71 Percent of Unsigned Artists Still Want a Label Deal

It’s tempting to call BS on this one, especially with label consortium IFPI emailing the results around.

But this isn’t the first time an artist survey has produced such findings; in fact, the latest results come from separate surveys conducted in the UK and Germany, respectively.

The first, from the Unsigned Guide, finds that 71 percent of unsigned artists would like a record label deal, for a variety of reasons.

Survey #1: The Unsigned Guide (UK)

  • Save

  • Save

Even crazier is this survey from Germany…

Survey #2: BVMI (Germany)

  • Save

  • Save

Written while listening to Pretty Lights and Eric Prydz.

14 Responses

  1. mdti

    I am surprised the study doesn’t mention the oinly one good reason one would want a record deal: “it would help me get laid”…. 🙂

    sorry, sorry,haha 😀

    i’m just super excited by the orgasmatic “why no more music videos on MTV” clip !

  2. GGG

    I believe it. I think that amount of people are either 1) naive, vapid yet attractive wanna be pop stars or pop rock bands or otherwise mainstream-sounding “artists” in general who either don’t know any better or know it’s the one area majors still sort of have power over or 2) optimistic indie artists who are assuming they’ll find an indie label that is incredibly artist friendly, willing to give them huge royalties, complete creative control, etc.

  3. lifer

    The UK and Germany music businesses, which is to say labels, radio, tv, magazines, etc., are very different animals from the US. As are the musicians, writers and label staffers. Perhaps because art and culture play a very different role in the societies at large.

    This does not discount the value of this information but it should be taken into account.

  4. Sakis Gouzonis

    When many record labels close down and others are merged in order to survive for a few more years, there are still people (I am not using the word artists) that want to get signed… That’s interesting enough! 🙂

    Internet is here. Use it to introduce your music to an enormous audience at low cost. Take full control of your career. Do not allow anyone else to interfere. Ask other successful artists how they succeeded. Read articles about the international music scene and music marketing. Educate yourself. Write more and better music every day. Work! Work! Work!

    Sakis Gouzonis


    • hippydog

      Hows that working for you?

      Stats are still basically saying that unsigned artists are not being noticed.. a few break thru, but a label of some sort is still needed..

      You can ‘work work work’ all you want, but the public isnt noticing..

      there just to much ‘noise’ right now to be heard..

  5. Guest

    This one is real simple.

    Musicians are basically lazy and think that if they have a label deal someone else will do all the work for them. No big surprise here.

    • Puke

      Lazy? Yeah, that’s what the labels are looking for. Simple? Hardly. I spend every moment from when I wake up to when I go to bed thinking of new ways to get my band’s music out there as well as staying in touch with all of the promoters, venue owners, DJs, station programmers, columnists, bloggers, etc worldwide that we already have connections with. The unfortunate part is I no longer wake up with new songs in my head – I wake up checking our latest numbers, making phone calls, writing emails, booking shows, sending press packets, staying on top of social networking, doing research on things that label people already know and can do much more efficiently than I can. It’s not about being lazy, it’s about being an artist. It takes years of staying on point and building a fan base and making great music for a label to notice. The “simple” part is that labels have money and musicians don’t. My band made $100 off iTunes last month from 15 downloads. I just found a torent site with our album on it which has been ilegally downloaded 332 times in the last month. If those were itunes sales our recording costs would have already been recouped. Don’t get me wrong, 332 new fans is great! I’d love to come to their town and put on a show. Can we afford the gas to get out there? No… but a label would pitch in for touring expenses. Not so simple, is it? http://throwthegoat.bandcamp.com

  6. Jason Spitz

    I find it encouraging that the primary reason seems to be “marketing & promotional support”. That’s one thing labels are still good for, that artists can’t do on their own (to the same level of effectiveness). As opposed to more stereotypical reasons like “fame & fortune”.

  7. Chet

    The survey didn’t ask me, so you can knock the results down a percentage point. Bands don’t need a label deal anymore and can outsource everything labels would do for them while still maintaining artistic integrity. Most of the “industry professionals” that make decisions at these labels, big or small, don’t know what the hell they are doing. All they know is that they can sell total crap to the public today, right now, as long as it sounds exactly like something else that’s selling that particular week. That’s why it’s so difficult to discover cool new music. Good stuff gets passed over in favor of some crappy band that sounds like Maroon 5. It’s been that way for decades, and its the fault of the labels and corrupt radio programmers. You would think that with the internet and the empowering opportunities independent musicians now have that the labels would wake up and take some chances, but no. At least not yet. More boring crap year after year…

  8. MyCityUnsigned

    With ever decreasing costs of selling and promoting music online, the need for traditional record labels is diminishing. Independent artists should stop searching for that elusive record deal and focus on how to make make money from their creativity.

    Artists should view their intellectual property as products/services and use the same strategies that any product or service uses to sell. In other words, search engine optimisation, pay per click campaigns, brand partnerships, networking events, exhibtions etc.

    Google is an excellent resourse for start-up businesses (which is essentially what an unsigned artist is).

    Furthermore, if you can generate sales and “prove the concept”, you will have a much better chance of negotiating a better deal when a record label comes knocking on your door.


  9. Clintone

    Many love the idea of a knight in shining armor that sweep them off their feet of to riches and fame. That’s simply a fairy tale. Bands should not be looking for a deal at all for one basic reason. It takes 1+ million dollars to break an artist nationally. Even if that artist sells a million downloads that’s still only a gross of 600K because people buy mostly singles. It’s simple math. That initial investment will never be recouped.

  10. hippydog

    What I dont understand,

    is some artists are willing to forgo the labels but have this weird need to be played on the radio to try and ‘make it’..

    Radio & labels are so intricately linked it doesnt really make sense.

    If you dont ‘want’ to be controlled by a label, wouldnt it make sense to also have a plan that doesnt rely on ‘radio spins’?