The music industry has come a long way from the days of sending cassette demos to record labels. With the rise of digital technology, the process of discovering new talent has also evolved. One of the latest developments in this area is Sony BMG UK’s shift towards a fully digitized A&R process. The label recently announced that it would no longer accept physical demos from new artists and would instead be looking for talent through blogs, complete with music, photos, and videos.
According to Sony BMG UK’s chief executive, Ged Doherty, blogging is one of the major trends in music, media, and entertainment. Therefore, it makes complete sense for major labels to use the process in a creative way to encourage, discover, and communicate with new artists. The label has partnered with Vox.com to create community sites for both the Columbia and RCA subsidiaries. Bloggers within the columbiademos.co.uk and rcademos.co.uk sites are tagged as members of the label’s virtual A&R community.
From an efficiency perspective, the plan offers a more organized avenue for evaluating up-and-coming talent. However, experienced talent scouts might cringe at the prospect of communicating with thousands of less-than-talented groups. But Doherty hopes the streamlined approach will also create a more vibrant and alive avenue for attracting and interacting with new talent. He believes that the new process will create a community where artists can engage with each other and discover new ways of promoting their music.
“There are already over sixty people from our company blogging regularly on this platform, and many more will be soon,” Doherty said. That is part of an unexpected job description for many staffers, but it is also a part of a broader online marketing push that strongly encourages company executives to blog. “If you don’t blog, it’s going to be frowned upon,” a label spokesperson recently told The Register. “Ged has made it clear that staff are expected to blog and participate in the community. He sees it as part of people’s jobs.”
The shift towards a fully digitized A&R process is not unique to Sony BMG UK. Many other record labels have also started to use digital platforms to discover new talent. For example, SoundCloud, a music streaming platform, allows artists to upload their music and share it with the world.
Record labels have started to use SoundCloud as a tool to discover up-and-coming musicians. The platform has a feature called ‘Repost by SoundCloud,’ which allows users to repost their favorite tracks and share them with their followers. This feature has helped many artists gain exposure and attract the attention of record labels.
The digitization of the music industry has also brought about new challenges for record labels. With so much music available online, it can be difficult for labels to stand out and discover new talent. However, by using digital platforms to discover new artists, record labels can save time and money. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on physical demos, they can now discover new talent with just a click of a button.
In conclusion, the shift towards a fully digitized A&R process is an exciting development for the music industry. By using digital platforms to discover new talent, record labels can save time and money while also creating a vibrant community where artists can engage with each other and discover new ways of promoting their music. While this new process may not be perfect, it is a step in the right direction, and it will be interesting to see how it evolves in the coming years.
Story by news analyst Richard Menta.