their death are premature.

After re-reading the first two para's I can't see any statistics beyond a vague statement that 5% of signed bands 'succeeded', in some indeterminate time before 'the CD crashed'.

There is no doubt that the power and money of a large company behind an artist can get them places they wouldn't get to otherwise. Which would seem to be an argument for signing a deal.

The basic argument, then, seems to be 'why would you suck the company's dick when you can have a successful career independently and hold on to your self esteem as an artist?'

Which is fair enough, if there is a list of 'successful' independent artists which can rival the ones featured on labels like Mute, Sony, Warner and Beggars, even narrowing it down to signings in the past 5 years. And if you discount 'sucking the dicks' of several other large companies (like Google & Apple) whilst, possibly simultaneously, taking in some of the United States government's huge appendage, too, in the shape of ICANN.

Not forgetting the smaller penes of various pluggers, PR, agents etc who will do what you don't have time to do yourselves, for a fee or a percentage.

The situation is far more complex and the range of artists and their respective levels of success are far greater than the points of view expressed in the post.

Hopefully, Robin won't take the criticism personally and can come back with some facts and figures to back up the post.

July 20 | Registered CommenterTim London

It's 2010 and articles that blame "the system" don't cut it anymore.

If you want to make a living doing music, you need to have a plan, and the will to work hard and execute on that plan. It irritates me when artists complain about how lousy the scene is, how the system is gamed, how the cards are stacked against them, blah blah blah when it's obvious they just haven't made the hard decisions and done the work. Excuses, excuses.

July 20 | Unregistered Commenterscottandrew

@scottandrew I am not blaming or complaining about the system - I am explaining it. It is in direct response to the post which suggested that you still need a record deal to succeed.

In my opinion a reality check was much needed and as someone who has been in both the major label and independent label business, as well as running my own labels, coupled with being a writer for MTT, I felt it would be justified for me to offer my take on things.

As for not putting the hard work in, well you might want to do some research before making such assertions.

July 21 | Registered CommenterRobin Davey

@Robin Davey Would you mind telling us what happened to your band that you didnt stick it out with like the 3 best best major labels for rock in the industry? And what was the name of your band?

July 21 | Unregistered Commenterbtbmike

I agree pretty much completely with Robin Davey's article. It sounds like it's coming from someone who knows what they're talking about. You have to be kidding yourself if you think "getting signed" to a record label is a realistic goal for musicians anymore, let alone being a ticket to a successful music career. You'll have a better chance of success playing the lottery.

BTW, I'm not here to make enemies out of people involved with record labels. I think they bring a vast wealth of decades of music industry wisdom and information to the table. I'm always open to hearing what they have to say and learning from them.

However, it is obvious that the record label system has waned considerably from its heyday due to the tremendous growth of online music, videos, filesharing and social media. The question is - Why would a musician chase after the very slight possibility of getting signed to a record label when there are much, much easier and more effective ways nowadays to build a fanbase, create a musical buzz and sell music online and even convert all of this offline as well?

This comment is very true !

On the other hand i don't see people giving up on listening to music which implies there will always be a "need" for new artists , maybe it's not gonna be in the future via major labels as we are used to now that we gonna have this music "supplied" to us but the need for music is there and the industry is gonna have to adapt somehow

July 21 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Music to My Ears was Billboard I beleive. Unless Rolling Stone also ran it. I had the honor of meeting Timothy White and having his column written about our group as well.

Lots of good comments in this robust discussion about record deals and the business.
We've been at it awhile ourselves in a niiche roots genre.
We love what we do.
It's a job as well as a creative industry and we owns homes, cars, send kids to college on our income in the music business, so in that respect I have achieved some level of success. Everyone has to measure success in their own way.

I was with jason Ringenberg (Jason & The Scorchers) the other night and he said something really poignant that we were lucky b/c we were both postiured in our respective worlds of music "that allowed us to grow old."

Old is not a curse. It means experience, accomplishment and the ability to recognize and learn from our mistakes. It's a very liberating place to be.

I like @Dee:
"Take Care of the Music and the music take care of you."

Another good one:
"Integrity is the essence of all things successful"

July 21 | Unregistered CommenterTerrance

@terrance yes you are right my mistake - it was billboard.

@btmike the band is The Hoax upon leaving a major we started our own label with independent distribution and outsold our major label albums 5 - 1 and made a hell of a lot more money doing so. Our last European tour sold out in advance.

I signed to Interscope with The Davey Brothers and spent 3 years trying to get our debut album out and worked with some major producers and songwriters. We left with a settlement from the label due to them breaching the contract.

I am one of the 95% who didn't succeed with a major (hardly surprising), however I am one of the small percentage who has succeeded independently and continues to do so.

I am only offering insight and advice, I find the animosity leveled at my opinion intriguing.

I wonder if those who are defending the majors have ever been signed, or if they simply believe they are destined to be signed?

July 21 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Davey

@terrance yes you are right my mistake - it was billboard.

@btmike the band is The Hoax upon leaving a major we started our own label with independent distribution and outsold our major label albums 5 - 1 and made a hell of a lot more money doing so. Our last European tour sold out in advance.

I signed to Interscope with The Davey Brothers and spent 3 years trying to get our debut album out and worked with some major producers and songwriters. We left with a settlement from the label due to them breaching the contract.

I am one of the 95% who didn't succeed with a major (hardly surprising), however I am one of the small percentage who has succeeded independently and continues to do so.

I am only offering insight and advice, I find the animosity leveled at my opinion intriguing.

I wonder if those who are defending the majors have ever been signed, or if they simply believe they are destined to be signed?

July 21 | Unregistered CommenterRobin Davey

@terrance yes you are right my mistake - it was billboard.

@btmike the band is The Hoax upon leaving a major we started our own label with independent distribution and outsold our major label albums 5 - 1 and made a hell of a lot more money doing so. Our last European tour sold out in advance.

I signed to Interscope with The Davey Brothers and spent 3 years trying to get our debut album out and worked with some major producers and songwriters. We left with a settlement from the label due to them breaching the contract.

I am one of the 95% who didn't succeed with a major (hardly surprising), however I am one of the small percentage who has succeeded independently and continues to do so.

I am only offering insight and advice, I find the animosity leveled at my opinion intriguing.

I wonder if those who are defending the majors have ever been signed, or if they simply believe they are destined to be signed?

July 21 | Registered CommenterRobin Davey

Thats very commendable Robin. I'm glad to hear you had great success doing things independently. It is something my band and I are trying to achieve ourselves but if a good deal comes along from a reputable label, I dont think we'd be able to turn away.

July 22 | Unregistered Commenterbtbmike

As for not putting the hard work in, well you might want to do some research before making such assertions.

My comment wasn't directed at you specifically. But hey, that's the internet for you.

That said, this article strikes me as being most useful if it were 1993. Not that it's all bad to be reminded of payola/pay-to-play now and again, I guess. Unfortunately, the artists who most need to hear this advice are probably not reading sites like Music Think Tank.

July 23 | Unregistered Commenterscottandrew

@scottlandrew Yes, they are.... You never know who's reading what. I've quite enjoyed this discussion. It's like watching a heated game of tennis where Robin Davey is playing The World.

Big labels actually kind of scare me. I think there are more young artists educating themselves about the industry than you think. With advances in social media and the Internet, there is a ton of information at our fingertips.

Robin, I would actually like to get your take on Independent A&R companies like Taxi and how effective their reach is in the market. It is a paid for membership, but for $250 annually (with a year warranty), it seems like a better investment than most of the things you mentioned people pay for.

Also, in your opinion, at what point is there a need for management? I'm very interested in music supervision, but most supervision houses will not even look at an artist unless the music has come from someone's manager or a connection somehow. Which, I totally understand, because they don't have time with the 100's of submissions they receive a week, to be sifting through music they are not sure they can use due to copyright laws.

I think you knew your article would spark a healthy debate, which isn't a bad thing. I remember hearing how Thomas Edison failed 500 times before inventing the light bulb. Someone once asked him if he regretted all the time he wasted before figuring out the simple answer that unlocked the invention. His reply was that no attempt was a failure or a waste of time and every failed attempt just showed him another way not to do it. It was a process of elimination and he now knew 500 ways how not to invent the light bulb, which was just as important as the formula itself.

Every time I read something negative about the industry, it doesn't discourage me. You don't need someone sugarcoating everything or holding your hand, telling you exactly how to make it to have hope. Because in reality, there is no one way or formula to make it. Most people who have been successful in music say there was that chance meeting or lucky connection or special mentor that started it all (in addition to having the talent). I believe everyone who's had a chance to make a living in the music industry is extremely blessed.

Those artists who only ask the industry what can be done for them instead of asking how they can contribute to furthering the business is the problem. There is always hope. For me, hope is knowing there are many different ways NOT to break into the industry. I feel fortunate I don't have to waste time and money going down those roads because someone else already did and I can learn from their experience and knowledge. I know not everyone's story is the same, but from talking with other industry veterans, the attitude towards big labels is very bleak for someone just starting out.

Man, I didn't intend to write a novel. Once I get started, I can't stop.
Thanks for the article and the discussion.

Dayna Kovacic (singer songwriter) www.daynakovacic.com

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterDayna Kovacic

I think we can all agree the music scene is pretty poor relative to what it's been in the past. I think that robin's article is right on the money. I think the scene could EASILY be improved within 6 months. All it takes are one or two venues in a city to have lineups at the door every night they put on music and to have professional full-time musicians competing to perform there by ENTERTAINING better, not by being CHEAPER. Then prices go up, then more people can make a living at music and then more people try to compete and put on a show that's even BETTER and so on. This pay-to-play and "I'll do it for cheaper" mentality among musicians IS the reason everything sucks in the live music scene. And no-one seems to see the correlation between the health of the live music scene and the population's general excitement for music (recorded or otherwise).

August 2 | Registered CommenterDavid Fraser

PAY ATTENTION ALL"

this post sounds like some disgruntle artist who got turned down and told they were not attractive by labels, after thinking he/she were Michael Jackson. There is so much of this crap going around the net it is actually getting pathetic.

PEOPLE , The price of doing business is not free. Artist have ask for many years to have total control over their careers and now they have it ! YES! you have to pay to play in any business . ME As a concert promoter of 17 years I wouldn't let a NON ticket selling artist on any of my venues for nothing in this world this is why many concert companies are going under.By providing greasy hands managers their artist a slot on stages .who has not built a sure fan following that is ready to purchase a ticket to see them perform.

Artist, I have witness TODAY indie artist who have hired marketing firms, radio consultants and a strong PR firm to build their brand and are now reputable artist in the industry with a vastly growing fan base. These artist are paying there dues and warrant a chance on anyone's stage .

WHY, Because they are assisting in the promotions of a concert event by investing in the promotions of themselves. SORRY, If you do not have the capital to invest in you. Then you have to "give to get" this means YES take a label deal and approve them getting the bulk of revenue during your contract agreement. They are the investors they have to get a return back on what they are putting into you.

After your contract is up and you are now a salaried performer with national entertainment recognition. Dont resign continue what the label has built and reap all the rewards . This is not a harvard difficult situation to understand "ITS COMMON SENSE" Nothing is FREE!

As far as artist development HELL YES! Radio is not free and has never been free is why back then ,labels paid for you to brake on radio(called radio budget) & (promotions budget).Artist refuse to study the mechanics of how the industry works is why they are being miss led by idiots like this one who posted this DISGRUNTLE GARBAGE

Now, The Independent artist (YOU) who wanted more control over your career and the earnings radio ,promotions ,PR THAT'S your responsibility .SO OWN IT !

@A REAL MUSIC PROFESSIONAL HAHAHA well actually I have been signed to 2 major labels and a bunch of independents. Disgruntled? - no I am still a music business professional with more than one successful act and others in development. I make my money being an artist and working with other artists.

It seems like your post is just simply trying to justify that you employ pay-to-play tactics to earn your money as a promoter, which is why you are so riled up and would explain your rambling and largely incoherent response.

August 25 | Registered CommenterRobin Davey

So an unknown band pays the Whiskey $500 and its the venue's fault that no one is there?

In my experience its almost always a pre-sale deal, they want X tickets sold at Y amount.
I've always seen this as a way to keep bands that have no business playing there in the first place. Any band that is at the right level would be able to take care of the presale with out paying anything out of pocket. If one wants to buy out all of the pre-sale tickets themselves out of pocket thinking its going to get them somewhere then its probably their own fault.

September 1 | Unregistered Commenterthisguy

I am a producer/publisher. Sometimes the pay for play tactics would hurt radio stations as well. That happened to 103.1 FM out of Orlando, FL, USA . For the last 5 years, time in and out they would play the same corporate music. The audience got bored, the station went out of business. Thanks to the new media you can expose a new artist to the world:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1Lbu46qEMg

September 2 | Unregistered CommenterDimitri K

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