Key Things Record Labels Look For When Signing New Artists

Another important lesson you have to learn is that music is a business and a passion, but to labels, business comes first. I have spoken to many A&R's about an artist that they loved that they could not sign. It's about profitability for them. For a band to be a profitable endeavor, they look for these key things:

o You're band or act has to be marketable. What does this mean?
If you can play like a god, but look like the ugliest thing this side of the Pacific Ocean, you have some trouble. It does not mean that you can't get attention. Just being in a rock band can make you attractive. Besides, that is not what it is about, but it is part. Here is why, a band with great music but an ugly singer will grab a lot fans that love the music, but not as many who think the singers hot and like the music because of that. Now, the a band with the same music that is really attractive will grab those same music fans, but grab a bunch of women that would never have cared about the music as fans as well. This is a sad truth, but I used this black and white example to make a point. What is you market? How big is it? And just as important, is there someone already in your spot?

o Do I have a unique sound, or a unique image?
Going back to what was said before, you have to have a market gap. What do you sound like and look like, if you can sing like Justin Timberlake, dance like Justin, and look like Justin, you are still not JUSTIN! There's only room for one of him. Where you want to be is the fine line between unique, and scary unique. You do not want to sound like anything already out. You do want to have a sound people are ready to accept. Being to unique will hurt you just as much as being bland.

o What is your target market?
By far the most sought-after market is the teens and young adults. They are the most impressionable and spend the most money on music. This has changed somewhat however with the rise of the tween and younger market brought on by Hannah Montannah and High School Musical. If this is not your style that is fine, just be aware of what your market is , so you know where to do your marketing and what your market cap is.

o How much have you already sold?
This question is really an extension of the other questions. If you have sold a good amount of units, it proves that you have marketability and makes you less risky. The more proof you can provide that you are a safe investment, the better your chances are.

4 comments

  • What matters is your song any good? Also, forget the notion of sucking up to labels. They are leeches. Build your own social following and play publicly, and you won’t need a label except to get huge, and when you do, you’ll dictate terms, instead of the other way around.

    Esol Esek
  • Hi. I totally understand. But what I’ve been doing is testing samples of my test work. Doing a survey to see who gravitate to what style I’m doing is working I’m Branding. My element’s. SoundCloud/E007 for artist and motion pictures/ shows / tv/ digital channels/sports channels. Documentaries and instrumentals soundtracks

    Gary Hines
  • HEL’LO, SOUNDS LIKE OLD SCHOOL MARKET STATS, BUT WHAT OF THE AGE DIFF. OF THE NEW WAVE ARTIES THEY SEEK,, IS THEIR A CUT OFF POINT, , THANKS THE ABOVE INFO. WAS GREAT,, THANKS FOR THE LINK.. MUSIC, PEACE,&,HAPPINESS,,. ( CHOOO )..

    FELIPE L. SPRAGGINS
  • All good and valid points.

    Alex Askew

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