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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today's A&R

I don't normally cross-post from my Music 3.0 blog, but I thought that this was something that was not only pretty funny, but hit very close to home for every musician aspiring to be a recording artist.

A and R people have gotten bad reps over the years for being shallow, self-possessed and tin-eared, and deservedly so, but it wasn't always that way. Back in the Music 1.0 (before big business took over) and 1.5 days (during the heyday of CDs but before digital music), you had some label people that were real music men. They understood music, artists, the audience, and the record making process, and would stick by an act they believed in even if the first couple of albums stiffed.

We're a long way from that these days. The major labels want to own a piece of every income stream that an artist has, since CD income is decreasing at an alarming rate. This is the last thing any artist wants, but thanks to the times we live in (the Music 3.0 era), all the tools are readily available to not only do the same job as a label, but do it even better.

Don't be mistaken in that there is still a place for a major record label in this world. If an artist builds himself up to such a point that it's not possible to get to the next level without the added infrastructure and marketing clout that only a label can provide, then that's a choice that must be considered. But Music 3.0 now allows the artist to enter that negotiation from a position of strength.

If you like this animation, there's another one called "The A&R Guy" that's just as funny and so true that it hurts.

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