Record Deal – 2011
I wrote a half-baked post about getting a record deal 2009 thinking that it was a topic that would soon be irrelevant because no artist would want to be signed the way things seemed to be headed. How very wrong I was. I’m sure you have all seen the results of the ReverbNation and Digital Music News Survey that polled over 1800 artists a few months ago. They concluded that 75% of indie artists listed getting signed as one of their goals.
While the aforementioned poll pulls from what is likely to be a much more representative sample of aspiring and professional musicians it is interesting to note that the whispered promises of the digital DIY age do not seem to be panning out for the masses. The graph below was pulled from Google Insight on May 17th, 2011 and suggests that interest in record deals (or at least searching Google for “getting a record deal”) is actually on the rise in the last few years.
So what changed? Was there not enough tangible evidence in the public consciousness that people were making a living on their own using the new tools? Did we not have a modern day Ani Difranco to point to or were there perhaps too many mini success stories that didn’t add up to a full-blown music celebrity to make people believe that DIY was possible for anyone and everyone? Really all I can do is speculate since the data indicates nothing of people’s frame of mind or intentions.
All conjecture aside the answer to the question “How do I get a record deal” has not changed for decades. There is no single right answer of course, but what seems to be the most common is the willingness to build your own business and ensuring that if you are looking for a deal that the quest for being signed does not interfere with the quest for connecting with your existing fans and making new ones. What a bummer of an ending, huh? Sad but true: There is no silver bullet; there is no golden rule…just persistence and a lot of luck and good timing.