A&R this week – Record Label Practicum

For the past couple of weeks the member of the practicum have been communicating back and forth, in person and via e-mail, through instant messaging and by carrier pigeon – talk about innovative and motivated. The aim of this group discussion was to decide on which artists we were keen on collaborating with for the rest of the semester.

After reviewing 12 interviews – which were all brilliant by the way, and only made the process that much harder – we agreed on four talented individuals.

Avila Santo
Tess Tyler
Stephen McHale
Miranda Inzunza

These four names might be familiar to some, if they are not however, they are definitely about to because the marketing team is prepping some killer plans – but for now, shh.

The A&R teams have met up individually with the artists and also started working on plans and musical directions.
(Un)fortunately plans are synonymous with homework, which means that we need to remain proactive. The artists have to make sure they compile tracks for us to listen to and choose from, but in some cases the repertoire to choose from is quite extensive.

Meanwhile, Beatsmusic acquires TopSpin Media and saves them from what looked like a slow and painful demise. They are hoping to fuse the ultimate experience of music discovery, and data collection and analysis. Listeners can rest assured, their relentlessly uneducated choices on music discovery are made easier than ever before.

On a more musical side note, Animals as Leaders are releasing a new album ‘the Joy of Motion‘ on March 25th and it is shaping up to be monstrous! Here’s the single from this much anticipated release, it is entitled ‘Tooth and Claw’. The composition is phenomenal and the production is nothing short of that either.

Virgin: Join in the Disruption – A crumbled attempt at formulating a new business plan and providing an entertaining key word for a blog post title…

 

“Join in the disruption

Take part in the debate

 —————————————————————————————————

I found this post in our Berklee Master’s Class 2013 Facebook Group and after finding a general lack of inspiration on a particular topic, I thought this popular set of issues would be interesting to discuss.  Bring on the discourse.

(Yes, Virgin Marketing/R&D team, this is the part where you thank me for completing the survey you so eloquently put together.)

Are you a music fan? Are you a musician? Do you work in the industry?

Well, I’m here aren’t I? Therefore, there must be some sort of degree or level or resonance I have to this grouping of questions or perhaps I’m just trying to kill time while I polish of this Starbucks venti drip coffee (note, comparable large coffee cup sizes are extremely difficult to find in Valencia, and I do miss home. So this experience is killing two birds with one stone – I dislike using colloquialisms, but in this case the caffeine buzz is wearing off and I’m frantically looking at my word count).

Also, to satisfy the needs of those who are looking for immediate gratification, I’ve included my responses in a more ‘traditional survey form’

Key : (Y)es / (N)o
Are you a music fan? (Y)
Are you a musician? (Y)
Do you work in the industry? (Question Unclear  -- In which industry 
are you referring? I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you mean 
the Entertainment Industry, because people haven't worked in the 
Music Industry in sometime [if ever]) – (N)o, but maybe one day.

Do you stream? Do you buy? Do you bypass the official routes and download for free?

I enjoy accessibility. I stream music, I purchase music and believe it or not, you do not have to bypass ‘”the official routes” to obtain music for free.  It’s actually a great tool for exposure and building conversation. See applications like NoiseTrade, Souncloud and Topspin.

**Please Note: If you too also plan on answering this survey or any other of this kind, it would probably prove beneficial not to make an admission of guilt to a corporate entity who will probably seek legal action against you – boo for entrapment and yay for Catherine Zeta Jones.

and again for some of you…

Do you stream? (Y)
Do you buy? (Y)
Do you bypass the official routes and download for free? (N)

Do you think music fans have a responsibility to support the artists whose music they consume by paying a fair price to listen to their output?

Whether you believe it or not, chances are at some point you are supporting an artist (e.g. live music, merchandizing, sharing and starting conversation). Although the recording sector is down, live music is up. The money has moved, but it’s still there. It’s similar to the transition from the Blockbuster to the Television screen. If you’re really asking this question, then you probably didn’t sign your artist to a 360 deal, although this is highly unlikely). So perhaps a more relevant question is: Do you support the record company who owns the artist’s copyright?

Do you think music fans have a responsibility to support the artists 
whose music they consume by paying a fair price to listen to their 
output?  (N) The only responsibility you have is to pay your 
taxes and that's only assuming you don't get caught otherwise.

Do you think music streaming services are damaging the music industry?

If you believe so, you’re foolish. You probably also went to the seventh Eagles’ “Farewell Tour.” Nothing against the Eagles, but you might also believe that records are making a comeback. Sure vinyl sales are up, but it’s not saying much if they’re coming from the basement (not to be confused with a literal basement, although I guess they come from there too). There was also a brief rise in yo-yo sales in the late nineties (I know, I had one, along with a small box of Slammers and Pokemon cards) but where are they now?

See, Nostalgia …

Music Streaming is Accessibility. Accessibility is Mobility and the Heat will probably win the Larry O’Brian trophy again this year.

The days of measuring an artist’s success over SoundScan is over.  Applications like Spotify and Youtube are all about social discovery. It’s the traditional non-GAAP sources that are more accurate measures of “success” rather than units sold. It’s how you provide additional value and monetize this success that will make you truly successful.

Do you think music streaming services are damaging the music 
industry?(N)

If you’ve made it this far, cheers! Thanks for your time and consideration.