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I think I'm just gonna start my own record label...
Old 23rd October 2020 | Show parent
  #181
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Because back in the day many label employees were music fans. Now they are money focused business people.
What A&Rs do you spend time time? Many are bat sh*t crazy artist types themselves. Depends on the role of the person in the label. Love of the music is still strong at the labels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Also, labels saw a value in having a diverse and 'cool' stable of artists.
I played with artists who never sold a lot of records or made much money, but label bosses pursued them because they believed in their 'art'.
Still happens. How much of this RCA roster have you heard of?

https://www.rcarecords.com/artists/

Probably not most. They're fostering a wealth of up-and-coming talent, as always. And that's their immediate roster, they're fostering 100s more small acts through sub labels. Even from the business side that's simply the smartest move, often one artist pays for the entire label at any given point in time and there's little way to predict which artist that will actually be (or Beats headphones, in the case of Interscope a few years ago when they made zero money on releasing music). So they're always investing in a number of acts they see potential in and end up losing money on.
Old 23rd October 2020
  #182
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Chrisso you used to be one of the positive voices of reason on here man. Your posts were like this one, I considered you an ally in positive minded realistic optimism about the industry, in the sea of overly negative naysaying that goes on here: Why Is Modern Pop Music So Terrible

Hope all's good with you man. Something's flipped.
Old 23rd October 2020
  #183
Gear Maniac
 
underground artist arent pop artist that aspire to be on big labels or to be a pop act. could it happen? yes. but mainly thru distribution on indie labels thru majors.
Old 23rd October 2020
  #184
Lives for gear
Do it! We started ours 22 years ago. All you need is one good industry connection. My singer's sister was married to the son of the vice-president of Warner Brothers (Glen). Oh, his father put us in contact with people that taught us everything.

We got on the radio, in movies, the whole 9 yards.

But Glen had to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for radio promotion.
Old 24th October 2020 | Show parent
  #185
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Hope all's good with you man. Something's flipped.
No, nothing has flipped. The two thought processes go together.
I am passionate about new music and young artists and musicians. I say huge inequity in how young artists are treated by the big tech barons controlling online distribution like Youtube and Spotify.
It's not just me. Inside the industry and among my network everyone 100% agrees.
There IS no A&R any more. Sorry to completely disagree with you.
I know people who work for very large labels. It ISN'T the same.
People are signed because they have a large social media following. That's the reality. Some great musicians have a large social media following and that is GREAT. But interesting and innovative music has taken a backseat to money making and social media. That's just the honest truth. The reality.
Old 24th October 2020 | Show parent
  #186
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by user i477533222 View Post
underground artist arent pop artist that aspire to be on big labels or to be a pop act. could it happen? yes. but mainly thru distribution on indie labels thru majors.
Yes, that has been the case since around the 90's.
But in the 60's, 70's and 80's indie style artists WERE signed by major labels who pumped money into them.
In 1970 Neil Young was a relative unknown risky proposition with a debut album under his belt. For his second album his label flew him to London to work in a major studio.
Old 24th October 2020 | Show parent
  #187
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
What A&Rs do you spend time time?
There aren't any. Not in the traditional - going to see bands, getting them signed, helping them develop their first recordings. It is gone.
Old 24th October 2020 | Show parent
  #188
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
There aren't any. Not in the traditional - going to see bands, getting them signed, helping them develop their first recordings. It is gone.
Finding and developing talent at the A&R level is still an essential step of the process and is beyond abundant in the industry. This also goes on at the music management level. And in the entire system of funding indie labels, which gets money in the pockets of musicians to develop themselves based on real world feedback/outcome in more underground scenes.

I feel like the system for fostering talent is pretty strong right now. My experience sits pretty far outside the reality you’re presenting in this thread, which is indeed a need tune from you man.
Old 24th October 2020
  #189
Lives for gear
 
I grew up with Gary Stewart's younger brother, Mark. Gary's passing and Eddie Van Halen's seemed to symbolize the end of the Music Era...
As I had known it. (early 60's here) Mark and I used to hit the Strip starting around the early 80's. I'm glad we were born when we were.

Another best friend, who "grew up" within the local L.A. bands, was good friends with both Alex and Eddie (from early Teens-through mid 20's).
Was closer with Eddie, and they used to meet up to see other Bands etc. Van Halen even "opened" for my friend's Band! Hilarious.
(I saw the poster of it BTW)

Very different time, like what Chris is saying.
Chris
Old 24th October 2020 | Show parent
  #190
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
In 1970 Neil Young was a relative unknown risky proposition with a debut album under his belt. For his second album his label flew him to London to work in a major studio.
In 2020: "Here's $300. Now go buy yourself a DAW, and within 30 days email me what you come up with."
Old 24th October 2020 | Show parent
  #191
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Very different time, like what Chris is saying.
Chris
Its definitely different than pre-internet. But its not doom and gloom lol. It still continues to get more hopeful than ever IMO, there's more opportunity for the little guy now than ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
In 2020: "Here's $300. Now go buy yourself a DAW, and within 30 days email me what you come up with."
I've worked with a number of artists, songwriters, and producers flown out and put up in LA for several months to work on the songwriting circuit. I've been flown around and put up myself for various work not on my dime. They probably lose at least six figures on most major label signings. I've been blown away by the amount of money spent on things that didn't go anywhere.
Old 24th October 2020
  #192
Lives for gear
 
I mainly just want to collaborate, on Studio Projects I can be proud to sing on now.
(well other than getting back on our local stages again )
Chris
Old 24th October 2020 | Show parent
  #193
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
I mainly just want to collaborate, on Studio Projects I can be proud to sing on now.
(well other than getting back on our local stages again )
Chris
I'm with you man. . I'm at a point of just wanting a set of music I'm actually happy with. The last decade hasn't been all that fulfilling in the end. I've left the scenes I was in, moved out of CA, and have cut most all contacts to just focus on what I actually want to do. Which. . man. . . its been tough finding what exactly that is, turns into a whole soul searching mission. Its seemed so complicated, but I'm almost to what I've been looking for and its very simple in the end if you can clear everything else out. Dunno if that makes sense.

Things are still in the works but I'm getting really close to music I'm actually proud of. For like the first time since I was a whole lot younger. "Proud of" is the foundational element going forward. That often gets left behind or buried in the world of seeking work as a professional wanting to survive off music.
Old 24th October 2020
  #194
Lives for gear
 
Good for you! And very "understandable" too.
Chris
Old 25th October 2020 | Show parent
  #195
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
I've worked with a number of artists, songwriters, and producers flown out and put up in LA for several months to work on the songwriting circuit. I've been flown around and put up myself for various work not on my dime. They probably lose at least six figures on most major label signings. I've been blown away by the amount of money spent on things that didn't go anywhere.
I know you are very accomplished and know very accomplished people. That's great!

I run into the mostly "Here's $300-- buy a DAW" signed artists.

I wish all of the true artists well.
Old 25th October 2020 | Show parent
  #196
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
In 2020: "Here's $300. Now go buy yourself a DAW, and within 30 days email me what you come up with."
Yeah, it's absolutely NOT the same as working in a fabulous studio with great musicians in a leading world music centre and capital city.
Millions of people are working on a $300 DAW (like me), but the point is, the industry isn't investing in our talent.
Old 25th October 2020 | Show parent
  #197
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Its definitely different than pre-internet. But its not doom and gloom lol. It still continues to get more hopeful than ever IMO, there's more opportunity for the little guy now than ever.
Yes, opportunity, but if that doesn't lead to a viable career it's for nothing.
You already admitted a handful of bands globally might earn a living from streaming.
I think this is where my generation perhaps gets stuck in the debate. Opportunity is fantastic, and very welcome, but the reality is, if you are creative, you wish that initial opportunity GOES SOMEWHERE. If it just leads to $500 once a year, then it isn't worth the opportunity.
Old 25th October 2020 | Show parent
  #198
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
I've worked with a number of artists, songwriters, and producers flown out and put up in LA for several months to work on the songwriting circuit.
That really only happens if they are fairly certain it's going to be bankable.
Let's be honest.
Sure they invest money in projects that don't return any income, but everything they do is to minimise that happening. Which is why you get the same teams of songwriters (known to be successful) working on most of the top 40.
Old 25th October 2020 | Show parent
  #199
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
I feel like the system for fostering talent is pretty strong right now. My experience sits pretty far outside the reality you’re presenting in this thread, which is indeed a need tune from you man.
Everyone I talk to mentions Facebook, Instagram, Tik ToK.
If you watch any music industry blog on Youtube that's what THEY are talking about also.
It's not A&R going out every night to seedy clubs. It's people browsing social media and seeing which young kid has had the most views of their cover ing video, or who is building a following on Instagram.
the same is true of live opportunities -
It has less to do with the music and artistry. If you don't have many followers on Instagram or Youtube you won't get any gigs or festival spots. If you have thousands of followers it's less of a problem being taken seriously by promoters.
These are the stories that are all over Youtube especially told to me personally. If it wasn't happening I couldn't dream it up.
Old 25th October 2020 | Show parent
  #200
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Everyone I talk to mentions Facebook, Instagram, Tik ToK.
If you watch any music industry blog on Youtube that's what THEY are talking about also.
It's not A&R going out every night to seedy clubs. It's people browsing social media and seeing which young kid has had the most views of their cover ing video, or who is building a following on Instagram.
the same is true of live opportunities -
It has less to do with the music and artistry. If you don't have many followers on Instagram or Youtube you won't get any gigs or festival spots. If you have thousands of followers it's less of a problem being taken seriously by promoters.
These are the stories that are all over Youtube especially told to me personally. If it wasn't happening I couldn't dream it up.
Yeah social media is the new nightclub. A much broader and more ********ized place to showcase. Showcasing is ultimately what clubs and social media are about, a seedy club isn’t a necessity at all, especially a rose colored romanticized seedy club life.

Apparently you can’t write d e m o c r a t i z e d anymore I wonder what thread blew that up.

It’s still largely about passion and goosebumps though man, along with numbers. (It’s always been about numbers btw. Step 1, the prerequisite, was almost always “develop a local buzz” IE get your numbers.)

A good A&R is looking for goosebumps and numbers. If they put numbers over goosebumps, then they’re most likely heading down the wrong path for themselves as A&R and will be one of the multitude of A&Rs who are replaced within 4 years, looking to redefine themselves. (Which happened to me as an artist/producer as i said a post above. This def happens. But you’re not doing good work when you let it happen, probably not heading for sustained success. The music business is largely based off passion that is profitable. Passion seems to be essential. Even at the bubblegum pop level, those at the top love what they’re doing.)
Old 25th October 2020 | Show parent
  #201
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
I know you are very accomplished and know very accomplished people. That's great!

I run into the mostly "Here's $300-- buy a DAW" signed artists.

I wish all of the true artists well.
I do ok. Most of my work has been with a dj act signing one-offs for a 50/50 split of the back end with no money upfront. This led to some high dollar syncs, and other work like producing lower tier major and indie artists or ghost producing DJs, and getting brought along on writing camps and location projects and stuff.
Old 25th October 2020 | Show parent
  #202
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
That really only happens if they are fairly certain it's going to be bankable.
Let's be honest.
Sure they invest money in projects that don't return any income, but everything they do is to minimise that happening. Which is why you get the same teams of songwriters (known to be successful) working on most of the top 40.
Money gets spent so many ways. Yeah it’s always in the hopes of being bankable, but they’re swinging and missing most of the time.

Like, a vocalist/songwriter will get a feature on a big dance cut, sign a publishing deal, be flown out to LA to work the circuit for a while, and not get any cuts of significance. Or I’ve had a major label buy beats without an artist in mind or a song written to them yet, just to keep others from having them. That never then get used for a record, they’re just DOA in exchange for money. Or a new artist gets signed, put up in LA to work the circuit for a year, three tracks come out, they only do OK, and the artist gets dropped (As a producer, i end up making five figures out of the artist’s major label budget in this scenario.) Or publishers want to invest in a writing camp in the hopes of a top 10 cut coming out of it, fly all these people to an island or resort, and then don’t get any records of significance that week.

So much of it is a Vegas crapshoot. Social media definitely helps hamper these kinds of losses because it’s a real time market test for anything anyone does. But that’s mainly just in spotting potential. They then have to invest the money, and it’s often a loss. I’ve worked with a few social media stars who’s music went absolutely nowhere after a label or publisher invested in them. Same deal as before, as a producer I walk with money in my pocket in this case, out of their artist’s budget.
Old 26th October 2020 | Show parent
  #203
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Apparently you can’t write d e m o c r a t i z e d anymore I wonder what thread blew that up.
None. there is much more access, but the reality has dawned that that access rarely leads to a viable career. In which case what use is access.
IIRC you have mostly operated in the North America EDM scene, which is one special case area where investment has exploded and opportunities have been there for new artists. It is highly commercial though - not innovative, not left field.
I think the chickens are going to come home to roost with EDM also, without the live festivals and Vegas parties, which have largely supported huge incomes for what is generally pretty formulaic, unadventurous music.
Old 26th October 2020 | Show parent
  #204
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I think the chickens are going to come home to roost with EDM also, without the live festivals and Vegas parties, which have largely supported huge incomes for what is generally pretty formulaic, unadventurous music.
Well yeah, COVID.

That’s a whole different discussion though. It still remains to be seen what the long term effects will be on the music industry. It’s certainly helping with the current trend of chill music.
Old 26th October 2020 | Show parent
  #205
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't think it's a different discussion.
I've been arguing about streaming and piracy for over a decade.
The main counter argument I faced was that music is REALLY about performing, and recording was a mere blip over a couple of decades.
We should all adapt by playing live and view records as a promo flyer. I had many a heated debate with Steve Albini about it here.

What Covid has done is shone a harsh light on the fragility of touring.
If it had not been Covid it would have been climate change. We have to act meaningfully on climate change by the end of this decade. One of the target groups the experts are talking about is frequent fliers.
In order for meaningful change to occur, people shouldn't fly more than two or three times a year. Flights are too cheap, based on their carbon footprint and the damage to the environment. One solution floated is to create a tax that is low for family holiday flights, but ramps up quickly for people who are frequent fliers.

All Covid has done is bring about that change of behaviour in weeks rater than years.

In the end, a record is no different to a movie or a tv show. It is a product separate to a gig.
So musicians should be able to earn a living from playing live, selling merchandise AND selling recordings.
Old 26th October 2020
  #206
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Its the reverse though. Social media is what's enabled musicians to get noticed and make money without any touring. That's one of the biggest gripes about live shows now: that artists get big before they ever had to tour and perform, so the showmanship isn't what it used to be.

Before social media, you'd have to hit the club circuit and develop a buzz. You yourself were just reminiscing about those good ol days. Outside the Beatles after a certain point and a few other exceptions, there were exactly zero artists making a living without touring.

EDIT - Social media, along with cable TV and streaming services, is also what's ushered in the sync era. Which is how you can make good money without touring. There are thousands of shows and advertisements now, and most tend to sync actual music now. This is in stark contrast to the past, especially the four network past of the 50s-80s where no "real" music was ever sync'd and shows were extremely limited.

Last edited by newguy1; 26th October 2020 at 07:46 PM..
Old 27th October 2020 | Show parent
  #207
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There is a huge amount of evidence that social media is hard to monetize.
You seem to not be living in the real world.
Of course EVERYONE knows about social media snd the income from sync licensing. Do everyone, literally hundreds of thousands, ate trying to leverage their social media snd submitting music to sync license.
In that regard it is no better than the 80’s label system, arguably worse.
You have hundreds of thousands of people trying yo do the same thing, so faced with a tsunami, the people with money to spend rely on personal recommendation and betting on already winners.
This is the problem I’ve been talking about for pages.
It’s a winner takes all.
If you have personal connections in high places you have a much better chance of succeeding. If you have s huge following on Instagram and Youtube you have a much better chance of succeeding.
How many artists with very few social media followers have been used in a tv show or ad campaign?
How many artists survive on income from Youtube alone?
Old 27th October 2020
  #208
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
The music business is a game for the 1% in any era. So a negative outlook is always easily backed up, because it’s a negative outcome for 99% of people in any era. Hence the sea of negativity in conversations about the business, now and in the past. (I grew up in the 80s and 90s being fed these same doom and gloom stories by old burned guys. This attitude is prolific because 99% of dreamers are always excluded.)

It just comes down to whether you want to jump on the negative outlook train or not. Once you do, you’re definitely doomed.

I can’t argue against how hard it is, in any era. That’s a given. It’s hard. The odds are stacked against everyone.

You were always one to look for the positivity, for where the good music can be found, where the opportunity can be found, and the ways in which the very tough playing field can be leveraged toward opportunity. That’s the ONLY way to ever have a chance at succeeding, and that’s the way to be able to enjoy the music being released right now.

It does seem like something flipped with you.

The fact is it’s not as bad as you’re saying. More artists than ever are making a living off music, indie has exploded, and DIY is as profitable as ever. It’s still very very tough, and depending on your interests can be tougher than the past. But in many ways it’s as good as ever. I, for one, am hellbent on a maintaining a positive mindset aimed at capitalizing on the “as good as ever” aspects of the business, which fit me (a studio guy who doesn’t want to tour) quite nicely.
Old 27th October 2020
  #209
How are more artists making more money now than ever, when actual sales of music is the lowest its ever been? For example, instead of 1000 people buying a CD for 10 bucks. It takes 1000 people to earn a dollar on a streaming site.
Since everything has moved to online, online marketing, online music distibution, online everything. More people are trying to focus on that, instead of playing Live music and playing out (granted these Covid times we are in).

But i think it actually goes much deeper than that. Something more evil. When you use the internet, theres these things called "cookies". That is the website using your personal information to dictate what you see and how you see it, this information is bought and sold to other companies. Many people dont realize the effect this has. Such as when multi-million billion dollar companies decide who people should be listening to or what people should be seeing.

Plus the aspect of Group Think. No one really wants to give anybody else a chance. Well, most simpletons. That is why there are a bunch of people on Gearslutz or other platforms that actually do post their music and guess what. No one listens to their work. Why? I dont know.

It seems as though noone is actually searching for something new. Just what is put in front of them that has the approval of certain people.
The backing of a label will do this. But, how many people are getting label backings in 2020?

Also im sure, there are people that look at your gear list before ever deciding to listen to your music. That says alot about the consumers of music, when most of them now a days are musicians and or audio engineers and themselves, the ones who are supposed to be all about the music.
If you dont have known credentials, known approval (likes/views) basically it doesnt matter how good your music is. People wont listen.

Where as when an artist does a live show, everyone in that room is introduced to that music. Simply because it becomes a physical product at that point. The more places you play, the more people actually listen to your music and can form a real opinion on whether they like it or not, that is only way to remain relevant and to succeed. You dont have to be the hugest thing there has ever been. You just have to keep playing music.

But, if you only put your music out online, youll have to spend money on buying likes and views (marketing in 2020), just to give your music a chance. Or get dismissed and discarded.
Which is sad, because the internet music platforms are supposed to be a plethora of music discovery. Now, what most people see is the product of paid advertising and censorship. Decided by curators with the highest bid.
Old 27th October 2020 | Show parent
  #210
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by coreyspencer View Post
How are more artists making more money now than ever, when actual sales of music is the lowest its ever been?
More artists are making a living than ever. Not more artists are making more money than ever. Those are very different things.

So, as a rough example, instead of 40 billion being divided by 100, there's 20 billion being divided by 1000. 1000 people are living off music instead of 100. More modestly yes, but the available opportunity to live off music has risen.

Last year DIY musicians made $873 million. DIY musicians weren't even a metric 10 years ago their market share was so low. (https://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2020...grew-11-4.html)

And indie artists continue to be the fastest growing segment of the industry, for several years in a row now: https://themusicnetwork.com/independ...revenue-rises/

A smaller (but growing again!) pie is being more evenly distributed than ever before.
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