It wasn’t that long ago that A&R execs at record labels were scouring the online platforms, looking for acts with the high view numbers, page visits or Likes. All that’s changed as artists and their webmasters became more sophisticated in gaming the system by using bots or fake users to drive up their numbers. Today you can easily purchase big numbers of views or likes for a relatively small amount of money, but does that actually help you get that elusive record deal?
A&R departments are well aware of how it all works these days so as much as they want to see them, they’re wary of those big numbers. If that’s the case, what metric do they use then? Believe it or not, A&R execs are pretty much back to the way they did it in the pre-Internet days. They look for things like:
1. Do you actually draw an audience when you play a gig?
2 .Do you connect with an audience in a live show as well as you do in an edited video?
3. Are you charming and memorable in off-the-cuff interviews and interactions?
4. Do you actually sound good live?
If there’s a “yes” to all the above, then A&R will go online and look at the the artist’s online presence. If you have millions of views, for instance, even if some of those views are bought, chances are that there’s still a buzz happening and the label will take notice. Have lots of likes, shares and followers across a number of platforms, then that’s going to confirm that there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.
- Finally, no matter where live in the world, no matter how small the town, or how small the venue, a line of fans around the block will draw more attention from a label than just about anything else.
Your online presence is important and it’s absolutely necessary, but it’s not the only thing when it comes to getting the music industry to notice you. A record deal can come from a massive online presence, but more and more it’s what’s on stage that counts.