A word of caution.
Over the last ten days we’ve published our ones to watch. If you've missed them have a look back over the last ten posts on the blog. Some of them we think are viable commercial propositions, others aren’t but we believe are worthy of your attention.
But here’s the caution. It is getting harder and harder for new artists. For a major record label in this digital age there is so much ambiguity around the return on investment on a new artist that companies are signing less and less new acts. With a few notable exceptions (Florence and the Machine, Lady Gaga) a safer bet is to exploit the market with existing records from established bands and performers. The grey pound is still being spent.
Today’s younger generation have a growing expectation to be able to access music for free, whereas those of an older generation are still purchasing physical copies of albums. The evidence? Barbara Steisand’s 63rd album went to number 1 this year, last year Neil Diamond topped the charts for the first time in decades, Shirley Bassey has found herself back in the UK album best sellers as did The Carpenters, Rod Stewart and the 92 year old Vera Lynn became the oldest living artist to top the UK charts.
Increasingly major record labels are playing it safe. Why spend thousands of pounds trying to establish an act when less can be spent on an established older act to earn more? Of course in the long term it is short sighted, because where are the big artists of tomorrow going to come from? Or will the record industry just keep recycling Beatles albums forever and a day?
This is the caution. Unless something fundamentally changes the record industry could die out in a generation. Maybe you don’t think that is important. If that’s the case then have a read of a previous blog we wrote here which explains why we believe record labels and the industry they come from still have a fundamental role to play.
The chances for any new artist to earn a living through their art are becoming slimmer and slimmer. Something has to change. The question is, how?